Bedford v. Canada (Attorney General) (Civil litigation, Criminal law; Ont. Superior Ct. of Justice; September 28, 2010) -- Criminal Code provisions that sought to address facets of prostitution actually endangered prostitutes by preventing them from engaging in actions to prevent violence and were not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice and were struck down.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
What interests me is the outrageous hostility towards the human rights tribunal and human rights law in both the [National Post] Editorial (by Jonathan Kay), but even more so by the loads of mouth-foaming commentators to the piece.
...If we abolish human rights statutes, then there would be no remedy for a person who, though most qualified, is denied a job because of her sex, religion, race, etc. But that seems to be what the Post and its readers want. Or are they making some other sort of argument that I can’t see through all the slobbering hatred and anger in their words?
- Parliament must ensure prostitutes protected from harm - Vancouver Sun
- Prostitution ruling gets mixed reviews - Welland Tribune
- Hookers have right to be safe - Montreal Gazette
- Forget legalization of prostitution – just turn a blind eye - Globe and Mail
- Hooked into needed discussion - Calgary Herald
- Prostitution just wrong - Toronto Sun
- Prostitution fixes complex - Saskatoon StarPhoenix
- No one wants their children to grow up to be sex workers - Ottawa Citizen
Here are today's leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter.
- Alberta not swayed by Ontario sex trade ruling - Calgary Herald http://is.gd/fAuLP
- Supreme Court ruling could 'break the web' - Canada.com http://is.gd/fAuP0
- US judges grill lawyers in Conrad Black case - Macleans.ca http://is.gd/fB4NY
- NY Judge Finds Nothing Private About Facebook Postings - Wall Street Journal (blog) http://is.gd/fAuUr
- Ruling means City of Toronto obliged to clear icy laneways http://natpo.st/daBuxE
- BigLaw Could Lose 17,500 Non-Partner Jobs in Upcoming Years http://is.gd/fAuH8
- Ontario Will Support Feds As They Appeal Prostitution Law: McGuinty http://is.gd/fAw3g
- Former prostitute 'shocked' by Ont. court decision http://is.gd/fAwey
- Obama to finally punish torturers! http://is.gd/fBsBh
- Prenups on the Rise http://is.gd/fBsKN
- Disputed India Holy Site to Be Divided, Court Rules http://is.gd/fCbbk
- Feds, Ontario Appeal Court Ruling on Prostitution - 580 CFRA Radio http://is.gd/fBsvy
- Hulk Hogan Settles Suit Over Cereal Ad Featuring ‘Hulk Boulder’ Character http://is.gd/fCbdL
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Here are today's leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter!
- Canadian court overturns prostitution laws - Salon http://is.gd/fz2xY
- The Role of Social Media in Sentencing Advocacy http://is.gd/fz0CN
- Too much information: The dangers of blogging about your client http://is.gd/fz80p
- Blogger sentenced in Iran to 19 years http://is.gd/fz9hg
- More on “Speech Hostile to Gays Constitutionally Unprotected, Speech Hostile to Whites Constitutionally Protected?” http://is.gd/fz8eG
- Court in no rush to hear Harper appeal Khadr ruling as Gitmo case set to start - Winnipeg Free Press http://is.gd/fz8tV
- Practice Development Digest: Summaries of marketing, branding &,strategic planning articles from professional journals http://bit.ly/9Rn9lz
- Obama in Command: The Rolling Stone Interview http://www.rollingstone.com:80/politics/news/17390/209395
- California Execution Postponed to 2011 http://is.gd/fzNNT
- Court Rules City Must Clear Snow From Alleys, Laneways - CityNews http://is.gd/fzUNa
- 10 Items for Your Law Firm Marketing 'To-Do' List http://is.gd/fz2pB
The danger to prostitutes will continue, because the kind of men who frequent prostitutes and the kind of men who control them don't have a lot of respect for them on the whole. Nor should they. Being a prostitute is a shameful, indecent activity, and any sex worker who demands respect as a matter of course is fooling herself. She is not respectable. Politically correct people will say she is, but she isn't. The danger will continue, the pimps will still control the desperate girls and society as a whole will think less of itself. And all because nobody really takes a good look at the word "harm" and asks themselves what a healthy society looks like, and what kind of newly designated "normal" behaviours, stamped kosher by the courts, bring harm to that healthy body.
A Globe and Mail editorial rails against an "activist" judge:
An Ontario judge had no business striking down three major anti-prostitution laws in the Criminal Code on Tuesday. “There has been a long-standing debate in this country and elsewhere about the subject of prostitution,” writes Madam Justice Susan Himel of the Ontario Superior Court, but it is, apparently, over. Who is she to weigh all the potential harms at stake and decide matters, on either side? Who says she can do a better job than Parliament?
Likely the saga isn’t over yet. The federal government has vowed to appeal. Many legal practitioners believe that this challenge will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court. ...Professor Alan Young of Osgoode Hall Law School has been working on the project for years, dating back to when I was in his Criminal Procedure class. I am proud to say that I am a student of Professor Young’s. A big round of applause to his fine work.Jody Paterson of the Victoria and Vancouver Island Times-Colonist strikes a human chord:
The moment Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel handed down her decision yesterday, sex workers finally became people. They became flesh-and-blood women and men, out there working for a living like the rest of us.Clearly, with appeals likely, this debate will not be ending any time soon.
...People struggle with the idea that sex work could ever be part of their community. But the truth is that it already is.
Thank you, Judge Himel, for seeing the people in the shadows.
Also see our earlier post on the decision: Canada's Prostitution Laws Struck by Ontario Superior Court Ruling
I understand that the Veterans Affairs Minister made public earlier today the fact that he has asked our Office to conduct a broader investigation of privacy issues within his department.
I know you’ve been following this issue and wanted to provide the following update from our Office:
The Privacy Commissioner welcomes the minister’s invitation to conduct a systemic investigation into the privacy policies and practices of his department.
The Commissioner has advised Minister Blackburn’s office that her investigation into a complaint about the handling of one veteran’s personal information has raised concerns about the possibility of systemic privacy issues. As a result, she had already decided to initiate an audit of the department’s privacy practices.
Investigations are an important tool used to examine specific incidents. An audit will examine whether there are systemic issues that need to be addressed.
As part of this audit, the Privacy Commissioner’s Office will examine the department’s policies and practices against federal privacy requirements. We are still in the process of determining the scope of this audit and the timeline for its completion.
Our Office’s investigation into the individual complaint is in its final stages and we will be in a position to comment on our findings shortly.
Senior Communications Advisor /
Conseillère principale en communications
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
The practice of excerpting news and linking to its source is what drives the blogosphere, engages millions in political discussion and aides the dissemination of information the world over.
However, if [the Planitiff] is successful, a vibrant political forum for American progressives could be shut down, all thanks to a five sentence excerpt from the Las Vegas Review-Journal that caught the paper's attention.
The forum Democratic Underground (DU) which frequently reposts news excerpts for users to discuss, was sued in August for quoting and linking to the Nevada paper. Backed by Internet freedom advocacy group Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF), DU filed a counter-suit on Monday, accusing the paper and Righthaven of engaging in copyright fraud.
Embarrassing Facebook photos and regrettable MySpace statements are starting to become commonplace in pre-sentencing reports and disposition hearings. At the same time, defendants and their advocates are acknowledging the power of social media as a tool to generate mitigating evidence.
...How deeply must defense attorneys delve into social media in representing their clients at sentencing? The U.S. Supreme Court in Townsend v. Burke, 334 U.S. 736, 741 (1948), cautioned that defendants ought to be guarded from punishments based on false or misleading information. It would seem that this injunction compels counsel to challenge sentencing information drawn from the social centers of cyberspace.
Due process must temper the unchecked use of aggravating social media evidence at sentencing, as well as arraignment and other proceedings. At the same time, these online forums are opening unprecedented opportunities for developing mitigating evidence that can provide courts with a fair picture of the person appearing for sentence.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance."
-- Madame Justice Susan Himel
- keeping a common bawdy house (s.210(1));
- communication for the purposes of prostitution (s.213(1)(c)), and
- living on the avails of prostitution (s.212(1)(j)),
- The Onion - Law Schools Now Require Applicants To Honestly State Whether They Really,Seriously Want To Go To Law School onion.com/bfSqKy
- Polling Suggests California Will Legalize Pot http://is.gd/fx0RA
- Drop in caseload worries Supreme Court of Canada observers - Lawyers Weekly http://is.gd/fwTKh
- Cop handcuffs teen over sex with daughter http://is.gd/fwTbk
- U of T law dean vindicated - Law Times http://is.gd/fwSde
- Journalistic press freedom and fair comment defence decayed in UK’s British Chiropractic Association v. Dr. Singh http://is.gd/fwT7c
- Activists demand relaxing of G20 bail conditions - Toronto Sunhttp://is.gd/fwRYN
- CanLII Now Provides Tables of Content for B.C, Ontario and Quebec Legislation http://is.gd/fwRvt
- Bell Canada settles Ontario class action lawsuit - National Union of Public and General Employees http://is.gd/fwQOP
- Veterans ombudsman fears medical files leaked http://is.gd/fwQVI
- Attorney says 'sexting' Wis. prosecutor to resign http://is.gd/fwrMj
- Canada's Anti-Spam Act back on the order paper http://is.gd/fwr99
There is no place on Canadian soil where individuals have less constitutional protection than at an international airport. The government and the courts have determined that overriding concerns for effective law enforcement, security, and national sovereignty are more important than the protection of Charter rights in the airport context.
Section 1 of the Charter allows the government to limit Charter rights as much as is reasonably justified in a free and democratic society. For all intents and purposes, the court has ruled that it is reasonably justifiable to limit Charter rights against search and seizures to facilitate customs and security at an international airport. This limitation of freedom applies only in the context of international flights. When you are flying domestically, Charter rights apply to you the same way as they do anywhere else in the country. However, when you are flying between countries, the protection afforded by the Charter is severely limited.
Monday, September 27, 2010
1. Osgoode Hall Law School, York UniversityLet’s briefly consider what each school offers in terms of programming.
2. University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
3. University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
4. University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
5. University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law
6. Queen’s University, Faculty of Law
Osgoode Hall Law School
The breadth of Osgoode Hall Law School's upper-year J.D. courses is undeniable: it offers more than 125 seminars and courses annually. It also has strong clinical programs.
Further, it has a number of joint programs, including a new joint J.D./LL.M. program with New York University.
For the J.D. program, the curriculum streams offered are: taxation law; international law; and dispute resolution law.
Osgoode now also offers a professional LL.M. program for the busy practitioner. In addition to the J.D. and LL.M., Osgoode also offers the Ph.D. in law for those seeking an academic career.
For more information, visit Osgoode’s website
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
The University of Toronto also offers a rich and diverse legal education. It has a wide-ranging curriculum, though its upper-year course offerings are probably slightly less than Osgoode’s in any given year.
It does not offer formal curriculum streams though a student can take a disproportionate number of courses in certain areas of interest.
That said, it offers more joint programs than Osgoode, including a J.D./Ph.d. (political science) program.
Also of note, the school offers many – perhaps the most – community legal clinics and clinical education programs to its J.D. students, an enticing feature for those looking for a practical legal education.
Like Osgoode, the University of Toronto offers graduate programs in law, though they are smaller programs than Osgoode’s.
For more information, visit The University of Toronto, Faculty of Law’s website
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
Ottawa’s J.D. program offers four different concentrations: social justice law; environmental law; international law; law and technology.
In terms of clinical programs, among other programs, the law school now offers the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic for those interested in the study and practice of environmental law. Of the all the Ontario schools, Ottawa is the only one which offers such a program.
Further, Ottawa offers a national program in which a student may graduate with both common law and civil law degrees. This is definitively a very attractive program for those considering careers in the civil service or for those Ontario students who are seriously contemplating practicing law in Quebec at some point in their career.
Ottawa also has graduate programs, the LL.M. and LL.D. programs, though their graduate department is smaller than either Osgoode's or the University of Toronto's, meaning, among other things, it does not have nearly the same breadth of graduate courses.
For more information, visit: The University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law’s website
University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
Windsor’s flagship program is the Canadian & American Dual J.D. program it has with University of Detroit Mercy Law School.
Its J.D. course offerings, while more than adequate, are not nearly as extensive as some of the other schools, such as Osgoode Hall. That said its social justice programming is second to none.
At present, the University of Windsor does not have any graduate programs in law though this is scheduled to change in September 2011 when the school launches its first LL.M. program.
For more information, visit: The University of Windsor, Faculty of Law’s website
University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law
Western’s business law offerings are very impressive. The school offers concentrations in business law, criminal law, intellectual property, and taxation. It also has very strong advocacy programs.
Besides Queen’s University, Western is the only other school that offers a concentration in criminal law.
In terms of graduate programs, Western has an LL.M. program but no Ph.d.
For more information, visit: The University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law website
Queen’s University, Faculty of Law
The school offers combined J.D. programs, as well as a business law clinic. LikeOttawa, Queen’s has a combined civil law/common law degree program.
Queen’s law school is perhaps best known for its criminal law course offerings. It is the only school in Canada that offers a "correctional law project", a program that, among other things, deals with inmate appeals against conviction.
While Queen’s LL.M. program is well-established, it’s doctorate in law is a fairly new program.
For more information, visit: Queen’s University, Faculty of Law’s website
Depending on the law applicant’s personal preferences and ultimate career aspirations, obviously each of the above schools may have varying levels of appeal. Nonetheless, regardless of which school you get into, you can be assured that you will be receiving a top-notch legal education.
The fact that you do not obtain an LL.B. or J.D. in a certain concentration (e.g., business law) from a particular law school is not a bar to practicing law in that area.
For more information on the Ontario Law Schools generally, see the Ontario Law School Application Service’s 2011 Instruction Booklet.