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RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: Liberals to overhaul criminal justice system Reply with quote

( the liberals have introuduced a massive criminal justice bill , not sure what all is in it yet but one of the more unusual items as eliminating peremptory challenges . a move that has not been studied and appears to only have been included cause of the Boushie trial . this move would have affects on the make up of juries across Canada for years to come and does not appear to have been looked into in detail )



Liberals look to 'abolish peremptory challenges' with Bill C-75 following Colten Boushie acquittal



Canadian Press


Published:
March 29, 2018


Updated:
March 29, 2018 1:32 PM EDT


Filed Under:

Canoe ›
News ›
Canada ›


OTTAWA — The Liberal government has introduced legislation aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system, a measure that will make good on its promise to change the way juries are selected.

A number of visibly Indigenous people were excluded from the jury that last month acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley, 56, in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, 22, a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled a massive bill Thursday that, if passed, would eliminate the use of peremptory challenges, which allow lawyers to reject jury candidates during the selection process.


The bill includes other measures aimed at tackling court backlogs plaguing the criminal justice system, including by restricting the use of preliminary inquiries to cases where the offender is facing the possibility of a life sentence, such as for murder, kidnapping or aggravated sexual assault.

The bill will also address a Liberal campaign promise to crack down on intimate partner violence, including by reversing the onus on bail for those previously convicted of violence against a current or former spouse, common-law partner or dating partner.


Intimate partner violence would also be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing and the bill would also make way for the possibility of higher maximum sentences for repeat offenders.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked Wilson-Raybould with reviewing changes to the criminal justice system and the sentencing reforms the previous Conservative government brought in as part of its tough-on-crime agenda, including the impact on Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized groups.


That effort took on an increased sense of urgency in July 2016, when the Supreme Court imposed strict new limits on how long a case could take to make its way through the system.


The bill would also make other changes aimed at tackling the backlog, including by allowing judges more discretion when it comes to what are called administration of justice offences, such as those involving breach of recognizance and others that do not involve violence or property damage.

This bill, however, does not address another major promised reform to address mandatory minimum sentences, which many advocates have argued also contribute to court delays.


http://canoe.com/news/national.....-acquittal
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its bizarre how the peremptory challenges rule became the target of social justice warriors . this rule is in place in courts around the globe , lawyers are allowed to reject certain jurors they feel are unfit , biased etc . its never caused significant issues in the past and has been around for some time


I'd also question how much study was done into the affect of removing this option ? do the liberals truly know the long term effects it will have on the legal system and make up of a jury


by removing it one would also wonder how this is actually going to mean more diverse juries ?

not an expert but it would seem that without it , whoever is first in the jury line is now much more likely to end up in the jury , it doesn't mean the jury will be more diverse . unless the pool of available jurors becomes more diverse


one could also argue that a lawyer could of used the peremptory challenge rule to create a more diverse jury , if it can be used to create a less diverse one . the lawyer could use the challenges on white jurors so more ethnic ones would have to be picked instead
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the very worst way to make laws!

Criminal law should not change with the waves of empathy the might flow from good-hearted people as they react to some new and disturbing incident in the news.

You don't expect that the immediate reactions of crowds of people would result in the best long-term resolutions in law. It's hard enough as it is, with the media shrieking and activist groups producing pseudo-events for them to put on the front pages.

To me, this suggests that the Liberal Party is itself becoming a lynch mob of sorts. What Trudeau's doing is unprecedented. His narcissism is going to screw us up.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( defense lawyers don't like the changes and say they actually use peremptory challenges to create more diverse juries not less )


Lawyers say post-Boushie justice reforms could actually make juries less diverse



Attorneys say they use peremptory challenges to make juries more diverse for their visible minority clients



John Paul Tasker · CBC News · Posted: Mar 30, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 4 hours ago



Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould unveiled 300-page legislation Thursday that will eliminate peremptory challenges without reason and do away with most preliminary inquiries. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)


95 comments


Defence lawyers are sounding the alarm about sweeping changes to the criminal justice system unveiled Thursday by the Liberal government, warning the proposals will further stack the deck against those accused of a crime while doing little to promote a more equitable justice system.

Bill C-75, introduced Thursday by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, will remove sections of the Criminal Code that allow for peremptory challenges — which allow lawyers to remove a potential juror without giving reasons — in an effort to reform jury selection so the panels are "more representative of the Canadian population."

Some defence lawyers tell CBC News they actually use these challenges to make juries more diverse — by challenging some would-be white jurors — to ensure a fairer trial for visible minority clients.

The government is arguing the reverse, saying that ending peremptory challenges will prevent Crown attorneys and defence lawyers alike from barring minority candidates from juries.

Some believe that's what happened in the Colten Boushie trial — that Indigenous jurors were weeded out to better the odds of a not-guilty verdict for Gerald Stanley, the white farmer accused of Boushie's murder. Stanley was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Indigenous man.

"This one case is going to strip away peremptory challenges, and it's only because of the [Boushie] backlash, which should tell you how crassly political this whole bill is," Solomon Friedman, a prominent Ottawa-based defence lawyer, said in an interview with CBC News.

"The fact that this bill was pushed out in the afternoon before a long weekend, when Parliament is going to rise for two weeks, tells you how ashamed the government really is of this bill."


Wilson-Raybould pitched the proposal as a way to initiate "a necessary culture shift" in the country's justice system, and reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the country's criminal justice system.

"The great irony of all this is it's in response to Colten Boushie, where the complaint is that the jury wasn't representative enough," Friedman said. "But I can tell you this, when I have an accused person who is Indigenous, if I have a young black man, I want a juror that looks like my client, that has had similar life experiences.

"I use peremptory challenges to get a more diverse and representative jury, to see if I can get racialized individuals on the jury. That is now gone. We cannot do that now."

Friedman said the jury pool is overwhelmingly white, older and middle class.


Ottawa-based defence lawyer Solomon Friedman says eliminating peremptory challenges could actually make juries less diverse. (Solomon Friedman)

Friedman said that during his last homicide trial, the Crown dismissed every young black man with a peremptory challenge. "Every one — and our clients were all racialized. I find the Crowns are using their challenges to keep off minorities or Indigenous individuals. I'm trying to use them to keep them on the jury."

The Ontario Crown Attorneys Association did not respond to a request for comment on the proposed reforms.

Move made in haste

Friedman said the move to eliminate these challenges was made in haste. He said it was irresponsible for the minister to say she's not yet prepared to move on eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for some offences — because she hasn't had enough time to examine the issue, despite 18 months of consultation — when the Boushie case wrapped just a month ago.

He said if the government is serious about bolstering Indigenous representation on juries it ought to spend money on advertising targeted at Indigenous communities, to encourage people to actually respond to their jury summons and show up for jury selection.

Another defence lawyer, Michael Spratt, said he's also troubled by the move to eliminate peremptory challenges.

"When you have 100 people lined up, potential jurors, only a very small percentage, a disproportionately small number, are people of colour," he said. "We will often use preemptive challenges to excuse white jurors or non-minority jurors so we can get to those racialized jurors that look like our client."

The government maintains Canada is simply following the well-worn path taken by other jurisdictions, such as England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which have abolished peremptory challenges in the name of equity.


"These amendments would signal that discrimination of any kind, including in the jury selection process, fails to promote fairness and impartiality and has no place in the criminal justice system," a spokesperson for Wilson-Raybould said in an e-mailed statement. "The goal of the measure is to increase public confidence in the jury selection process."

Another source of concern for lawyers is the federal government's move to do away with preliminary inquiries except in the case of crimes that carry a life sentence, which is expected to reduce the number of preliminary inquiries by 87 per cent. There are now more than 9,000 a year.

Eliminating preliminary inquiries fundamentally unfair: lawyer

The government has said this will go a long way to clear persistent backlogs in the country's criminal justice system. The Supreme Court's Jordan decision, which imposed hard timelines on criminal trials, has resulted in cases being dismissed because of delays — something Wilson-Raybould hopes to address with this legislation.

The minister said she also heard during her cross-country consultations that these hearings can re-traumatize victims by having them make multiple appearances in court.

But Solomon said doing away with the inquiries — held to determine if there is enough evidence for an individual to be tried on their charges — is fundamentally unfair to people accused of a crime.

"It's long been a part of the English common law that people shouldn't be in jeopardy in front of a judge or a judge and jury unless there's sufficient evidence. That's what the preliminary inquiry does, it screens it out," he said.

"It also allows you to meaningful test the Crown's evidence, to narrow the issues, to have a preview of how witnesses will testify. That's all going to be gone."

Spratt said it's disingenuous to say eliminating these inquiries will have a meaningful impact on delays when they constitute only 3 per cent of all court time in the Ontario justice system.

"They save a lot of time down the road. It narrows issues, shortens trials, and in some cases actually eliminates the need for trials in some cases," he said.

"If the justice minister really wanted to take active measures to reduce court delays, the low hanging fruit is, of course, mandatory minimum sentences."


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politic.....-1.4600007
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberals' law reforms going backwards at 'breakneck speed': lawyers


Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau



Published:
March 29, 2018


Updated:
March 29, 2018 7:23 PM EDT


Filed Under:

Toronto SUN ›
News ›
Toronto & GTA ›


The Liberal government’s “twitchfork reactions” to the controversial acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer will result in “disastrous” consequences for the criminal justice system, says a prominent Toronto defence lawyer.

“If you make changes to the law to adapt to one outlier case, the results will be a disaster,” said John Struthers. “This was a twitchfork reaction to the Colten Boushie decision.”

Last month, Stanley, 56, was cleared by an all-white jury of a murder charge in the shooting of Indigenous man Colten Boushie, 22, on Stanley’s property in rural Saskatchewan in August 2016.

)

“Because of the result of a single case, the Liberals are turning their backs on 200 or 300 years of criminal justice,” said Struthers.

The Liberals propose to dump peremptory challenges — the ability for either Crown or defence counsel to disqualify a potential juror without stating a reason.

“These challenges are the only way we have to eliminate bigots who sneer at the black accused and say they’ll judge him without prejudice. We will have no way to remove these unacceptable people from the jury,” said Struthers.
related linksLiberals set to reform jury selection process after Boushie case

He said criminal defence lawyers were hoping that the Liberal government “would do something to reduce the over-representation of indigenous and racial minorities in Canadian prisons.

“Instead, they are going in exactly the wrong direction at breakneck speed,” said Struthers.


Former Ontario Criminal Lawyers’ Association president Frank Addario said Ottawa should strike a balance “somewhere between the north pole of the Americans’ court questioning a juror for three hours and our south pole system of asking a single challenge for cause question” to select an unbiased jury.

“They missed the opportunity to correct the system, to require all provinces to achieve some jury representativeness — a rough mirror image of the community in which the accused is being tried,” said Addario.

Both Struthers and Addario defended the use of preliminary hearings as a safeguard and vital tool that unclogs the courts. Preliminary hearings would be restricted under the Liberals’ plan to offences carrying life sentences and drug cases.

“Preliminary hearings reduce delays and lead to withdrawals and resolutions (guilty pleas to lesser charges) because it enables the Crown to see its witnesses aren’t as strong as originally thought or the defendants to see how strong the case is,” said Addario.

“It’s a great way to meet in the middle,” said Addario. The Crown doesn’t want victims of violence to have to testify twice, once at the preliminary inquiry and next at trial, he added.


http://torontosun.com/news/loc.....ed-lawyers
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reactions are starting.

Quote:
Liberals' law reforms going backwards at 'breakneck speed': lawyers
Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
Updated:
March 29, 2018 7:23 PM EDT

The Liberal government’s “twitchfork reactions” to the controversial acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer will result in “disastrous” consequences for the criminal justice system, says a prominent Toronto defence lawyer.

“If you make changes to the law to adapt to one outlier case, the results will be a disaster,” said John Struthers. “This was a twitchfork reaction to the Colten Boushie decision.”

Last month, Stanley, 56, was cleared by an all-white jury of a murder charge in the shooting of Indigenous man Colten Boushie, 22, on Stanley’s property in rural Saskatchewan in August 2016.

Jace Boushie, brother of Colten Boushie leaves the Court of Queen’s Bench after a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty in the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer accused of killing the 22-year-old Indigenous man Colten Boushie, in Battleford, Sask., Friday, February 9, 2018. (Liam Richards/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“Because of the result of a single case, the Liberals are turning their backs on 200 or 300 years of criminal justice,” said Struthers.

The Liberals propose to dump peremptory challenges — the ability for either Crown or defence counsel to disqualify a potential juror without stating a reason.

“These challenges are the only way we have to eliminate bigots who sneer at the black accused and say they’ll judge him without prejudice. We will have no way to remove these unacceptable people from the jury,” said Struthers.

Liberals set to reform jury selection process after Boushie case
He said criminal defence lawyers were hoping that the Liberal government “would do something to reduce the over-representation of indigenous and racial minorities in Canadian prisons.

“Instead, they are going in exactly the wrong direction at breakneck speed,” said Struthers.
http://torontosun.com/news/loc.....ed-lawyers


This is the very worst way to make law -- to frame it to get more of a certain kind of prosecutions, which is what they are doing. The logic runs like this: We think this white guy did it, even though the jury exonerated him. Therefore, we will change court procedures so that defendants in murder trials don't have as many protections.

Hopefully, Justin will see the wisdom of reconsidering. But when did he show wisdom before???
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Libs’ omnibus justice bill could get a rocky ride in Parliament

By Peter Mazereeuw Apr. 16, 2018


Justice Minister Jody-Wilson Raybould isn’t apologizing for controversial reforms laid out in Bill C-75 that she has said will make the courts faster and fairer.




Justice Minister Jody-Wilson Raybould tabled an enormous criminal justice reform bill in the House last month, and the opposition Conservatives are criticizing the move to allow lighter penalties for serious crimes when the Crown deems it appropriate. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade


Conservative MPs and Liberal and Independent Senators are joining the pile-on atop the Liberals’ criminal justice reform bill, C-75, complaining the bill does too much, not enough, or is merely an omnibus shortcut to make up for the government’s legislative mismanagement. “It appears that under the guise of making Canada’s justice system more efficient, the government is, through the backdoor, watering down sentences for serious crimes,” said Conservative MP Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton, Alta.) his party’s deputy justice

https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/04/16/omnibus-justice-bill-get-rocky-ride-parliament/140464
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope the critics are alert to the way they lard up these bills with social justice enabling rhetoric.
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Liberals to overhaul criminal justice system

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