After the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canadian prostitution laws
), the Conservative Party has introduced new measures that would legalize the sale of sex, but that also criminalize the purchase of sex or soliciting in public, print or online
. [more inside]
The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down Canada's prostitution laws
saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution are arbitrary and create severe dangers for vulnerable women. [more inside]
Canadian self-described "Freemen" in Alberta
have recently attracted a great deal of public attention to themselves. The justice system generally takes a very dim view of their shenanigans
, as laid out in one of the most comprehensively researched and bizarre judgment issued in recent memory. Here's a general overview and debunking of the arguments they use
. [more inside]
Nicole Ryan, a Nova Scotia teacher, offered a hit man $25,000 to bump off her husband because the police would not protect her from his abuse
(longer, audio only
). In her first 2010
trial, where she raised the defense of duress, she was aquitted; the Crown's 2011
appeal of that acquittal was dismissed, and her third 2013
trial resulted in a stay. But the victim didn't go on the stand to tell his side of the story. [more inside]
"A blue cloud of smoke wafted over the Famous Five statue that sits just east of the Senate doors. No one seemed to be going insane or looking like they were about to personally invade the United States. There were people of all colours in the crowd, but if any of them were members of The Ring, they hid it well. The peaceful demonstrators were, however, breaking the law, smoking a banned substance that could in theory have landed any one of them in prison." Emily Murphy’s legacy lives on in more ways than most care to remember.
The British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down a ban
on physician-assisted suicide, in a whopping 1415-paragraph decision
. [more inside]
It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada
, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill
), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass
, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest
against legislation which many critics have argued
goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget. [more inside]
SCC approves safe injection sites.
The Supreme Court of Canada today ordered the federal government to stop its efforts to shut down a safe injection clinic in Vancouver, opening the door to more clinics opening across the country. [more inside]
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive
A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
Right before the 10th anniversary
of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled
that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional.
gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it.
Have you ever wondered why you can't get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, etc.? Mark Hicken, a British Colombian lawyer, is a great source of information
on the state(s) of Canadian liquor regulations. Sure, a little localised and dry, but that's the terroir, man. Also, he does point out some inanities
that have a relatively universal appeal.
A proposal for the monetization of the file sharing of music from the Songwriters and Recording Artists of Canada.
"Most Canadians are aware that the Internet and mobile phone networks have become major sources of music. What they may not know is that songwriters and performers typically receive no compensation of any kind when their music is shared or illegally downloaded... We believe the time has come to put in place a reasonable and unobtrusive system of compensation for creators of music in regard to this popular and growing use of their work."
In 2005, the Supreme Court of British Columbia decided
that taxing the legal services of the poor "constitutes indirect taxation and is a tax on justice contrary to the Magna Carta
and the Rule of Law." Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the decision
, rejecting "the respondent’s contention that there is a broad general right to legal counsel as an aspect of, or precondition to, the rule of law." The case was largely the initiative of Dugald Christie
, a Vancouver lawyer and political activist who devoted his life to the cause of improving access to the legal system, before dying on a cross-Canada bicycling fundraiser
ten months ago. He is well remembered by lawyers
Canadian province says child can have 3 parents on birth certificate.
Canada approved 2 mothers and father on birth certificate, allowing the lesbian family and birth father to have full legal parental rights. A major step in Lesbian and Fathers rights. Judicial activism or catching up to the reality of families in modern day? The battle continues.
Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada
on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes
the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law
after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal
. The act itself
was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001
which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
It's been nearly 20 years since Air India Flight 182
crashed into the ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard, after a bomb went off in the luggage compartment. Today, the two main suspects in the case were acquitted. Families of the victims are upset
. Of the 329 victims
, 82 of them were under the age of 12. Let's take a moment to remember them; victims of one of the worst terrorist acts prior to September 11th, 2001.
Sharia recommended to Ontario government.
A review of Mumtaz Ali's recommendation
to permit legal arbitration by Islamic law has concluded in his cause's favour, recommending that sharia be allowed for family disputes and inheritance cases. Sharia may be joining Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish laws as religious law arbitration options, which is good. But women's groups are worried about the inherent discriminatory nature
of sharia, which is bad.
LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush
Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
this mefi story here
where a set of extremely abusive parents who abused their children into their teens were sentenced to only 9 months prison. A judge now deems that sentence "demonstrably unfit" and resentences the mother and father to 5 and 4 years in jail, respectively. Thanks to t r a c y for the update.
No Sunday shopping
in Nova Scotia (apparently some were for
Alan McLeod, Canadian Lawyer, writes "Make sure you are heard as Canada decides to revamp its Copyright Act."
He goes on to encourage Canadians to contact the Heritage Minister and weigh in as the Copyright rules in Canada may be about to change.
In response to Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruling that file sharing was legal in Canada
(previously discussed here
), Federal Heritage Minister Helene Scherrer has stated that "As minister of Canadian Heritage, I will, as quickly as possible, make changes to our copyright law".
The problem is that Canadian copyright law has been going through a slow and thoughtful reformation process. Since the unveiling of A Framework for Copyright Reform
in 2001, a lot of progress has been made in updating the laws to reflect the needs and concerns of content producers, and the public domain.
Now, however, it seems that all of this work may be bulldozed by Helene Scherrer, who declared her intentions
at the Juno Awards last night.
So, when did Canada
become the globe's official Progressive Society Laboratory? They've got the health care, they've got the gay marriage, and now, they've got 100% legal file-sharing
-- a judge has ruled that not only is downloading copyrighted material legal, but sharing it is as well. Um, whoa? How long can this stand on appeal? Is anyone here a Canadian legal expert who can tell us about how Canadian copyright law differs from our own? (Tall order, I know...)
British Columbia joins Ontario
as the second province in Canada to allow gay marriage. Not everyone
is happy though.
: American media are unsurprisingly preparing to publish details of Vancouver's Pickton case despite a Canadian publication ban
. Are media blackouts censorship, necessary for justice, or both? Or are they just doomed to fail
when you can just, you know, do stuff like this
Controversial new bill
to lay out reproductive technology guidelines. Canadian version of this battle doesn't seem to feature as many religious wackos. It's just not as fun without them.
, a flawed law responsible for such things as the lawsuit against 2600
's attempt to prosecute Dmitry Sklyarov
is spreading! Canada is starting hearings
into its own version of the US's DMCA! Where will all this end? Via /.
Canadian hate crime laws
are trying to be applied to filmmakers. Sure they made fake
snuff films and there are no victims. So far they have them on an obscenity charge and I thought we had free speech problems.
Man, I love Ontario.
Monday afternoon, an amazingly significant court trial ruled that possession of marijuana being criminal is unconstitutional, and that new laws need to be written.