In Portugal…

Dec. 8, 2017

The Guardian (UK) – Susana Ferreira
Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?

The opioid crisis is full blown throughout North America.  We are confused about what to do; we have an anti-drug naloxone that we are distributing to bars and to first responders.  But still the death toll from overdose is rising.  The link here is to the Guardian Newspaper in Manchester (UK) which traces the response to the problem in Portugal.  In 2001, “Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances.”  With the opioid rate the HIV rates plummeted as well.

 CBC News – John Paul Tasker
  AFN chiefs back resolution calling on MMIWG chief commissioner to resign

Turmoil continues in the MMIWG inquiry, now swirling around the chair of the commission Marion Buller.  Gathered in Ottawa, 48 of 63 First Nations Chiefs called for her resignation.  The Chiefs also want a two year extension in the mandate and they want a re-set with the new chair.  Buller says that she has no plans to step aside.  Related article: Toronto Star – Chantal Hebert  Sacrificing a bilingual Supreme Court to indigenous reconciliation a questionable idea

OKT Law (Indigenous – Canada) – Corey Shefman
Ontario bail changes positive step towards culture shift

Ontario is attempting to confront the large number of Indigenous people in jail (2% of Ontario’s population but 13% of the inmates) but in particular the large number who are in jail on remand, waiting for trial and not found guilty or sentenced to jail time at all.  The hope is that by paying attention to the way bail is supposed to work, the numbers can be reduced significantly. shift/   Related article: iPolitics – Marguerite Marlin  Committees seek solution for overrepresentation of Indigenous women and men in corrections system  Related article: CBC News – Melanie Ferrier  As Indigenous women inmate numbers rise, more supports needed after release – Number of Indigenous women in federal prisons has increased by 60 per cent in a decade   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (Nov 6, 2017)  What to do about the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in prisons   Related article: MacLean’s – Kyle Edwards   Why Gladue has not lived up to its promise for Indigenous justice – Across the country, Gladue rights for Indigenous offenders are being ignored, underfunded or flat-out denied

Schulich Law School (Dalhousie University) – Professor Jennifer Llewellyn
The Dalhousie Dentistry School: A Restorative Justice Case Study.

The ADR Atlantic Institute Lunch & Learn held on October 5, 2015, featured Professor Jennifer Llewellyn, Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, on “The Dalhousie Dentistry School: A Restorative Justice Case Study.”   (The address is available in print, by pdf or in an audio file.)

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Some texts considered private, even after they’ve been sent: Supreme Court – Civil liberties advocates say criminal case ruling has ‘broad and important’ implications for all Canadians

For a conviction, the police needed to read Nour Marakah’s text message to his accomplice in a gun deal.  By a 5-2 ruling the SCC said that that Marakah had a reasonable expectation of privacy when he sent the message and dismissed the case against him.  The Chief Justice said that there is no automatic expectation but the circumstances must be considered in the totality.  Christine Lonsdale, an intervenor for the Canadian Civil Liberties said “…it means all Canadians can expect that all text messages, when sent or received, are considered private. Without the court ruling, someone who sends an intimate message that is then shared could be “out of luck” in seeking a remedy.”

Globe and Mail – Robin Doolittle
The Unfounded effect

Law enforcement is investigating 37,000 cases of “unfounded sexual assault cases, roughly one of every five reported is discarded as without merit.  Review teams have found that about one third of the previously unfounded cases have been miscoded.  Only some police services have started reviews.  The link allows you to find out if your particular police service is reviewing the unfounded cases.

   International Human Rights Day is December 10.  Cf