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Is the Pintea Decision Ensuring SRLs Are Given Appropriate Judicial Guidance and Support?

Self-represented litigants (SRLs) make up a significant percentage of litigants appearing before the court in civil and family cases. In the NSRLP’s 2013 report data provided by provincial ministries of justice indicated that at least 40% of individuals who appeared in provincial family court and at least 30% of litigants in civil court are self-represented. These statistics are staggering, and it is no secret that SRLs face unique challenges within the court systems across Canada. Although it i...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Canada, Board, Supreme Court of Canada, CJC, Justice Issues, SRL, Pintea, Assessment Review Board, NSRLP, Lauwers, Judicial Council CJC, Pintea Since, Ontario Assessment Review Board


Justice Patrick Smith’s Conduct Should Remain a Cautionary Tale

On May 21, 2020, the Federal Court released a decision (2020 FC 629) strongly in favour of Justice Patrick Smith, a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and highly critical of the Canadian Judicial Council. It is unfortunate that the decision is so one-sided. The CJC deserves some of the criticism. However, the position taken by the CJC is not as untenable as the court claims. More importantly, there is legitimate cause for concern about Justice Smith’s conduct. This litigation arises...
Tags: Justice, Law, Smith, Law School, Legal Ethics, Northwest, Federal Court, Dean, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Patrick Smith, Judicial Council, CJC, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Review Panel, Lakehead University, Justice Smith


Oregon drug decriminalization initiative would produce "significant reductions in racial/ethnic disparities" according to state commission

As reported in this local press piece, headlined "Oregon Criminal Justice Commission: Initiative Petition 44 Will Nearly Eliminate Racial Disparities for Drug Arrests, Convictions," a notable state commission has reported that a notable state ballot initiative will have a notable impact on equity in the criminal justice system. Here are the basics from the press piece: Racial disparities in drug arrests will drop by 95% if Oregon voters pass a drug treatment and decriminalization measure in Nov...
Tags: Law, Oregon, State, Ewald, CJC, RDR, Douglas A Berman, Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, Oregon Criminal Justice Commission Oregon, Oregon Criminal Justice Commission That, Oregon Criminal Sentencing Commission, Uggen


Lawyers and Self-Represented Litigants: Taking Pintea More Seriously

The 2017 decision Pintea v Johns has been heralded as a watershed moment for self-represented litigants in Canada. In a very short decision written by Justice Karakatsanis, the Supreme Court endorsed the Canadian Judicial Council’s (CJC) Statement of Principles on Self-Represented Litigants and Accused Persons.[1] The Canadian Judicial Council’s statement on self-represented litigants sought to articulate proactive guidelines respecting judges’ responsibilities when hearing cases involving self-...
Tags: Law, Canada, National, Cunningham, Johns, SCC, Karakatsanis, Judicial Council, CJC, Unrau, Canadian Judicial Council, Justice Issues, Forum on Civil Justice, Pintea, Deanne Sowter, Jennifer Leitch


Judicial Council Overturned on Dean Appointment

The Bora Laskin Faculty of Law was founded in 2013, to much fanfare. It was the first Canadian law school to offer an integrated licensing curriculum, and has mandatory courses in Aboriginal law. Since that time, the school has also had its challenges, most significantly, the resignation of Angelique EagleWoman as Dean in June 2018, citing systemic racism in the law school. Given that she was the first Indigenous law dean in Canada, this resignation sent shock waves throughout the school. EagleW...
Tags: Law, Court, University, Canada, Parliament, Smith, Council, Mcgill, Law School, Baker, Ottawa, Supreme Court of Canada, Review Committee, Dean, Faculty, Ontario Court of Appeal


Judges Need Ethics Rules, Not Just Ethical Guidance

Canada is extremely fortunate to be served by a highly competent and responsible judiciary. But judges, like all of us, experience ethical challenges as they fulfill their vitally important social functions. However, many Canadian judges are not subject to a binding code of conduct that can shepherd their behaviour. Instead, they are only offered advice to assist them in navigating ethical issues. We suggest that this should change. There are currently over 1000 federally appointed judges in Can...
Tags: England, Law, Wales, Nigeria, Canada, Quebec, Legal Ethics, Devlin, Patrick Smith, CJC, United States South Africa, Duplessis, Roncarelli, Judicial Council CJC, CALE ACEJ, Theodore Matlow


Assessing the CJC’s Interpretation of Sections 54 and 55 of the Judges Act: The Patrick Smith Case

In its report of November 5, 2018, a review panel of the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) found Justice Patrick Smith, a supernumerary judge of the Ontario Superior Court, had acted breached the Judges Act and the CJC’s Ethical Principles for Judges (these are currently under review) by taking a position that was susceptible to controversy, that of unpaid interim dean (academic) at the Boris Laskin Faculty of Law. The Review Panel concluded, however, that his conduct did not warrant removal from ...
Tags: Law, Fca, Parliament, Globe, Smith, Council, Quebec, Noël, Federal Court, Sinclair, Supreme Court of Canada, First Nation, Pidgeon, Ontario Superior Court, Thunder Bay, SCC


Dispatches From the Front Lines of Canadian Legal Ethics

On October 25 & 26, Windsor Law proudly hosted the 2019 conference of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics. The presentations touched on many of the most important issues confronting the legal profession today. Check out the brief summaries below to stay up to date. Thematic Index Access to justice (see presentations #3 and #11 below) Zealous advocacy and its limits (see presentations #1 and #2 below) Harassment and discrimination within the profession (presentations #16, 17, 18) Teachin...
Tags: Usa, Justice, Law, Toronto, Ukraine, Fbi, Canada, House, Department Of Justice, West Coast, Alberta, Justice Department, Legal Ethics, Hilary Clinton, Ontario, Trump


Should Judges Be Tweeps and “Friends”?

One of the themes the Canadian Judicial Council has identified as part of its review of its Ethical Principles for Judges is judges’ use of social media. This is an etirely new area since the release of the current Principles 20 years ago and it has rapidly become a complex and sometimes dangerous area to navigate. Tempting though it might be to tell judges that they cannot use social media, this would be fruitless. Better to incorporate training for judges about its use, clear limits about subj...
Tags: Facebook, England, Instagram, Law, Miscellaneous, United States, UK supreme court, Baroness Hale, Richmond, Trump, Twitter Facebook, Supreme Court of Canada, UNODC, Irish News, Facebook As, CJC


Reforming the Canadian Judicial Council: The Benefit of Expanding the Consultation

In an interview with the National Post on March 31st, Chief Justice Richard Wagner announced that he planned to reform the Canadian Judical Council, saying “everything is on the table”. The Chief Justice also indicated that “he is reaching out to senior judges across the country to garner their views on what changes are needed”. So, an internal review to determine what kind of changes are required to an internal process considering judges’ conduct. Is it enough to consult only with “senior judge...
Tags: Law, Canada, Smith, Ottawa, Patrick, Wagner, National Post, Supreme Court of Canada, Richard Wagner, SCC, Judicial Council, CJC, Melissa Smith, Lakehead, Lori Douglas, Justice Issues


Canadian Judicial Council Seeks Input on Revising Ethical Principles for Judges

The conduct of federally-appointed judges in Canada is governed by the Judges Act and by Ethical Principles for Judges, guidelines released by the Canadian Judicial Council. The Council is responsible for addressing complaints about judicial conduct under both the legislation and the Principles. The CJC has initiated a review of the Principles and is seeking input through a survey and freestanding submissions. It has published a short background paper to assist those wishing to provide their vie...
Tags: Facebook, Law, Canada, Smith, Council, Supreme Court of Canada, McLeod, CJC, Justice Issues, Amy Salyzyn, Ontario Judicial Council, Principles of Judicial Office, Donald McLeod, Judicial Council Seeks Input, Ethical Principles for Judges, Canadian Judicial Council The Council


Do We Need to Think About Judges’ Roles Differently?

(Very) traditionally, judges were meant to be heard — only in the courtroom. One of the questions those interested in becoming a judge had to ask themselves was whether they were prepared to become “monks” (the masculine being almost entirely appropriate). Justice John Sopinka famously challenged this notion, pointing out that there were no legal restraints on judges. This is so, although the ethical principles formulated by the Canadian Judicial Council emphasize that judges should avoid contro...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Miscellaneous, Smith, Quebec, Supreme Court of Canada, McLeod, Patrick Smith, Judicial Council, CJC, McLachlin, Ontario Judicial Council, Donald McLeod, Bertha Wilson, Rosalie Silberman Abella, John Sopinka


Towards Cyberjustice Retrospective Part 1: Who Controls Court Data?

In our October 17th column, we announced that we would start posting a series of blogs highlighting different papers, studies, and pilot projects conducted under the auspices of the “Towards Cyberjustice” project. As a reminder, this project, which was financed by a Major Collaborative Research Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, spanned over the last seven years and has made significant contributions in the domain of what many call eJustice (what we refer to as cyberj...
Tags: Law, Canada, Quebec, Doj, Ontario, CJC, Canadian Judicial Council, Dispute Resolution, ODR, Cyberjustice Laboratory, Condominium Authority Tribunal, Major Collaborative Research Grant, Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Quebec 's Office de la protection, Marie Demoulin, Dhont


3 Looks for a Modern Industrial Wedding

What happens when a dream team comes together with a shared vision in mind? Oh, you know, all kinds of gorgeousness! That's what! From behind the lens, Alisonmarie Photography snapped up the loveliest of captures with design from Fox & Lantern and florals from The Tangled Grapevine. And the setting at The Boylston Rooms could not have been sweeter!From the team, "When I met Erin from the Boylston Rooms (an industrial modern venue in Easthampton, Massachusetts), I just knew I wanted to create som...
Tags: Fall, Wedding, Ivory, Black, Michael, Cranberry, Erin, Marsala, Blush, Plum, Meghan, CJC, Patrick Carroll, Fuchsia, Styled Shoot, Fall Styled Shoot


Yale Law School clinic report looks at "Parole Revocation in Connecticut: Opportunities to Reduce Incarceration"

A helpful reader alerted me to this new report released by The Criminal Justice Clinic at Yale Law School.  This press release from the school's website provides some background and a kind of summary of the report, which carries the title "Parole Revocation in Connecticut: Opportunities to Reduce Incarceration": A new report highlights opportunities for the State of Connecticut to reduce the high rate of incarceration attributable to its parole revocation process. The report was written by the ...
Tags: Law, Connecticut, Yale Law School, Dannel Malloy, CJC, Douglas A Berman, Bopp, Criminal Justice Clinic at Yale Law School, Samuel Jacobs Criminal Justice Clinic, The Board of Pardons and Paroles BOPP


UK: CJC Proposes Fixed Costs For NIHL Claims - Clyde & Co

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has released its final report on fixed costs in Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) claims.
Tags: UK, News, CJC, NIHL Claims Clyde amp, Civil Justice Council CJC


East Portland advocates raise equity concerns over ‘Green Loop’ project

(Image: Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability: Central City 2035) The Green Loop, one of the the city’s “Big Ideas” in the Central City 2035 plan, has been singled out by a coalition of activists who say it’s yet another sign east Portland is being left behind. In a letter ( ) sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and city council members on September 6th as testimony on the Central City plan, the Climate Justice Collaborative (CJC) said they are, “disappointed in the City’s numerous efforts to ele...
Tags: Sport, Front Page, Infrastructure, Cycling, Coalition, Wheeler, Portland, PSU, City Hall, Dan, the City, Greenway, Cully, City Club, Pearl District, Amanda Fritz


Access to Justice Through Community

Recent reports have underscored that access to justice is everyone’s problem yet the issue fails to resonate with the public – they indicate low confidence and a sense of alienation. In response, many justice sector organizations are looking at different ways to enhance public engagement. The logic being that a better link with the public will inform more meaningful and innovative solutions to access to justice challenges. This approach puts the user at the centre and considers how justice servi...
Tags: Justice, Law, Brooklyn, United States, Ontario, CJC, Justice Issues, Upper Canada, Sabreena Delhon, Justice Through Community, Red Hook Community Centre, Centre for Court Innovation, London Kenora, Toronto Community, Action Group on Access to Justice


Building manager says he warned about CJC elevators before crash

In a lawsuit, Duilio "Lou" Angelini filed contends his superiors at U.S. Facilities Inc. ignored his warning about elevator maintenance before the Aug. 4, 2016 elevator crash at the Criminal Justice Center that paralyzed a deputy sheriff.
Tags: Incidents, Criminal Justice Center, CJC, Duilio Lou Angelini, U S Facilities Inc


The Permanence and Independence of the Bench

Judicial independence is obviously a bedrock of our legal system, required to ensure the autonomy and function of the courts without outside interference. Occasionally, however, there are instances where this autonomy needs to be reigned in. The authority for doing this can be found under Part II of the Judges Act, which creates the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), and its powers to commence an inquiry for removal under s. 63. Since the inception of the CJC in 1971, complaints of 13 judges have ...
Tags: Justice, Law, Senate, Toronto, New Brunswick, House Of Commons, Marshall, Federal Court, Toronto Star, St Andrew, Slansky, CJC, Zabel, Cosgrove, Subsection, Federal Court of Appeal


Distracted driving, Vision Zero, speed limits and more: Checking in on the Oregon legislative session

Lawmakers are poised overhaul Oregon’s cell phone/distracted driving law.(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland) Oregon lawmakers want to make it easier to hunt animals with your car (seriously), but they want to make it harder to use your phone while doing so. We’re just over half-way through the 2017 legislative session and it’s time to see how the bills we’ve been tracking are holding up. As you might recall, back in February we flagged nine House bills and nine Senate bills. (We’re also wat...
Tags: Politics, Oregon, Senate, Legislation, Sport, Front Page, Cycling, House, Portland, Bill, Department Of Transportation, State, Senate Judiciary Committee, House Judiciary Committee, Legislative Assembly, Wildlife Commission


The Sweet Morbidity of Link Rot

A couple years ago, the New Yorker ran a great, comprehensive piece on “link rot”—that scourge of dead-end links and vexing “404” errors that annoys us all and ensures the Web’s enduring reputation as an “ethereal, ephemeral, unstable, and unreliable” ravel of non-sequiturs. The article charts the curious history of the Wayback Machine—that most indispensible weapon in the fight against link rot—and mentions the “disastrous” effects for lawyers and judges who seek to erect houses of reason on th...
Tags: Law, Court, US, Canada, US supreme court, Harvard Law School, Harvard Law Review, Supreme Court of Canada, PNG, United States Supreme Court, SCC, CJC, Perma, Legal Information, Nate Russell


Cole James Cash - A Love Supreme

CJC returns to his instrumental roots while recovering from his bullet wounds in Mom’s Basement. (in post Cole James Cash – A Love Supreme from Unkut. More by this artist at )
Tags: Music, CJC


Reforming the Judicial Discipline Process: Putting the Public in the Public Interest

Over the summer, Justice Canada engaged in a low-key consultation on “Judicial Discipline Process Reform”, releasing a bland discussion paper appropriately-titled “Possibilities for Further Reform of the Federal Judicial Discipline Process”. The title is at once both misleading and accurate. It is in part misleading because there have been no significant changes to the federal judicial discipline process as set out in the Judges Act since that statute was enacted in 1971. It is accurate because ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Canada, Council, Edward, Legal Ethics, Cale, Public Interest, CJC


CJC to be closed on Friday

As a result of Thursday's incident in which two elevators malfunctioned, injuring two employees, the Criminal Justice Center at 1301 Filbert St. in Center City will be closed Friday for most events.
Tags: Incidents, Center City, Criminal Justice Center, CJC


A Week in Tokyo 20160220

Another better-late-than-never A Week in Tokyo - these photos taken a few months ago though and I've only just managed to sit down to write the text for each photo ToT First photo - on the way to work. Ever since my last sciatica attack, where possible I try to walk to and from work instead of taking the road bike or electric skateboard. My current commute is roughly a 20 - 25 min walk. Walking is the only time where I'm disconnected from the Internet and also gives me time to think - although ...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Asia, Japan, UK, Singapore, Disney, US, Nike, Canada, Malaysia, Shanghai, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Little Mermaid, Seattle


Live from the CJC: Nicki Minaj testifying for Meek Mill

The hearing in Courtroom 907 on Thursday was never going to be a typical court proceeding. And that was even before Nicki Minaj walked in.
Tags: Nicki Minaj, CJC