Travel ban…

    Aug 11, 2015

Ottawa Citizen – Ian MacLeod
Stephen Harper’s travel ban won’t apply to fighters against ISIL

At first, diplomats, aid workers and journalists were excepted from the travel ban.  Now it seems that the so called ‘good guy,’ one who fights against ISIL would be added to the exceptions.  The travel ban proposes to make the travel a criminal offence punishable by 10 years in jail but Craig Forcese, a national security law scholar who has been a leading critic of the government’s anti-terror policies, says the exceptions make the whole issue far more complex and likely ineffective, if not also illegal.  Harper has conceded that the proposed new law would apply to first generation immigrants and refugees from these same countries who simply want to visit families.   Related article:  Toronto Star: Bruce Campion-Smith    Proposed ‘terror tourism’ ban might not be legal, says expert   Related article: Toronto Star – Michelle Shephard   A reality check on ‘terror tourism’: analysis    Related article:  Toronto Star – Editorial (Aug. 11, 2015)  Harper hits cynical low with vow to end ‘terror tourism’    Related article: Globe and Mail – Gloria Calloway    Harper vows to ban travel to terror havens if re-elected

 BC Tyee – David Beers
Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence Compiled – The Tyee’s full, updated list of 70 Harper government assaults on democracy and the law

This article, though obviously hugely partisan, merits inclusion here for the most unusual perspective on the legal and policy of the Conservative government’s record.  Compiled by the Tyee’s Managing Editor David Beers with help from the paper’s staff and readers, the 70 ‘offences’ or in the paper’s words “abuses,” are enumerated and documented.  The Tyee first published a list of 59 such abuses and then invited readers to add to those the paper may have missed, resulting in eleven more and a total of seventy.

 CBC News
Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre cuts security corners due to staff shortage: union

There have been more lockdowns this year to date than the entire 2014 and guard union officials are suggesting that shortage of guards is at the heart of the problem with physical exhaustion causing in turn a willingness to cut corners on security and safety.

 Ottawa Sun – Solomon Friedman
Embrace a collaborative approach to justice: Defence lawyer

The Frank Gervais case heard last week is not over yet, Gervais was the man who dressed in military uniform with medals and false claims of service record in the military. The case was resolved in a RJ approach in which a retired major from the army accompanied Gervais on a tour of the military cemetery.  The officer concluded that there was great admiration rather than maliciousness at the heart of the behaviour and Gervais was sentenced to a year’s probation.  The case has prompted wondering about why so many cases are only considered resolved when there is severe punishment meted out by the justice system.   Related article: CBC News     Franck Gervais case effectively allowed victim, offender to repair harm

 Toronto Star
Canadian company charged with selling $78m in fake drugs – Canada Drugs Ltd. of Winnipeg indicted in U.S. on smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Avastin is a cancer treatment drug approved by the US Federal Drug Administration when manufactured under proper conditions.  In this case, Health Canada suspended the company which bought in third countries, shipped to the US and required payment in Barbados.  In some cases the drugs were counterfeit and without medical ingredients. (US) – Robert Winters
Violent Extremism and Its Roots in the U.S. Corrections System

The article is a look at the potential for radicalization of inmates in prisons throughout the US and in those prison camps for terrorist established by the military.  Inmates are angry, experiencing a personal crisis on incarceration, and, like gang involvement, looking for protection within the prison environment.  These terrorist prisons, said one expert, is like attending terrorist university.  Sound familiar?   Related article: Houston Chronicle (US) – William R. Kelly    Crime isn’t the problem. The system is the problem

 Huffington Post (US) – Matt Ferner
Man Who Was Serving Life In Prison For Marijuana To Be Set Free – Jeff Mizanskey’s last crime involved just six pounds of pot

A man serving a life sentence under the state’s three strikes law is to be given parole shortly.  Convicted in a police sting in 1993, Mizanskey, who has already served two decades in prison, was sentenced under Missouri’s three strike law which was itself repealed last year.  None of Mizanskey’s offences involved violence.  Estimates on the costs of the prohibition of marijuana are elusive but currently put at $10 – $20 billion per year.

 Restorative Justice Council (UK) – Garry Shewan, Manchester Police
A Business Case for Restorative Justice and Policing  

This is a 15 page pdf that looks at a business case for the use of RJ at all levels.  The outline report looks at the history of RJ, the use of RJ, the victims and offenders, the effectiveness of RJ, the impact on recidivism, and RJ in youth justice.  The report, in focused outline, touches on almost all aspects of RJ as currently practiced in the UK and may be a helpful document, written by a policeman, to anyone involved in rationalizing RJ work.