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Archive for the ‘Justice Issues’ Columns

Is Heavily Polluting a Community a Breach of Its Human Rights?

The Inter American Commission on Human Rights has agreed to hear a precedent-setting case against the United States based on environmental racism. Heavily polluting industries are often concentrated in poor areas, typically occupied by minorities. In the United States, these minorities tend to be black. The Canadian equivalents may be First Nations communities, such as the reserve just downwind of Sarnia’s Chemical Valley.

 Mossville and Cancer Alley

The IACHR case relates to an African American hamlet named Mossville, Louisiana. Fourteen heavy industries lie between Mossville and its neighbour, Westlake, including an oil refinery, a coal burning power station and several . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Inventory of Civil Justice Reforms

This is my first column for Slaw, and I have been trying to decide where to begin. I’d like to tell you a bit about the story of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, but also want to share some of our resources and projects. Since Simon has promised that there will be more columns to follow, I‘ll keep this one focused on just one of our online resources — the Inventory of Reforms.

First though, a bit about the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice. The Forum was created in 1998 to foster knowledge and understanding of civil . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Love Hurts

Love hurts. Never has that expression been truer than in the misguided Kafkaesque labyrinth that forms the core of Canada’s domestic violence courts. Domestic violence charges are in a pitched battle with impaired driving cases to see who can destroy the crumbling foundation of our nation’s criminal courts first. They form a massively disproportionate percentage of the court’s daily caseload to the point where many courthouses have had to set aside an entire day each week just to deal with the volume of administrative set-date appearances. Only a small fraction of these domestic abuse cases involve repeat offenders, personal injury, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues