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Results: 1 - 12 of 12
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Given the, I must say, poor track record on judicial appointments of this government to date, how can Canadians be sure that these promises will be fulfilled?
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2018-09-25 15:55
First of all, I'd like to thank the two witnesses who couldn't be here in person but are joining us from B.C.
I guess this is the best manner in which to do this, because this opportunity was taken away from you. As Mr. Cooper was saying, you were very persuasive on the victim fine surcharge and the harms that arise because of the system we've previously had. You're in favour of giving judges more discretion. Apart from that issue, is there any other aspect to this bill that is of interest to you and that you would like to comment on?
View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
From my understanding of your testimony, you want to make it fairer and not all-encompassing to those who are more vulnerable in the justice system. It would be unfair for them to have to pay these surcharges, and the judge should be allowed more discretion to be able to make that differentiation. Am I correct?
View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Mr. Gratton, do you have any input to the amendments to the current Bill C-75 as they've been proposed by Pivot?
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2018-09-18 19:03
Absolutely. Thank you for that.
I also have a question regarding the new public confidence ground for judges standing aside prospective jurors, which is section 633. You are saying, currently, as the change is proposed, that we would see judges having too much discretion, and that it should be more explicit.
Could you elaborate on that particular recommendation?
View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you so much, Mr. Fraser.
Thank you so much, Minister, for your time and for coming in today.
I have a question about intimate partner violence. The law and the judiciary have really been pushing the needle forward on this in cases such as Ewanchuk, where the defence of implied consent was rejected, and Lavallee, where the battered woman syndrome was recognized officially, and now we have legislation.
Can you please explain how Bill C-75 will move forward progress on intimate partner violence? Second, we know the judiciary plays a huge role in this as well, in sensitivity and understanding gender diversity. For the record, can you also explain what is the percentage of women on our benches and how we are moving that forward as well?
Thank you.
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2018-06-05 16:10
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Madam Minister, allow me to join my colleagues in welcoming you to this committee once again and also in thanking all your officials for being here.
I'd like to follow up on the approach taken by Mr. Fraser, just to ask about some of the changes we're seeing.
My first question is in relation to Bill C-74, which has to do with having new positions appointed for Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Federal Court. Bill C-74 is still before the House, but as I understand it, under this bill there will be an additional complement of six positions for the Ontario Superior Court, one addition to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, and one addition to the Federal Court. I can tell you that this has been received very positively in the legal community.
I would ask you two quick questions. First of all, how did you arrive at these new numbers? Second, as a follow-up, how do you suspect that this will improve the efficiency of our judicial system?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much.
I think what my colleague here is asking for is very reasonable. Just to talk about the premise of what this is all about, we are now not having a merit-based system which is something new to this country. We've had a merit-based system of appointing judges in this country for decades. Indeed, under the previous administration, there were judicial advisory committees made up of representatives from the legal profession, from the provinces, from the federal government, from people who were coming together for no other reason than for the best interests of this country. I think everybody can be very proud of all the appointments that were made during those years.
There are challenges in the province of Alberta in terms of the increase in population, of course, over the years, related to the demand for judicial services. It's important to do that. There are new jobs created. I think if the honourable member has a look over the last two and a half years, he'll see there has been a consistent difference between Alberta and many other jurisdictions in Canada. If there are a couple of vacancies in Ontario, I understand that. There are people who resign or retire, or whatever. It has to be done on a continuing basis. To have that many at one time.... I would be interested to hear from the minister saying, “Okay, if there's a problem maybe people aren't applying.” If that's the problem, great, we get the message out there. Get your name in if there's a problem with that. I'm hoping that she would agree with me that in the years that I had a look at the judicial applications in the province of Alberta, I never saw a shortage of people, quite frankly, who were qualified to sit on the Queen's Bench in Alberta.
That being said, with the number of vacancies there are now, I understand where my colleague is coming from. And he's right. When you get very serious cases thrown out, it does hurt people's confidence in the criminal justice system. I'm sure you hear this yourself. What's going on that this individual is getting a chance to walk without having to face the consequences of the charges levelled against him or her? That being said, there are more things we can do. We can encourage people to get their applications in, that sort of thing. I'm absolutely convinced there is no shortage of people in the province of Alberta who have their names before whatever, for the composition of the new judicial advisory committee. I'm sure there must be enough.... If there's some sort of a problem with their getting together and making these decisions.... They come on the recommendation from those committees to the Minister of Justice. If she tells us she's only had three in the last year, that's an issue, or if people aren't applying.
I think that's what Mr. Cooper is looking for, just to have a discussion around this table. What better place to have it than right here at this committee.
View Kim Rudd Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for joining us today. I am fascinated and depressed by some of the conversation we're having around here today.
I have a couple of fairly quick questions.
I'm going to start with you, Mr. Taylor. I believe it was you who talked about training for prosecutors and for those on the ground, if you will. Is there training for judges?
View Kim Rudd Profile
Lib. (ON)
You may not be able to answer this question, but do you think it's something that would be of benefit to the system?
View Iqra Khalid Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Chair, and thank you to all of the witnesses for coming in today and for all of your compelling testimony.
If I may start with you, Professor Goodman-Delahunty, you spoke about perhaps debriefings by judges to jurors to give them that closure. We did hear testimony previously about this need for closure, which a lot of jurors expressed was so important to them. We also learned that some provinces do it and some judges do it, but it's not something that's across the board.
What is your opinion? Do we need to provide training for judges? If a kind of national action plan were to be created for providing that support to judges, how important is that training piece for judges, and then, building on what Ms. Davies and Ms. MacDonnell said, perhaps moving it to all administrators of the justice system? Can I have your comments?
Then I will ask both of you to comment on that as well.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
That's fair enough.
That pre-education package touches on something you said, Ms. De Moura, and you, Dr. Jaffe, that some sort of heads-up would be of considerable help to somebody getting into this business. It seems to be very simple and straightforward to do this, quite frankly. It's not as if you need huge amendments or a huge outlay of money.
You'll see that from the King County material. This is something to get in their hands so there's some preparation for them. I can see in your case, Ms. De Moura, that this whole process would have been completely foreign to you. Of course we wish you all the best.
Dr. Jaffe, you said judges sometimes experience these traumas, and then toward the end you said that sometimes these judges are insensitive to the jurors. That may be part of the problem they're going through, and in the case you heard here, if the jurors and the judge did get together, it may help both of them if they have a debriefing and work with each other so they're not excluded.
What do you think?
Results: 1 - 12 of 12

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