Indigenous Law…

Nov 7, 2017

Dalhousie University Schulich Law School (NS) – Janet Doucet
New Aboriginal and Indigenous law course fosters ‘eye‑opening’ experiential learning

In response to Article 28 of the Recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation report, seeking education from law schools in Aboriginal culture and law, Schulich Law School has initiation a first year law course called Aboriginal and Indigenous Law in Context (AILC).  The first part of the course gives “a grounding in the historic and contemporary issues facing Indigenous peoples, providing a foundation for their future learning about Aboriginal and Indigenous law.”  Part 2, to start in January, will focus on Aboriginal Law.  Initial assessment suggests very positive review by the students in Part 1.

CBC News – Erica Johnson
‘I’m not signing it’: Correctional officer says superiors tried to buy her silence after week of ‘hazing’ – Commissioner of Corrections Canada expresses ‘sincere regret’ for ERT training experience

Harassment in the work place is not yet under control in the nation’s prisons, witness this article about a woman undergoing a three week program for emergency response training in Chilliwack, BC.  The course was essentially a combat training exercise in the fall of 2016.  Regret, it seems, only comes with silence, signed and witnessed.  “Nubia Vanegas, 32, who works at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women in Abbotsford, B.C., says she was instantly made to feel unwelcome in the male-dominated class, and was eventually forced to withdraw because managers told her they couldn’t guarantee her safety.”

CSC Restorative Justice
Invitation: Webcast on Restorative Justice and Youth

Webinar on Restorative Justice and Youth that Justice Canada will be hosting on Wednesday, November 25th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm (Eastern Time)  Contact:  Robin Trombley   To register (Pre-registration required; webinar is free):   Speakers include: Hayley Mackenzie – Ministry of Justice, New Zealand;   Shaylyn Hunter – Youth Restorative Action Project; Elder Marcel Gagnon – Prince George Urban Aboriginal Justice Society    To register:

CBC News
Trudeau names parliamentary committee to oversee security, intelligence agencies – 11 member panel will scrutinize activities of CSIS, RCMP and other agencies

Liberal MP David McGinty is the chair of the group of eleven chosen from MP’s and Senators and given a mandate to report annually to the Parliament.  Membership bestows security clearance and requires an oath of secrecy.  The group will be known as the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. (US) – Matthew Lee

AP (US) – Matthew Lee
Child sex offenders to be named as such in US passports

A new law passed under the Obama administration last year will now go into effect requiring that those convicted of child sexual crimes to be identified as such on the US passport.  The US State Department will shortly begin to recall current passports and require a re-application that will allow adding the presence of an applicant on the registered child offenders list.  The impact depends on the country but most countries have limitations on visits from felons of any sort and will prohibit entry or severely limit travel with restrictions.

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Detaining children in immigration centres to face tougher rules – Border officers must now consider best interests of minor before detention decisions

Immigration detention of children while not banned entirely will be more difficulty if, as now required, the CBSA takes into consideration the best interests of the child.  While not at the status of laws and rights, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has issued new directives intended to keep families together and children out of detention “as much as humanly possible.”  Alternatives include in-person reporting, cash or performance bonds, community supervision and voice reporting.  The new provision also prohibit segregation of minors.   Related article: Time Magazine (US) – Brandon L. Garrett   The Moral Problem of Life-Without-Parole Sentence   Related article: Toronto Star – Brendan Kennedy   50-year-old woman dies in immigration detention   (The fourth death in the last two years.)

APTN National News – Todd Lamirande
Number of Indigenous people in prison now a human rights issue says Correctional Investigator

Canada’s Correctional Services investigator has some hard words around the prevalence and disproportionality of Indigenous people in our prisons.  “That the incarceration rate for Indigenous people keeps climbing year after year after year, relentlessly,” said Ivan Zinger.  “They show that more than a quarter of all inmates are First Nation, Metis or Inuit.  And that female incarceration rates are at 38 per cent.”  Indigenous people are keep in prison longer than others, they are held in higher security, and they are more likely to be held in segregation.

Huffington Post / Reuters – Anna Mehler Paperny
 Black People Waited Longer In Ontario Jails For Trial Than White Prisoners: New Data – Lower-income and minority communities are most affected. 

The results of the Reuters study show that between April 2015 and April 2016, Blacks waited in remand longer than white people even though the charges were largely the same in 11 of 16 categories.  For weapons offenses, Black spent almost twice as long on remand.  The article includes an explanation of the use of sureties in the bail process as well as various graphs on the issues.  “If you are from a marginalized community or a criminalized community, it can be very difficult to find a surety the court deems appropriate. Says criminologist Nicole Meyers from SFU.

Miami Herald Op-Ed (US) – Candice Jones, Patrick McCarthy and Vincent Schiraldi
Florida should shut down youth-detention centers where ‘fight clubs’ thrive

The op-ed is in response to an investigation by the Herald of the practices within juvenile correctional facilities where fight clubs are sustained by rewards from guards.  Not confined the state of Florida, federal authorities suggest that the abuse of children happens in all but 5 states and “far from being an anomaly, abusive conditions in youth prisons are the norm.”  The state of Florida itself has determined that those shunted away from custody to community rehab have fewer second offences than those held in custody.