Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

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

Canadians seem generally fed up

Federal and provincial governments’ responses to crime and addiction evidently aren’t sitting well with most Canadians, according to the results of a national poll of 1,500 respondents by Léger, the Montreal-based market research and analytics company. “There are some very strong sentiments being expressed,” says Andrew Enns, the company’s executive vice-president. “We’re seeing large percentages of people saying things are getting worse.” [node:read-more:link]

Judicial complaints process “opaque”

The Canadian Judicial Council has been asked by its chair, Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner, to consider making the process for dealing with complaints more transparent. A day after Russell Brown stopped a CJC probe of his behaviour by resigning, Wagner said June 13 that “there’s something opaque” in a process with which he is uncomfortable and “I think we can do better.” [node:read-more:link]

Assad regime taken to ICJ

Canada and the Netherlands are taking Syria to the International Court of Justice on grounds that Syria “has committed countless violations of international law. “Since 2011, Syrians have been tortured, murdered, sexually assaulted, forcibly disappeared and subjected to chemical weapon attacks on a mass scale,” Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and her Dutch counterpart said in a joint statement today. “Twelve years on, human rights violations at the hands of the Syrian regime persist.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada to seize Russian aircraft

The federal government plans to seize a Russian-registered Antonov 124 cargo aircraft which has been stranded at Toronto International since February 2022 when a Ukrainian court ruled that it should be grounded. Its operator, Volga-Dnepr Airlines and its Moscow-based parent, were added to Canada’s sanctions list in April and Global Affairs Canada says it will work “on options to redistribute this asset to compensate victims of human rights abuses […] or rebuild Ukraine.” [node:read-more:link]

Supreme Court judge resigns

Russell Brown, 57, a conservative member of the Supreme Court of Canada since 2015, resigned today rather than face a Canadian Judicial Council disciplinary inquiry into allegations of harassment at an Arizona hotel in January. He had been on paid leave since shortly after the allegations become public. The nine-member bench can hear cases with as few as five justices. [node:read-more:link]

Islamic charity scores defamation win

The faith-based charity Islamic Relief Canada has settled a defamation action out of court against claims that it was a “front” for terrorist fund-raising. Terms were not disclosed but the December 2018 lawsuit for $2.5 million in damages was filed against Thomas Quiggin, a former Canadian Armed Forces intelligence officer and six others who made “false, malicious and defamatory” statements which they have acknowledged were “unfounded.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian imprisoned in China

Amnesty International Canada is stepping up its campaign for the release of a Canadian human-rights activist imprisoned in China since 2006. Huseyin Celil fled China after being arrested for supporting Uyghur rights but was arrested during a family visit to Uzbekistan in 2006. Amnesty says “they refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial.” [node:read-more:link]

Toronto attack ruled terrrorism

A 2020 attack which resulted in the death of a Toronto massage parlour employee was ruled by Ontario Superior Court Justice Suhail Akhtar June 6 as “incel-ideologically motivated terrorist activity,” the first such ruling in Canada according to the Crown. The online “involuntary celibate” community focuses on its members’ perceived inability to find romantic or sexual partners. The killer, 17 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty last September to first-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. [node:read-more:link]

Poland butting legal heads with EU

A member of NATO and the European Union, Poland is under fire for judicial reforms which the European Court of Justice said June 5 undermine the right to an independent and impartial judiciary. The court’s ruling is an unambiguous rejection of reforms introduced in 2019 by the right-wing government, which insisted they were necessary to purge communist-era influence. [node:read-more:link]

Quebec company penalized for bribery

A Quebec company, Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology, has agreed to pay some $10.5 million in a case involving attempted bribery of Philippines officials as it sought police contracts. This is according to a statement of facts about a court-approved deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution in Canada, only the second deferred prosecution deal since the Criminal Code was amended in 2018 to address corporate malfeasance. Charges against four executives have been conditionally stayed. [node:read-more:link]

Montreal cold case solved

New DNA testing has confirmed the identify of a U.S. citizen who murdered a Montreal teenager in 1975. Franklin Romine had been a suspect in Sharron Prior’s killing but evidence at the scene was not enough for testing or use in court. Romine died in 1982 but DNA from his exhumed body recently was found to match that on a shirt used to restrain Prior. [node:read-more:link]

EU fines Meta €1.2 billion

The European Union has fined Facebook’s Meta, €1.2 billion for how it transferred subscribers’ data between the U.S. and Europe. The California-based company says it will appeal what is the largest fine imposed under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. [node:read-more:link]

Russia seeking legal revenge

Two months after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes, the Kremlin has issued a warrant for the arrest of ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan. The ICC has dismissed it as an attempt to undermine its “lawful mandate to ensure accountability” for Russian activities in Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Effective Public Safety Policy Reforms

Canada’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of comprehensive, substantive, informed and multi-jurisdictional reform. Thanks to the ‘revolving door’ of repeat offenders playing Canada’s current criminal justice system, the general public has been arriving at the same conclusion – reform is urgently needed. [node:read-more:link]

Courts Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

On April 27th, the Bill C-233 received Royal Assent. This is the final step in the legislative process to put into law a number of pragmatic and effective changes to Canada’s Criminal Code bail laws which will help enhance the protection of victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. [node:read-more:link]


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