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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

Lawyers Who Have Won the Nobel Peace Prize

December 10th is the day on which the annual winners of the Nobel Prizes in various fields collect their awards in Oslo or Stockholm.

The Nobel Prize winners in literature, chemistry, physics, medicine and economics gather in the Swedish capital. The winner or winners of the yearly Peace Prize attend a ceremony in Oslo.

Law Library of Congress employee Jennifer Gonzalez has written a two-part post on the Library’s blog In Custodia Legis about the many lawyers and law professors who have won the Peace Prize:

The list includes Oscar . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

What Syria Has Taught Us About Food Security

When someone mentions the words “human rights”, there’s often a very romanticized notion of what that means. People might imagine a right to live, or a right to be treated fairly, and a right to live and believe in whatever we want to believe. While there may be some discrepancies, the common thread among different interpretations is the answer to the question “what is it that we are all equally entitled to?”. When it comes to “big ticket” items like the right to live, worship and think freely, it’s difficult to argue against that.

But what about issues such as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

We Don’t Need Another Morgentaler in Canada on Assisted Suicide

The purpose of government, when it is functioning properly, is to pass laws. These laws should be carefully contemplated, debated, and revised before drafting.

But sometimes there’s a greater urgency in this function, which has arose in the aftermath of Carter v. Canada, where the Court ruled in February of this year:

 

Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Lincoln on the Practice of Law

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser: in fees, and expenses, and waste of time. As peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

Abraham Lincoln
Notes on the Practice of Law
The Library of America, Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, 1832-1858 . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Manitoba Proposes Domestic Violence Leave

Governments have been steadily increasing statutory leaves of absence entitlements to help employees deal with various personal issues without fear of losing their jobs. The Manitoba government is raising the bar by introducing groundbreaking proposed changes to the Employment Standards Code that would give victims of domestic violence the right to time off work without fear of job loss, give employees a new leave for long-term illness and injury, and extend the length of leave for compassionate care. . . . [more]

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

Quebec Construction Corruption Inquiry Final Report Published

The Charbonneau Commission mandated to look into corruption and fraud among the construction industry, unions and government, tabled its final report on November 24, 2015. The report proposes 60 recommendations that lead commissioner of the inquiry, France Charbonneau, called “concrete solutions” to ensure government contracts are fairly managed. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Even Pedophiles Have Charter Rights

The true test of a society is how we treat the most vulnerable, despicable, and heinous members of our society. The ability of the legal system to temper passions, quell inflammatory biases, and dispense justice to all individuals is the reason why the justice system is valued and respected by society at large.

R. v. Williamson, an interesting case awaiting a hearing before the Supreme Court, helps illustrate these tensions. The case was debated this year at the 2015 Paralegal Cup.

Kenneth Williamson was accused of multiple charges of sexual assault of a minor between 1979-1980. These allegations . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Fighting for Environmental Assessment in Canada

What kind of Canada do you want? One that prioritizes industrial development over
people, or one that finds innovative ways to grow its economy in balance with nature?

If you’re interested in environmental law and environmental justice then you’re probably aware of the fantastic work done by Ecojustice. It was 1990 when they started “leading the environmental fight” in Canada under the Sierra Legal Defense Fund banner. That’s 25 years of successful “groundbreaking” litigation representing community groups, non-profit organizations, First Nations, and individual Canadians. Through their efforts they have “secured many precedent-setting legal victories that protect wildlife . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Opens at University of Manitoba

Earlier this year, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its findings after its years-long investigation into the many abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This week, a grand opening was held for the new National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation located on the grounds of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. The Centre is the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the TRC.

As the Centre’s director Ry Moran explains:

On this site and at our centre, you will find a vast collection of documents,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Of Wikibooks and the Impossible Trinity of Information

Poo-pooing Wikipedia’s citeworthiness has a rich and honoured tradition, and not just among academics. The authoritative quality of crowd-sourced wisdom is a well-flogged heel for those in legal circles too, often trotted out in judgments like some Karl Von Hess to be beaten up by proper prudent legal authority. Wikipedia was first knocked about in Canadian jurisprudence in Bajraktaraj v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 FC 261, a decision of the Federal Court which set the tone for dealing with the pariah:

… the quality of the sources relied upon by the applicant, including an article

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Crowd Funding for Justice

Over the summer a non-practising UK solicitor launched “CrowdJustice“. It is a funding platform through which people can combine to build support for and share costs of taking legal action for issues that effect their community.

It is run by a team of lawyers and volunteers based in London.

The Case Owner sets a deadline and funding target for the amount needed to offset the costs. Only when the target is met are the pledges collected and paid to the lawyer’s trust account.Crowd Justice charges a fee if a case is successfully funded.

Cases recently funded or currently . . . [more]

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

Self-Represented Litigants’ Response to “the Rights and Responsibilities of Self-Represented Litigants”

In my 28 August 2015 post, “The Rights and Responsibilities of Self-represented Litigants,” I reproduced a document intended to sketch out, like the name suggests, the reasonable expectations that litigants without counsel should have as they make their way through the legal system, and their concurrent obligation to attempt to acquire a reasonable understanding of legal processes. This caught the eye of Julie Macfarlane, professor at the University of Windsor and director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, who arranged for the document to be reviewed and commented open by a number of the self-represented individuals . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues