July 13, 2021

The Conversation (Canada) – Anne Levesque
Honour those found at residential schools by respecting the human rights of First Nations children today

Levesque is an assistant professor of law at the University of Ottawa and outlines at least two steps that would honour the children of the residential schools.  The first is for the federal government to stop all litigation in cases before court brought by the Indigenous that are involved with equity in treatment towards the children.  The second is require adherence to the UN Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), to respond to the findings of non-compliance orders, and to ensure that such human rights will not be violated again, followed by compensation to those survivors of past human rights violations.  https://theconversation.com/honour-those-found-at-residential-schools-by-respecting-the-human-rights-of-first-nations-children-today-163643?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20July%2012%202021&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20July%2012%202021+CID_25cf65eacef0f2b72f917eaef8b6bf76&utm_source=campaign_monitor_ca&utm_term=Honour%20those%20found%20at%20residential%20schools%20by%20respecting%20the%20human%20rights%20of%20First%20Nations%20children%20today

The Lawyer’s Daily – Terry Davidson
I was followed by private investigator: Manitoba chief justice

This is a frightful story of the deterioration of legal fair play and the influence of religion in Canadian life.  Some of the Churches in Manitoba have gone to court to establish the right to hold services contrary to the public health regulations.  Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, who is presiding over the case, was followed by a private detective hired to see if he would violate those same covid guidelines.  “A lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a civil liberties group that launched the challenge on behalf of the churches, reportedly admitted later during the hearing it was his organization that had hired the private investigator…” Chief Justice Joyal assesses the episode like this: “If we are now in an era, where, a private investigation agency can be permitted to accept this type of retainer, and if we are now in an era, where, a sitting judge, in the middle of a case, can have his or her privacy compromised as part of an attempt to gather information intended to embarrass him or her, and perhaps even attempt to influence or shape a legal outcome, then we are indeed, in unchartered   waters.”    https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/28226/i-was-followed-by-private-investigator-manitoba-chief-justice-?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal  Related article: CBC News – Sarah Petz   Manitoba chief justice says private investigator followed him in attempt to catch him breaking COVID-19 rules – Justice Glenn Joyal currently presiding over court challenge to pandemic restrictions   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-chief-justice-followed-private-investigator-1.6099124   Related article: Globe and Mail – Kelly Geraldine Malone, Canadian Press – Head of Justice Centre taking leave; hired investigator to follow judge  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-head-of-alberta-justice-centre-taking-leave-after-hiring-investigator/

CBC News – Shanifar Nasser
Criminal defence lawyers sound alarm over Ford government’s new justice of the peace appointees

In a move that smacks of stacking the court for a specific desired outcome, the Ford government in Ontario has announced the appointment of 41 justices of the peace, the number alone somewhat disconcerting.  Justice of the peace are the first level of court for most accused and critics are changing that the appearance of 15 of those appointments with police or military background taints the process.  Michael Spratt, a defense lawyer in Ottawa:  “The problem with appointing police officers is they are a partisan actor. To have someone who can be arresting individuals and advocating for their detention one day and then deciding that bail issue another day is deeply problematic.”  Additionally, charge the critics, there were changes to the Justice of the Peace Act buried in legislation about Covid-19.  Justices of the Peace rule over bail and search warrants but do not oversee criminal trials.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ford-government-justices-of-the-peace-ontario-1.6091893?ref=mobilerss&cmp=newsletter_CBC%20Ottawa_1643_289972

 APTN News – Brittany Guyot
RCMP Veterans’ Association post says ‘get on with life,’ move on from residential schools

As the political cry for a crown prosecutor to investigate the concerns around the graves of over 1000 Indigenous persons grows louder, the veterans association of the RCMP have begun to suggest alternate views.  The association communication director,   Iwona Mooney, posted an article on the website which said:  “Today’s generations cannot be responsible for the actions of our forefathers,” the post authored by Iwona Mooney read in part, adding, “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (TRC) revealed many ugly truths from which we need to learn, not apologize for.”  Public Safety Minister Bill Blair condemned the insensitivity of the article.  https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/rcmp-veterans-association-post-says-get-on-with-life-move-on-from-residential-schools/  (The RCMP Veteran’s Association full article has since been removed from the site.)  Related article: APTN News – Retired Mountie explains why he blew whistle on RCMP Veterans’ Association post   https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/retired-mountie-explains-why-he-blew-whistle-on-rcmp-veterans-association-post/

CTV News – Jeremiah Rodriguez
 ‘I do not feel safe at work’: Black man says noose drawn on his office locker

This article looks at somewhat subtle and behind the public surveillance of racial relations in the work place.  Agim Williams has been subject to repeated incidents of racial harassment in his work place and has found a management reluctant to involve police or confront the perpetrators.  A month after first involving the police, Williams was laid off after 3 ½ years as a sheet metal worker.  Fear of reprisal often inhibits reporting such incidents and Williams thinks his lay-off is related.  https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/i-do-not-feel-safe-at-work-black-man-says-noose-drawn-on-his-office-locker-1.5502205

St. Louis Public Radio (US) – Shahla Farzan
Missouri Inmates Sew Custom Quilts for Foster Children: ‘It Kind Of Breaks Your Heart’

First, at South Central Correctional Center in Missouri, it was sewing face masks during the pandemic.  Then it became quilts for foster children.  Now it’s a labour of love and returning a sense of purpose to the seven workers who are involved in this RJ program.  “The project (to provide a quilt to every foster child in the Texas County) hinges on the concept of restorative justice, which emphasizes community-building and rehabilitation over punitive measures. As part of this effort, Missouri inmates at prisons statewide volunteer in a variety of ways, including training shelter dogs and growing vegetables for food banks… “You can see a change in their attitude,” said Joe Satterfield (South Central case manager), who runs the program. “A light flips on like, ‘Oh, this is a new avenue. I can actually be a part of something.’”  https://news.stlpublicradio.org/culture-history/2021-07-09/missouri-inmates-sew-custom-quilts-for-foster-children-it-kind-of-breaks-your-heart

Canadian Dimension.com (US origin) – Christopher Schneider
Transparency is voided when police weaponize copyrighted music – Cops are weaponizing copyrighted music to thwart bystander recordings of police from going viral

How do you prevent a video of a police encounter with protestors from going onto Youtube or Facebook or Google?  You play some copy written recording artist’s music so that the infringement leads the platform to refuse to allow the video with the sound once detected.  The tactic obviously militates against transparency.  It may also interfere with spoken communication.  https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/transparency-is-voided-when-police-weaponize-copyrighted-music

Pressenca.com (US)- Jhon Sánchez
A Conversation about the Criminal Justice System in Sci-fi with Matthew Baker, Author of “Life Sentence”

Ever wish there was an alternative to imprisonment, especially for petty or survival crime?  Here’s a science fiction ride into the world of imagination where the criminal justice systems erases the memories of convicted felons.  The story line has an Irish context and quickly reaches the query about what if the criminal has his memory wiped but not the society in which the crime occurred?  Then the conversation flows into contemporary issues such as police and prison reform.  https://www.pressenza.com/2021/07/a-conversation-about-the-criminal-justice-system-in-sci-fi-with-matthew-baker-author-of-life-sentence/

Slate.com (US) – Molly Olmstead
Why Police Pursuits Keep Killing People

The article brings to light the impact of police car chases on by-standers.  The stats, as compiled by USA Today, say that over 5,000 killed and 11,500 injured with unintended consequences of these chase in the last 35 years, most often involving minor prompts.  The article develops the history of the ‘hot pursuit’ and roles of the different players; Black persons, both victims and offenders, are three times more likely to be killed in these incidents. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/07/police-pursuit-high-speed-car-chase-deaths.html