Human rights and …

Aug 13, 2021

Lawyer’s Daily – Amanda Jerome
Ontario human rights body’s framework on racism in policing supports A2J: chief commissioner

Released July 29, the ten step report seeks to address what “outgoing chief commissioner Ena Chadha calls a “framework for access to justice…  Chadha told The Lawyer’s Daily that the framework is a “culmination of many years of in-depth examination of the issue of systemic discrimination.”  Much of the focus is on the pre-charging criteria and the Mental Health Act capacity to deal with mental health call, addiction and homelessness.  Full document:  Ontario Human Rights Commission –  Framework for change to address systemic racism in policing

 The Conversation (Queen’s) – Daniel Heath Justice and Sean Carleton
Truth before reconciliation: 8 ways to identify and confront Residential School denialism

The authors address the misinformation that supports much of the denial of the factors involved in reconciliation on residential schools.  “Residential school denialists employ an array of rhetorical arguments. The end game of denialism is to obscure truth about Canada’s IRS system in ways that ultimately protect the status quo as well as guilty parties.”  The authors offer eight ‘talking points’ often used to mitigate the responsibility and reconciliation. – Jozef Konyari
Soleiman Faqiri and the consistency of cruelty in Canadian jails

The recent decision that referred for the third time to the Ontario Provincial Police the beating death in custody of Soleiman Faqiri calls for a criminal inquiry into the death and accountability for the up to 30 guards who participated in the beatings.  However the headline screams the need to take into account the mental state of people charged with crime and the decision about where such persons should be properly placed to exercise the duty of care owed to all in custody.  Konyari calls the present process “consistency of cruelty.”  John Howard is saying that prison is not the place for the mentally ill.   Related article:  CBC News – Charles Rusnell   Edmonton police officer says he repeatedly punched Indigenous man because he feared for safety – Indigenous man initially stopped because he had no bell on bike

Cambridge News (UK) – Debbie Luxon
‘Prisons are a dead end’: Cambs women’s centre calls for community rehabilitation over expanded prison places – The Ministry of Justice announced plans to expand women’s prisons with 500 new places, however a Cambridge rehabilitation centre said this will increase the burden on their already stretched resources

In England there is now a raging discussion over the short custodial sentencing of women and the consequent disruption to family life that follows a mother’s incarceration for a period of time that does little rehab in the best of circumstances.  The system’s response is to build more prisons.  Advocates are now insisting that such practices actually increase the likelihood of re-offending.  Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre (CWRC) CEO Stef Martinsen-Baker argues “Prison is a dead end. It tears families and communities apart and stigma causes prisoners real difficulty when reengaging with society… Those ties are broken when they enter prison and we see many women released, homeless, with drug dependencies that they didn’t have when they went in [to prison].”

Globe and Mail – Steven Chase
Canada flouting international law by continuing Saudi arms sales, report says

General Dynamics Light Armoured Vehicles from London, ON, are back in the news as sales to Saudi Arabia are continuing in spite of international agreements not to sell arms to waring nations or nations where the weapons may be turned on their own citizens. “Amnesty International and Project Ploughshares, a Waterloo, Ont.-based disarmament group, say in a study, “No Credible Evidence”: Canada’s Flawed Analysis of Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia, the federal government’s 2020 review of Canada’s military-goods exports to the desert kingdom is “fundamentally flawed” as it misinterprets, or ignores, key pillars of the Arms Trade Treaty.”  Saudi Arabia is Canada’s best customer for arms.

Twitter from Nazgol Ghandnoosh

The federal prison population increased again last week, now with 3,900 more people than on @Potus‘s inauguration. We’re poised to have the 1st increase in the federal prison population in 8 years—in a pandemic, with a president who promised to cut the prison population by 50%.

From Christine Lecompte of the National RJ Symposium:  Resource kit deadline for RJ Week

This is a friendly reminder – the deadline for submission of Articles is September 10th

Ceci est un rappel amical – la date limite pour soumettre vos rédactions est le 10 septembre prochain.

Have a lovely weekend / Bonne fin de semaine,


Tel.: 613-947-7309  | Cell. : 613-277-5349

340 Laurier Ave. W., Ottawa, ON K1A 0P9


Simon Fraser University – Restorative Justice on line – info session

Explore restorative justice practices with experts in the field. Sign up for our Aug 18 info session to learn about our online certificate program.  Restorative Justice Certificate Info Session (Online) — August 18, 2021  (5:30PM Pacific time)

Sawbonna: Margo Von Slutyman, Athabasca University

Finding Shared Humanity with a Murderer (A 9 minute audio interview around the murder of Margo’s father and one of the murderers.)   )


Philadelphia Inquirer – Samantha Melamed
After 50 years in prison — 37 in solitary confinement — Philly man’s conviction is vacated – Arthur Johnson’s conviction for a 1970 murder was fraught with “highly suspect” statements that the DA now says “seriously undermine the integrity of Johnson’s conviction.”

Nothing speaks more eloquently than innocence after the experience of the worse the justice system has to offer.  In an era when enlightenment says that the maximum time for solitary confinement with real damage to the individual is 15 days, Johnson is a beacon of caution to those who impose virtual life sentences and to those who deny the real need for review of those sentencing practices with a Conviction Review Unit, as in this case.