Military justice…

April 4, 2017

 Ottawa Citizen – David Pugliese
New book calls for reform of outdated Canadian military justice system

Behind the Times is the name of new book by two well-known military commentators, retired Judge Gilles Létourneau and Professor Michel Drapeau, an Ottawa lawyer and former Canadian Forces colonel.  The thesis is that much is broken about Canadian military law and needs revision.   Link to a free download of the book’s 58 page text in pdf:

Public Broadcast System (US)
Coming in April on FRONTLINE: The Last Days of Solitary

An early alert that PBS will tackle the thorny issues involved in the use of solitary confinement or administrative segregation in US prisons where some 80,000 state and federal inmates are kept in isolation.  Called The Last Days of Solitary, the program airs on Tuesday, April 18 and offers a three year look at the use of solitary at Maine State Prison.

The Guardian (UK) – Joanna Walters, US Section
‘Belly of the beast’: former inmates hail New York plan to close Rikers Island jail

The famous NYC prison is a blight on humanity and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that it will take 10 years to replace it.  Ne former inmate described life in Rikers:  “Getting into vicious fights was part of everyday life, part of survival, there were fights over everything – a phone, food, something small you owned. I’ve seen people get badly cut, and often the guards let it happen.”

Globe and Mail – Nathan VanderKlippe
Canada ‘a long, long’ way from China extradition deal: McCallum

John McCallum who resigned his seat as an MP and a cabinet position to become Canada’s ambassador to China says Canada is ill at ease with the way human rights lawyers in China have been treated in recent weeks and remains even more concerned about the effort by China to extradite “corrupt fugitives.”  McCallum, the first politician and not a diplomat to be ambassador, is looking to trade, not human rights:  “Ottawa wants better access to China for Canadian companies in sectors such asagri-food, forest products, clean and environmental technologies, advanced manufacturing and financial services.”    Related article: Globe and Mail – Nathan VanderKlippe    Canada deports hundreds to China each year with no treatment guarantee

Ottawa Citizen – Tyler Dawson
With a major report coming soon, how will police oversight change in Ontario?

On Thursday of this week, Honourable Justice Michael H. Tulloch is expected to release his review of the three police oversight agencies in Ontario – the Special Investigations Unit, the Independent Police Review Director, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.  Dawson suggests that the report is a remarkable win for Black Lives Matter who have led the protests around racism and three recent deaths at the hand of police.

Canadian Legal Newswire – Alex Robinson
Immigration lawyers decry pre-clearance bill

Bill C-23 is a bad news item say the immigration lawyers of Canada.  The bill gives US customs and immigration pre-clearance officers’ additional powers to detain Canadians at pre-clearance sites, now at major airports, but soon anticipated at other border crossing sites.  The bill has already passed its second reading in the House of Commons.  While still on Canadian soil, a Canadian may be forced to answer incriminating questions and not allowed to reject US entry.  “If these new powers allow USCBP to pressure a Canadian into making admissions [that] are held against him [or] her later, it is going to be hard to reverse it,” says. Henry Chang, an immigration lawyer with Blaney McMurtry LLP.   Related article: Law Times (Canada) Editorial (April 3, 2017) – Gabrielle Giroday   Timing is everything

Washington Post – Frank R. Baumgartner and Betsy Neill
Does the death penalty target people who are mentally ill? We checked.

The quick answer is yes, and the statistics prove it in this examination of the history of executions in the US, prompted by the potential execution of Dylan Roof.  The study goes through the various diagnosis and the Supreme Court rulings around the legal issue of executing those with mental illness.   Related article:  Orlando Sentinel (FL)  Gray Rohrer, Rene Stutzman and Gal Tziperman Lotan  Gov. Rick Scott reassigns 21 murder cases, citing Aramis Ayala’s death penalty stance

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
New app provides comprehensive support for offenders

Socrates Software is the name of the product which is rolling out currently in 39 UK prisons.  Designed as a product serving both inmates and those on release, the software is still under development but “already covers help with education, employment, health and well-being as well as being a means for communication between offenders and their supervising probation officers.”

CBC News –
Someone is spying on cellphones in the nation’s capital – A CBC/Radio-Canada investigation has found cellphone trackers at work near Parliament Hill and embassies

A device, known as the “IMSI catchers,” or one brand name “Stingray,”  has surfaced in an allegation of cell phone monitoring around the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.  The device behaves like a repeating station and gathers up all the cell phone activity within range, usually about ½ a kilometre.  Used by both police and spy agencies, even the mob, the report includes an analysis of the CBC data collected with a detector and experts suggest a foreign design.  Related article: Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze   Ex-Mountie Pierre Perron takes job with controversial Chinese firm Huawei