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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

Strategies for Racialized Licensees

It’s with a tad bit of irony that the professions charged with fighting inequities and combating racism, both explicit and institutional, is itself one of the most regressive communities there is when it comes to these same challenges.

In part this is likely due to the independence of the legal professions, which results in a decentralized industry that is highly autonomous, but also likes to act with impunity. Most legal practices do not have access to best practices in human rights, or how to create an inclusive work environment. In fact, most of these practices are still largely exclusive to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues

Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law Receives 2016 SABA Diversity Award

The Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law (CAMWL) was founded in 2013 by Muslim women in the legal community who were brought together by their commitment to social justice. Since then, through its public education, direct advocacy, and law reform initiatives, CAMWL has endeavoured to help shape a legal profession that is responsive to our collective obligation to promote substantive justice and equality.

On November 14, 2016, CAMWL was honoured to receive the 2016 Diversity Award from the South Asian Bar Association. What follows are the remarks delivered that night by CAMWL co-founding member, Fathima Cader.

*****

SABA 2016 . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Legal Ethics: Misleading the Court

There is advocacy, and then there is deception. Deceiving counsel should be called out, named, and shamed.

Unfortunately, it is the very lawyers that are so adept at misleading the court that are the hardest to unmask.

Judges should look out for the following red flags to know that something sinister is happening:

  1. Only one party has filed material.
  2. Important documents are intentionally omitted to mislead the court. That way counsel can try to avoid being sanctioned for expressly lying.
  3. Counsel says that the other party “should have known” that a certain point would be argued based on the pleading
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Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

How Political Can a Judge Get?

It has been an important week. So important in fact, that one Hamilton judge decided to walk into court, fully robed in judicial attire, wearing a “Make American Great Again” baseball cap.

Never mind that Hamilton, Ontario is based on the north side of the border. The openly political statement by a judge in a courtroom has raised some concerns among some members of the bar,

“The clerk said ‘all rise’ and the door opens and Justice Zabel comes out. He is in a black silk robe with the crimson sash and the white tie. He has a poppy on

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

First Steps on a Journey of Reconciliation

A sold-out audience of lawyers, judges, academics and others gathered in Winnipeg last week for a Journey to of Reconciliation as part of the 2016 Isaac Pitblado Lectures. This event was a first step for The Law Society of Manitoba in meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #27:

We call upon the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal– Crown relations. This

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Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues

Judges and Social Media

In the Discussion Paper “The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers“, its stated that 48 per cent of Canadian judicial officers visit or contribute to social media sites (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and blogs). The Paper goes on to state that:

In regard to professional interactions with a lawyer who is a social networking contact, 33 per cent of judicial officers who reported social media use believe that it would be acceptable for a “LinkedIn contact” to appear before him/her… However, a small, yet clear, distinction is made if the lawyer is a “Facebook

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Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Update: Brexit Score – End of Second Period: Henry VIII 2 Henry II 1

Or, Ms May may not and must not; at least, not yet.

(For readers outside of the (ice) hockey world, substitute “end of first half”.)

The UK QB ruled unanimously (3-0) this fine English morning that the Tory gov’t cannot use the Crown’s prerogative to initiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The decision to withdraw or not – the decision whether to give notice under the applicable EU treaty – is for Parliament to make, not the party in power in Parliament; aka the “gov’t” or the Crown.

[111] for the reasons we have set out, we hold the

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Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Consulting With Canadians on a Federal Accessibility Legislation

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned federal accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life. It is expected that the new legislation will incorporate many features from Ontario and Manitoba’s accessibility laws that would include the process or processes that the Government would use to develop the accessibility standards, as well as the areas or activities to which the standards would apply. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

‘If Not Us, Who? if Not Now, When?’: Reflections on the Law Society’s Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group Report

The Law Society debate, set for December 2, 2016, is the most significant acknowledgment of the obligation to address issues of systemic racism within the Ontario legal profession to date. It is a call to action. The Law Society’s commitment is anchored in its 1997 Bicentennial Report and the Report of the Bicentennial Working Group. Much has changed since the Law Society’s largely unimplemented response of 1999 to the Canadian Bar Association Recommendations flowing from the Report on Racial Equality and my own complementary Virtual Justice Systemic Racism in the Canadian Legal Profession Report. In the intervening two . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Environmental Law: Behind the Scenes at Ecojustice

Nice interview on the Talking Radical Radio podcast with staff lawyers Dyna Tuytel and Barry Robinson from the Calgary office of Ecojustice. I’ve briefly touched on the great work of Ecojustice in the past but for those who may not be familiar with this organization they describe their work as follows:

“Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, slow climate change, and stand up for the health of our communities.

We pursue innovative cases that have the potential to set precedents nation-wide and deliver solutions to our most urgent environmental problems.”

Podcast . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

How to Win Cases

Conceptually, it’s easy: settle weak cases, try strong cases. When you try strong cases, find the spot where the best interests of your client overlap the most with the best interests of the court and hit it.

But what is this notion of the best interests of the court? Every litigator understands the best interests of the client and their duty to protect them. Many will also remember their duty as officers of the court.

But the best interests of the court is not quite fully the same thing as what litigators honour as officers of the court. It covers . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Is the Debate on a Secular State Useless and Fruitless?

Here we go again. Quebec Justice Minister recently tabled Bill 62, An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for religious accommodation requests in certain bodies fostering respect for religious neutrality of the state and aimed in particular to frame requests for religious accommodations in certain organizations. This is this sitting government’s attempt to draft a charter of secularism.

This is the fourth time that the Quebec government (under different leadership) has tried to pass a bill to clarify the religious neutrality of the state and set guidelines for the granting of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation