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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

Mayor Ford Removal Decision

The decision in the Rob Ford conflict of interest case is available here; as soon as the CanLII version becomes available I’ll update this post.

Notable excerpts, on a first skimming:

Section 5 of the MCIA clearly and broadly states that where a member, “has any pecuniary interest … in any matter,” and is present at a meeting of council, he or she is to disclose his or her interest and must neither take part in the discussion of nor vote on the matter. There is no basis on which the court can restrict or read down the meaning

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Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Dean’s Letter Re Diversity in Judicial Appointments

This is simply a pointer to an open letter sent to the Minister of Justice and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs by Osgoode Hall Law School Dean, Lorne Sossin, and Professor Sonia Lawrence over on Dean Sossin’s Blog. The writers express concern about the difficulty in obtaining statistical information about those in the pool from which federal judges are appointed. A brief quote:

We write to urge that either the Ministry or the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs release demographic data about the pool of applicants seeking federal judicial appointment. We believe

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Posted in: Justice Issues

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

A modern currency amongst our legal governance bodies is the “retention of women” in the practice of law. It’s a common rallying cry from the gatekeepers: Make sure the women stay! Because they know we are leaving, and they know as well that the impetus to leave arises, in part, from the disadvantages that we experience due to our disproportionately heavy role in creating and parenting children.

For women in bigger law firms, their maternity leaves prevent them from obtaining the same seniority or work opportunities as non-parenting counterparts. Once baby arrives, women in bigger law firms are then compared . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Older Adults – Final Report From LCO

On Friday I was sitting working at the Toronto Reference Library (well, in the new Balzac’s coffee shop) when a fellow named David sat beside me and we started to chat. He had just been to a senior’s information event at the library, and had a bag full of reports and brochures. He shared what he had learned with me since “you will need this someday, too.” (Sooner than you think, David!)

I was surprised to see he had the Ontario Law Commission’s Older Adults Final Report which was released in April 2012. Back in August 2011, Michel-Adrien Sheppard told . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Reading

Promulgation, Access, and Linguistic Diversity

Sensibly, everyone’s presumed to know the law: to have it otherwise would encourage willful ignorance or claims of ignorance as means of evading legal consequences. And with equal sense, laws have to be promulgated for their application to be fundamentally fair or even instrumentally useful. So much for theory. Practice, as always, is rather more of a messy struggle, as you’ll know.

There’s the basic matter of getting the text of laws out to the people. We’re doing a decent job of that in Canada as our various jurisdictions make their legislation and judicial opinions increasingly available in digitized formats . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Prisons and Healthcare; Ne’er the T’wain Shall Meet?

Julie Bilotta became a mother on September 29, 2012. She gave birth to her son Gionni alone in solitary confinement in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC), after laboring for nine hours while allegedly being ignored and/or taunted by staff who did not believe that she was in the process of delivering a baby. Julie remains in detention pending a bail hearing.

According to news reports, Julie was only allowed to hold her baby in the ambulance on the way to the hospital after his birth, and will see her baby through a sheet of Plexiglas during closed OCDC visits.

Ontario’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues