Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

Anything related to the court system, sentencing of offenders, or incarceration issues

SCOC judge’s absence prompts complaint

A complaint about the absence of justice Russell brown from the nine-member Supreme Court of Canada bench for more than a month is being reviewed by the Canadian Judicial Council. The court has said only that “we cannot disclose” the reason for Brown’s absence and the CJC also is declining further comment. [node:read-more:link]

Japan suggests U.S. Senator lying

U.S. Senator Mike Lee is getting strong diplomatic pushback to his recent claim that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi had reneged on a promise to repatriate a naval officer imprisoned in 2021 after a car accident resulted in the deaths of two Japanese citizens. The embassy in Washington has lodged an official complaint, saying that Lee’s remarks were “contrary to the facts and cannot be accepted.” [node:read-more:link]

Belarusian exiles sentenced

Exiled Belarusian politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is dismissing as a “farce” a trial which ended with her being sentenced to 15 years in prison for criticizing her country’s autocratic leader. She is among five opposition politicians sentenced in absentia. [node:read-more:link]

Murderer seeks Kiwi refugee status

Vancouver MP Jenny Kwan says a man convicted of murder in B.C. 20 years ago is falsifying information in his claim for refugee status in New Zealand after arriving from China. Kwan has asked federal cabinet ministers to ensure that New Zealand authorities receive “pertinent factual information pertaining to issues of criminality” in the case. [node:read-more:link]

“Freedom Convoy” solidarity crumbling

An accountant who set up a “Freedom Convoy” not-for-profit corporation to receive contributions, is suing two lawyers who represent other protest organizers, alleging negligence in not warning him of potential legal risks. It’s the latest in a series of disputes as organizers try to defend a potential class-action lawsuit on behalf of Ottawa residents and businesses affected by the blockade of the capital’s downtown core a year ago. [node:read-more:link]

Nobel laureate peace activist jailed

Ales Bialiatski, a Belarusian pro-democracy activist who won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison along with two other activists. Bialiatski was one of the leaders of the democracy movement in Belarus in the mid-1980s, particularly as President Alexander Lukashenko became increasingly authoritarian after his 1994 election [node:read-more:link]

Mountie killer’s sentence reduced

A New Brunswick Court of Appeal tribunal said today that it was “duty bound” to shorten the parole eligibility of Justin Bourque, who killed three RCMP officers in 2014. Citing a 2022 Supreme Court of Canada ruling which struck down a 2011 law as unconstitutional, it cut his eligibility period to 25 years from the 75 imposed by the trial judge. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP officer faces trial on drug charges

An RCMP officer in western Newfoundland has been charged by the province’s Serious Incident Response Team with possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. The SIRT began its investigation last summer after the officer’s activities were reported by the RCMP. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. firm liable in Beirut blast

Two and a half years after a massive dockside explosion in Beirut killed more than 200 persons and injured more than 6,000 others, a British court has ruled that a London-based company which chartered the ship that delivered the ammonium nitrate in 2013 is liable. Court documents show that senior Lebanese political, judicial and security officials were aware of the risk but had not taken action. [node:read-more:link]

Legal win for indigenous women

A Federal Court of Canada has restored the right of women to vote at an Alberta First Nation. In his 69-page ruling (Docket Nos. T-800-21 and T-808-21), Justice Paul Favel not only struck down a ban on members in common-law relationships from candidacy but also one which disenfranchised women whose mother, grandmother or great-grandmother had married a non-status man. [node:read-more:link]

Brothers released from Guantánamo

Two brothers from Pakistan have been released without charge and repatriated after two decades in Guantánamo Bay. Abdul and Mohammed Ahmed Rabbani, who were arrested as"terrorists" in Pakistan in 2002, claim to have been tortured by CIA officers in Afghanistan before they were shipped to the U.S. military prison. [node:read-more:link]

Another “Gitmo” detainee freed

Pakistani national Ahmed Rabbani, once described as one of “the worst terrorists” in the world, has been repatriated from Guantánamo after more than 20 years without charge. He had been handed over by Pakistani officials in September 2002 in return for a bounty despite his insistence that he was only a taxi driver. His British human rights lawyer says his treatment is more evidence of how the U.S. intelligence and military communities had mishandled most Guantánamo detainees’ cases. [node:read-more:link]

Cocaine dealer unhappy with fine

Convicted cocaine dealer Abdallah Abdelrazzaq is challenging a court-ordered fine on constitutional grounds, claiming that the penalty in lieu of forfeiting the proceeds of his crime is cruel and unusual punishment. He was arrested in Ontario in 2019 after selling cocaine to an undercover police officer and, after winning one appeal and losing another, his lawyer says he is prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Supreme Court judge takes leave

Supreme Court of Canada Justice Russell Brown, generally considered a strong voice for provincial rights, has taken a leave of absence from the nine-member bench. It comes only a few weeks before the court is scheduled to review environmental legislation which enables the federal government to regulate a wide range of industrial projects despite strong objections by Alberta. The court declined to explain the decision by the 57-year-old jurist who was appointed in 2015. [node:read-more:link]

Veterans Affairs stiffs RCMP pensioners

Canada’s Veterans Ombud is challenging Veterans Affairs Canada’s arbitrary reduction in the pensions of some retired RCMP officers and civilian employees because they received a one-time lump sum compensation for many years of “horrific” on-the-job abuse and harassment which drove many into early retirement. [node:read-more:link]


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