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Facilitation Conference in Criminal Matters: Advantages and Challenges

Given that criminal proceedings are a matter of public law, facilitation conferences present interesting challenges. These measures generally follow a guilty plea by the accused and will thus focus on sentencing. Since everyone who is accused has the right to a presumption of innocence, it is essential that anyone who participates in these conferences does so voluntarily.

Judicial Courage: Myth or Reality?

Language is a powerful communication instrument which has no boundaries and shapes the world. As social media ascends, reason is becoming overshadowed by opinion, truth by alternative facts and reality by vocabulary, all things foreign to courts of law. Nowadays, there seems to be no air for judicious neutrality. The epithets “activist”, “reactionary”, “liberal”, and […]

Stigma and Social Exclusion

The language used to describe people with mental health issues matters. “The mentally ill” is more likely to feed and inflame stereotypes than the ‘people first’ language I am using. There are, of course, myriad options and preferences. “People with lived experience” is currently popular in Canada.

Social Issues: At the Crossroads of Mental Illness and the Law

At the Hubert Humphrey Building dedication in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 1977, Humphrey spoke about the treatment of the weakest members of society as a reflection of its government: “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the […]

Law and Happiness: Challenges and Opportunities to Improving Lawyer and Student Well-Being

The Panel has been designed in partnership with Healthy Legal Minds (HLM), a group of law students and jurists that provide advocacy and evidence-based solutions to address causes of poor mental health and well-being in the legal profession. HLM envisions a profession where law students and legal professionals are equipped with the tools to lead healthy and happy lives, and easily seek help in the face of the challenges of the legal profession.

Program Report: Defining Cultural and Religious Diversity in the Administration of Justice: Are There Different Perspectives? (Panel No. 1)

The opening statement heard prior to the panel had suggested that discrimination is oftentimes an involuntary by-product of an ethnocentric perspective founded in a dominant cultural viewpoint. These testimonies thus challenged the dominant viewpoint by offering a unique perspective into the personal experiences in overcoming institutional challenges barring the right to equality.

Shaping Justice Together

The justice system is being criticized a lot these days. We must admit that some of that criticism is justified. If we observe a system that is flagging and must be renewed, we must also recognize that every day, men and women are acting in concrete ways to improve the system and its accessibility.

Imagine for a moment…

Imagine for a moment that you have decided after some serious thought that you need to wear a particular item of clothing that is very visible, let’s say a type of shawl. You sincerely believe that wearing this shawl represents something of value to you. Your conscience requires you to wear it. Most people may […]

Summary of the Senate Committee Final Report: “Delaying Justice is Denying Justice”

On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in the wake of the Jordan Supreme Court decision, the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs issued its much-anticipated final report on court delays. The Senate Committee made 50 recommendations, after hearing 138 witnesses (including lawyers, legal and mental health experts, former and current judges, victims and police), on […]

Fairness, Principles and Standard of Review: Where are we?

Robert Danay’s fascinating study observes that there is an apparent increase in deference to administrative decision makers post Dunsmuir. But there remain differing views on standard of review and – to paraphrase his paper – a never ending conflict over who gets the last word: the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branch, or the administrative tribunal.