SCC nominees…

   May 27, 2014

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Harper under pressure to review Supreme Court appointment process 

 Recent documents have revealed that four of six nominees on a short list for the Supreme Court of Canada are ineligible for the appointment.  The list appears to be ideologically motivated and is fuelling bitter acrimony from opposition and from Quebec itself.  There has been a vacancy now on the SCC for over eight months.    Related story:  Globe and Mail – Editorial   Politicized Supreme Court fight one of Harper’s most imprudent acts  Related article: Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles    Federal government promises to fill Supreme Court vacancy ‘very soon’  

 Canadian Law Times –  Yamri Taddese
CCLA calls for new law on non-conviction records 

 Canadian Civil Liberties Association is alarmed by the inconsistencies across Canada around what information police keep and disclose when asked for a criminal records check.  A CCLA report included “disclosure of dropped charges, acquittals, mental-health apprehensions, and even casual contacts by police to employers and schools that require a background check.”   The CCLA was joined in their concerns by Daniel Brown of the Criminal Defence Bar group.  

 CBC News
Cyberbullying bill won’t be split in 2, Peter MacKay says 

 In spite of a recommendation from the Canadian Bar Association, and countless others, the government is refusing adjustments to the coming Bill C-13, especially the provisions around the warrantless availability of data to police that critics want re-examined.  Critics also see a delay for any effective cyberbullying laws if the privacy concerns prompt a charter  challenge.  Related report:  Canadian Bar Association report to the Commons Committee for C-13:   Bill C-13, Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act   Related article: Globe and Mail – Josh Wingrove   MacKay defends expanded surveillance powers in cyberbullying legislation   Related article: Global News:  Carmen Chai   Could these changes stop cyberbullying? Youth share their suggestions 

 Global News – Laura Stone
‘These guys have to get out’: Prison guards union to campaign against Conservatives 

 Canada’s prison guards union is gearing up to persuade its members – and anyone else who will listen – that in the next federal election their interests lie in an ABC vote – Anything But Conservative.  The union complaints stem from double bunking and over-crowding, making the prisons far more dangerous. 

 Gloucester Citizen (UK)
Restorative justice helps Gloucestershire’s sliding youth crime rates 

 From 208 t0 2013 Gloucestershire has seen a 70% drop in youth crime, credited to a RJ approach.  Police reported over 1100 arrests of 10 and 11 year olds in the UK and one under 17 arrested every four minutes.  Such stats prompted a search for alternate methods of dealing with juveniles.

 Reclaim Justice Network:  Charlotte Weinberg
Reclaiming justice – a national network of collective action 

 This article is a manifesto of a new group that sees its role as answering the question what could we do differently around criminal justice issues – “The RJN is concerned with how to prevent and to address the multiple harms in our communities.”  

 World Health Organization (WHO)
Prisons and Health 

 WHO is meeting in Strasbourg to look at issues around the health of prisoners, nearly always worse than the general population and maybe contributing to illness in the general population when released.  The report touches in a comprehensive way almost all the issues involved in prisons and health care, including ethics and solitary confinement.    Full WHO report (207 page downloadable pdf)   

 The Argus (Sussex, UK) –
Home raid victim meets her burglar 

 An elderly lady was apprehensive about meeting the man who burgled her home while he was serving time four years later.  She did not want her name used but agreed the encounter was a helpful experience.  For his part, the offender said the encounter was tearful and apologized to her  “as I heard for the first time how upset she’d been after the break-in.”