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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 51)

Bill will move traffic disputes out of B.C. courts

Drivers may soon be denied their day in court to challenge traffic tickets. Vancouver lawyer Sarah Leamon expects constitutional questions to arise with the likely passage of legislation that removes courts from disputes involving driving violations. “The right to counsel and the right to a fair trial are most certainly going to be compromised, in my opinion,” Leamon told the Straight in a phone interview. Bill 52, called the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (No. 2), 2012, establishes an administrative process to deal with traffic infractions. This replaces the current court-based procedure. “You’re not going to be able to cross-examine police officers anymore,” Leamon explained. Shirley...

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Findings of fact to fit a result

Findings of Fact to Fit a result

If you read our post from yesterday, you know about the secret. Essentially, a judge or tribunal can uphold or reject any matter before them by basing their decision on findings of fact. If you're the judge and you are inclined to a certain decision, all you need to do is make findings of fact that support your view. The court conducting the appeal will defer to those findings. Every judge and every tribunal member knows this. Thankfully, it is very rare in courts. We can speculate about the reason for this. We think that legal training and experience are very...

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A Secret

A secret about how courts and trubunals can make decisions

It's time we let you in on a secret. There is a major flaw in our justice system. Appeal courts struggle with it but only using delicate language designed to shroud the problem. Virtually all lawyers know about it but nobody has managed to come up with an acceptable solution. And we're not supposed to talk about it. We need a justice system and our works reasonably well. So to protect the confidence in our justice system, we're not supposed to tell you about the problem. But we believe that people should understand the good and bad aspects of the system....

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Mulgrew: Altered drunk driving law likely to bring on new court challenges

The B.C. Government’s attempt to rehabilitate the unconstitutional drunk-driving law looks like it will trigger further court challenges. “I’m sure it will be challenged again,” said Jeremy Carr one of the lead lawyers on the landmark case that overturned the controversial legislation late last year. Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko called the situation appalling. “If you blow, they don’t care how police got it,” he fumed. “They could pin you down on the ground and make you blow and it’s admissible. As far as they are concerned the charter of rights and freedoms does not apply to their tribunals.” The screening devices remain extremely problematic...

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The end of the Charter of Rights in BC

The end of the Charter of Rights in BC

If you thought the IRP scheme was the low point in BC legal history, think again. Emboldened by aspects of the Sivia decision, the BC Government now plans to take away the Charter of Rights and your right to a trial when the police stop you for a driving offence. It's the end of the Charter of Rights in BC. More disingenuous than IRPs or ADPs, the Government has introduced a bill that will completely uproot our justice system. It will eliminate the Charter of Rights with respect to all driving offences in the Motor Vehicle Act. They did this while...

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Drunk driving is on the decline

Drunk driving is on the decline. Or is it on the increase?

Last week CTV reported that the number of people who were given driving prohibitions in connection with an alleged drinking and driving offence since December 1, 2011, was a fraction of the number from the same period the year before and about half of what we would see in a typical year. These are important statistics for a number of reasons and it was not fully fleshed out in the story. Paul was interviewed by CTV the day before, and the clip used in this particular news report was not in relation to the statistics. So we did not get a...

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Government’s IRP fix and what it means to you

The IRP Fix is in - the Government wants an unfair system

The IRP fix is in and British Columbians want to know what it means to them. More important right now is what it means to the people who received a Fail 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition before November 30, 2011. The short answer is that nothing has changed. The legislation is silent on Fail IRPs issued before the law was found to violated the Charter in the ruling on November 30, 2011. So unless the Government introduces some other transitional legislation, this matter will be resolved before the courts. Will the legislation impact the petitions/appeals now before the courts? The matters are being...

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