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Author: Kyla Lee

Bad laws written by bad governments

Bad government omits lawyers from the discussion of new laws

This week, several MPs tweeted about their participation in roundtable discussions with Jody Wilson-Raybould and other “stakeholders” in criminal justice reform. But best we can tell defence counsel were not invited to have a seat at any of those roundtables. Despite the fact that we come up with sensible and workable solutions to plenty of criminal justice problems, and despite the fact that defence counsel are clearly stakeholders in the system of criminal justice, the Government never wants to hear our voices, thoughts, or ideas.[pullquote]We would have fewer constitutional challenges, better and stronger laws, and a more effective and efficient court system...

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More fishy stuff at RoadSafetyBC

We’ve written a lot about RoadSafetyBC delaying rendering IRP review decisions. One of the problems with the ongoing backlog of decisions is that as time goes on, memory fades, witnesses disappear, friends move on, and evidence becomes harder to obtain. It’s one of the reasons we have so many concerns with the delay in rendering decisions. This past week, we discovered yet another problem with the delay issue that impacts your right to a fair hearing. We received a number of letters from RoadSafetyBC all at once. The letters indicate, for a substantial number of clients, that the adjudicator who initially heard...

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Secret Projects Team Report

Secret Projects

Here at the Acumen Law Justice Centre, we have a number of projects underway at any given time. Many of them are projects we are undertaking in secret, and that we do not talk about on our blog.[pullquote]We’re not the type of people who give up easily. Or at all. We appealed this decision again.[/pullquote] One of the secret projects we have been working on pertains to the reliability of certain information in the Certificates that police are required to submit for IRP review hearings. Beginning last spring, we began to notice that although certain types of information was required to...

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A great way to start the New Year

New year, new clients to help

Something we don’t often talk about on our blog is how difficult it can be to do the type of work we do. We work long hours, many of which are thankless, fighting cases for our clients. We put our own money towards causes we believe in, like the Wilson appeal or the Murray case. There are lots of great days, but there are also the disappointing days when we don’t succeed.[pullquote]It was a funny happenstance meeting and I was pleased to be able to put a face to the name and voice on the other end of the phone.[/pullquote] People...

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The numbers speak for themselves

The numbers speak for themselves

A lot of people who phone our office are, understandably, concerned about getting the best lawyer for their IRP review. They want to know what the success rate is, and who is the best at defending IRP cases. The reality is that these are tough questions to answer. When we are wondering about who the best lawyer to defend an IRP case is, we look to the information that can be verified. The numbers speak for themselves.[pullquote]It’s one thing to talk the talk, and to have the shiny toys. It’s another thing entirely to be able to present a convincing and...

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The review process is far from perfect

The RoadSafetyBC review process is far from perfect

You may remember our blog posts about the decision in Kenyon when it was first released: A good decision and Look at the evidence, then decide. We pointed out that the Government was very upset about the Kenyon case and its implications. So when we learned that Kenyon had been appealed, we weren’t surprised. Not one bit. You may also remember that the Government’s tactic all along has been to appeal almost every successful judicial review decision.[pullquote]It appears that the Court of Appeal saw through the Government’s end-run around fairness and objectivity in the review process[/pullquote] The Kenyon decision was appealed along...

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Justice – swift, severe, and all in 30 minutes or less

Justice - swift, severe at the OSMV

We’ve written before about some of the ways that RoadSafetyBC’s tribunal impedes access to justice. The seven-day time limit to file for review of the IRP (with currently no opportunity for an extension) is a good example of this. Or the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles recent decision to no longer allow for supplemental submissions after the close of the hearing, even if it takes them two years to render your decision.[pullquote]But what happens if you cannot fit your submissions in to 30 minutes? What if you have a complex, technical, scientific and legal argument...

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A new low for the BC Government and the IRP scheme

New low for the BC Government

We knew this would happen. We knew it was only a matter of time. As a scandal about hiding evidence swirls around them, we have a new low for the BC Government and the IRP scheme. And it's another trick.[pullquote]We believe this is unconstitutional. We believe these provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act create a bias, in that the Superintendent is now an investigator and prosecutor in his own case.[/pullquote] The BC Government has enacted by Regulation another round of the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act that were set out in Bill 15. Although there are several amendments that are still...

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Deleted emails and the BC Government

BC Government deleted emails

This week BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released a scathing report about a widespread problem with BC Government employees deleting emails, rather than responding to Freedom of Information Act requests for which those emails would be considered responsive.[pullquote]It makes no sense for a police officer, who would have active and ongoing investigations covered in his email inbox, to have deleted everything all of a sudden. [/pullquote] When we read the report, we began to feel a very familiar sensation. What she was describing sounded like something we have experienced on a very regular basis when dealing with BC Government Agencies, particularly...

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BC drunk driving laws will continue to be battled in court

We will fight these cases in court says Doroshenko

Drunk driving charges in British Columbia are likely to continue to be battled in court, despite a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, say lawyers familiar with the case.[pullquote]"This spin that they've had all along that this is the toughest drunk driving law in the country is absolute garbage," said Doroshenko.[/pullquote] Earlier this year, RCMP in Tofino and Vernon calibrated their breathalyzers with the wrong gas, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request. As a result, 51 drivers had their suspensions reversed. Lawyers worry there could be others who get punished, even though they're not actually impaired. "You're...

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