Aug. 31, 2016

The Hill Times – Peter Mazereeuw
New cabinet committee signals shift in litigation strategy: Cotler

Dominic Leblanc was recently appointed to oversee a committee to examine and strategize around how to handle the 42,000 lawsuits that the federal government faces.  The stats are formidable: Canada is defendant in 29,000, plaintiff in 5,000 and interested third party in 8,000.  The financial implications alone are staggering.  The new Litigation Committee with Leblanc as chair is prompting critics to say that litigation is properly the responsibility of the Justice Minister but Jody Wilson-Raybould says it was her idea.

CBC News – Alison Crawford
Justice Canada quietly seeks input on how federal judges are disciplined – Federal government considers changes to Canadian Judicial Council amid high-profile cases in Quebec, Alberta

The Justice Department is quietly reviewing the process for disciplining judges who misbehave.  The process involves a consultation that started in June and concludes today.  One of the respondents to the request for input is the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics (CALE), whose President Alice Woolley says the current process is “cumbersome, it’s unprofessional, it’s out of step with how modern professional regulation tends to look, and it doesn’t involved the public in any meaningful way.”  Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Ian MacLeod  Ordinary citizens must get more say in disciplining judges, legal ethics group says

The (Waterloo Region) – Roderick Benns
 A basic income would be a great first move toward recognizing social inequities

The economic and social inequities of life in Canada continue to surface.  The Ontario government itself is studying the notion of a guaranteed annual income (GAI) as one way to reduce the impact of poverty.  This article reflects on how the GAI could be used to set a basic minimum while not allowing the “good life” standards.  Benns argues that the costs of welfare, especially in added health care, would more than pay for a GAI of $18,000.

Prison Reform Trust (UK) – Herbert Leming
In Care, Out of Trouble

This is a downloadable 194 page special report on the care of troubled children in the British justice system, comprehensive with each section offering recommendations specific to the discussion item.  The actual report is 120 pages with four large appendices and 30 pages of end notes.  The report seeks to focus on the over-representation of children in care who wind up in the justice system as well.  There is a foreword and executive summary at the second link (36 pages downloadable pdf) by the author Herbert Laming.,4G53D,6JSCMH,GE9VA,1   Foreword and executive summary:,4G53D,6JSCMH,GE9VA,1

Ministry of Justice (UK) – Ian Acheson
Summary of the main findings of the review of Islamist extremism in prisons, probation and youth justice

The report set a context and defines definitions around the topic, offering key findings and eleven recommendations.  The report also describes the involvement of Muslim chaplaincy in the anti-radicalization perspective.  The report is succinct in its itemized approach – 18 pages with several blank pages.,4G53D,6JSCMH,GE9VB,1   

Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP)
Benefit-cost methods last updated June 2016

The Institute has been conducting cost benefit analysis on RJ practices for some time.  The link is to a 17 page downloadable pdf that lays out the particular program its costs, benefits and the percentage estimate of the benefits out pacing the actual costs, first for juveniles (2012-2016, with links to previous reports from 2006) and then the same format for adults.  The report does likewise for welfare, health, substance abuse, mental health, public health (school, home and community based), and workforce.  Just the facts in Excel format and with the numbers.  (Thanks to Catherine Bargen of BC government for the link)

Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (CICR) – Ottawa
Deep-Rooted Conflict Seminar – October 3-5, 2016 

Saint Paul University, 8:30-4:30pm (except last day ends at noon) Facilitator – Esther van Gennip    Registration: