UN and Human Rights…

    July 8, 2015

Globe and Mail – Mike Blanchfield, Canadian Press
Ottawa poised to defend rights record on aboriginals, terrorism at UN committee  

An eighteen member panel for the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations is meeting in Geneva to hear from a number of Canadian groups protesting the failure of the federal government in human rights.  The Canadian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International are tackling the denial of human rights to Aboriginals and others are presenting issues created by Bill C-51.  The federal government get its turn next to defend its human rights record and then the UN will respond with its report in two weeks.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-poised-to-defend-rights-record-on-aboriginals-terrorism-at-un-committee/article25334365/   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press   Government abruptly drops Supreme Court appeal on overseas CSIS spying    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-abruptly-drops-supreme-court-appeal-on-overseas-csis-spying/article25334382/

Canadian Law Times – David Dias
Mandatory victim surcharges unconstitutional: B.C. court

Mandatory victim surcharges were first introduced in 1989 and now a homeless man has charter challenged the practice.  In 2013, the federal government removed an exemption in which judges had the power to waive the surcharge in cases of hardship.  The way the legislation works makes the fine inextinguishable until paid so the BC court ruled it cruel and unusual punishment for a destitute person.  Defense attorney David Fai thinks this one is headed to the SCC too.  http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/2773/mandatory-victim-surcharges-unconstitutional-b-c-court-main.html?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=CLNewswire_20150706&utm_source=Act-On%20Software&

 Victoria Times Colonist – R.E. Bob Brown
Comment: Tories’ dubious record goes beyond the Senate

Former regional director for the Parole Board of Vancouver Island, Brown looks at the federal government track record on the appointment of both leadership within the Parole Board and patronage appointments in the senate and advisory positions.  Brown has two critical questions: “Was all available and relevant information used during the appointment preprocess? And if it was, did it get the full attention that it deserved or was it ignored?”  http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-tories-dubious-record-goes-beyond-the-senate-1.1991435#sthash.k0gaG4L5.dpuf

Eastern Mennonite University – Zehr Institute
Restorative justice experts join in Zehr Institute’s 3-year project to map the future of the field

From around the world 36 reps of the expertise and diversity of people engaged in restorative justice came together in June 2015 to assess the future for RJ.  The 36 were culturally and age diverse as well as from a variety of perspectives on RJ and began a three year prognosis of the future of RJ.  Participants were concerned that RJ may settle into a role of micro-repair of social or interpersonal relationships rather than address the larger structural issues.  http://emu.edu/now/news/2015/07/restorative-justice-experts-join-in-zehr-institutes-3-year-project-to-map-the-future-of-the-field/    Related article: Huffington Post – Blogger Laura De Palma     Let’s Talk About Prison Reform    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-m-de-palma/lets-talk-about-prison-re_b_7661150.html

Houston Press (US) – Michael Barajas
Hundreds of Detained Immigrant Kids in Texas Accidentally Given Overdose of Hepatitis A Vaccine 

Private prisons again are coming under the microscope with an instance that the federal government needs to stop jailing immigrant families.  Some 250 children of detained immigrant families were given the adult dosage of Hepatitis A vaccine at Dilly, Texas, the largest immigration detention facility in the US with 2400 immigrants.  The jail is run by the Corrections Corporation of America who critics say is woefully inadequate in delivering health care to its detainees.  http://www.houstonpress.com/news/hundreds-of-detained-immigrant-kids-in-texas-accidentally-given-overdose-of-hepatitis-a-vaccine-7570228   Related article: Grassroots Leadership – Attorney describes effects of vaccine overdose in refugee child at Dilley detention camp    http://grassrootsleadership.org/releases/2015/07/attorney-describes-effects-vaccine-overdose-refugee-child-dilley-detention-camp