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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 53)

Transparency at tribunal hearings

Transparency at tribunal hearings

We have been discussing the Government’s steps to remove decision making from the courts, i.e. the justice system, and to move it in-house. Our concern is that the Government has decided that justice is not in its interest because it costs money and justice is not as effective at taking people's money as an in-house tribunal will be. Simply put, with an in-house tribunal the Government has more opportunities to influence the process and consequently dictate the results for political and financial reasons. We have covered many of the ways that Government can influence the process when shunting cases to a...

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Good news stories for the upcoming election: BCLiberal Strategy

The Federal and Provincial Governments are doing so many creepy things right now that it's hard to know where to start. Of course, part of the plan is to flood us with major changes by way of omnibus bills and numerous revolutionary bills introduced with just a few weeks to pass them. It's sneaky, surreptitious, disingenuous and really creepy. You may have heard that the Federal Government is going to replace the 1000 member Employment Insurance review board with a 74 member board that simply says "No." They expect it will be a lot faster. So you can see that the BC...

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Krusty’s Clown College

The BC Government makes stupid mistake that cost taxpayers

BC taxpayers are going to be on the hook for a lot of money due to the stupid mistakes of the BCLiberal Government. As we warned them (actually Edmund Burke warned them in 1790) revolutionary change always has unintended consequences. Those who advocate for revolutionary change never contemplate how it will backfire. Often the results are problems far worse than the original situation. Moving from Burke, and thinking about the costs of the flawed IRP scheme, the pay back for the constitutionally invalid scheme to rent out courtrooms and the costs that will flow from the ridiculous scheme to move traffic...

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The BC Supreme Court calls it like it is

Court ruling

October 2, 2014 UPDATE: The Supreme Court of Canada reversed the decision of the BC Court of Appeal, essentially reinstating the trial judge's ruling. As we originally said, the BC Supreme Court judge called it like it is. The decision can be found here: http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/14375/1/document.do   The newspaper headline will talk about the BC Supreme Court finding that court fees are unconstitutional. The decision is 178 pages long, and we noticed that the Court's website is down, so for the ease of our readers we've posted the entire judgment here (Vilardell v. Dunham). The Court covers many of the problems we've discussed on our...

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Peer pressure

Peer pressure

We have been dealing with a topic that is particularly concerning to us. It should be on the minds of every British Columbian, and that is the steps that the Government is taking to oust the jurisdiction of the courts for most matters and to move adjudication to in-house tribunals. If our courts were properly funded, there would be no backlog in dealing with matters. The Government is going to use piles of our tax money to create these new tribunals. And the purpose, we think, is so they can control the outcome of the cases. The Government has tried to...

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Goal-oriented adjudication

BC Government can train members of tribunals to get the decisions they want

In Canada and the US courts are often criticized for being goal oriented. Right-wing and religious groups usually complain that courts have a "liberal agenda" -- that they have goal-oriented adjudication that support a movement away from traditional Christian / Conservative values. It may be a valid observation. There is no doubt that courts, with the power to make decisions of fact, can craft judgments to achieve certain goals. But from what we see every day, judges are very independent and it is unlikely that any agenda could be kept more or less under wraps. Judges have no boss. Although they...

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Sources of inside information

As you have probably figured out reading our blog, we have sources of inside information in the Government and some police forces in BC. It's not nefarious. Often the information we get merely confirms what we already know. Many people on the inside find the IRP scheme deeply flawed and as a consequence they tell us what's going on. So as we've mentioned before, we would love to have told you the rumours, for example about the Government eliminating traffic court, but there is some information that we must hold back. What we have learned from police officers is that many...

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Subtle pressure

The Government has been incapable of influencing the courts

In March we discussed the strange tension between the Government and the courts here in BC. The blog post remained one of the most popular since then. The post discusses the statement issued by the three levels of court concerning judicial independence. It was made in response to comments made by member of the Government that seemed to suggest, among other things, that the Government doesn't like the rulings of the courts. The suggestion was that the courts need to tow the Government's line, i.e. convict more people, hand out harsher punishment, be more businesslike and focus on results. Comments like this...

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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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