Vancouver Criminal Law


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Are the police lying?

Are police lying?

We like most of the police officers we deal with in the course of our work. Despite a few notable exceptions, most police officers are thoughtful intelligent and balanced, and they contribute through their work to our community.[pullquote]To assume that the police don't lie is mechanism to teach them to lie. If we accept what they say without question, there is no check on their honesty and nothing to encourage truthfulness.[/pullquote] We're not suggesting that any great reverence should be paid to the police. They get paid for their job and they do their job just like anyone else. And like...

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How we gave up the presumption of innocence

How we gave up the presumption of innocence

It's time as Canadians that we recognize a particular point in our history when we tossed aside the legal mantra that you are innocent until proven guilty. For generations we enjoyed the expansion of legal rights. We used to intrinsically understand that governments pose the biggest threat to our liberty and so we placed restrictions on their power. Now, however, we're moving in the other direction. Perhaps we became complacent? Perhaps this generation no longer understands the value of legal rights and the threat posed by the state?[pullquote]Governments keep trying to outlaw sex in some manner or another with limited...

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Government spin and censorship

BC Government spin and censorship

We’ve alluded several times on our blog to the fact that we take heat for what we do. We are outspoken, critical of government, and skeptical about much of the Government propaganda related to impaired driving. What we haven’t told you has been the extent to which we have had to defend our positions.[pullquote]This particular initiative couldn't be directly connected to the reduction in deaths, and there was insufficient data to make the calls necessary to conclude that drunk driving deaths were reduced by the IRP program.[/pullquote] In February 2013, the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles made a complaint...

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The Government never ceases to amaze us

The BC Government amazes us

You’d think that after years of fighting the Government on the IRP scheme we would become desensitized to the crazy and obstinate things that Government does. But every once in a while they do something absurd that shocks us yet again. Last week was another example of shocking Government action.[pullquote]If the Government can just ignore the rulings of the court that it doesn’t like, then the courts become powerless as a check on the exercise or failure to exercise Government discretion.[/pullquote] Remember the decision in Stenner? That allowed the BC Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to reopen the hearing on the basis of...

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Do the ends justify the means?

Do the ends justify the means

Almost two years ago we exposed back room collusion to concoct evidence for CBSA officers in Immediate Roadside Prohibition investigations.[pullquote]It's a catastrophic failure of government to understand their obligation in a democracy. [/pullquote] This was the tip of the iceberg with respect to the covert shenanigans that take place in government offices dealing with the IRP scheme. It was important because it provided a glimpse into the mindset of these people. Essentially they've concluded that their goal (preserving the IRP scheme) is so important that they'll cross all sorts of ethical boundaries to that end. In other words, the mindset is...

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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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Creating an unfair IRP system

Unfair IRP system

We've held all along that the BC Government was never interested in fairness with the IRP scheme. All along they were creating an unfair IRP system while making public declarations that they were interested in advancing fairness. But it's all a lie. Fairness has nothing to do with it.[pullquote]The BC Government has never been interested in creating a fair IRP system. This is just another example. But it's not the best example. There's more.[/pullquote] Bad government behaves badly Consider this. As of today, RoadSafetyBC and ICBC will not give you YOUR DISCLOSURE in your Immediate Roadside Prohibition case unless you pay them...

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Previous client of Sacha Roudette?

Previous client of Sacha Roudette

I mentioned at the end of the last blog post about how much I learned since starting at Acumen Law. Of course, before I started with Acumen, I was in the good position of already thoroughly knowing the law. I had been defending IRPs for years, making the written submissions for another law firm and I had a good success rate. As well, I was the lawyer in a number of the key IRP constitutional challenges including the case that went to the Supreme Court of Canada where the first version of the IRP law was found unconstitutional. So I...

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Strategic appeals in IRP cases

Strategic appeals

We've had some tremendous ups and down in the last few months, particularly with respect to strategic appeals. We've received decisions from BC Supreme Court that appeared on the face to be a loss, but that got us exactly what we hoped with respect to our ability to appeal IRPs at the RoadSafetyBC hearing stage. We've received decisions that appear to be glorious precedent-setting successes but nevertheless change very little because they are confined to their facts.[pullquote]Having a number of lawyers working in concert, discussing cases, sharing information about police forces, collecting vast amounts of inside information and actually teaching...

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New evidence in an old IRP case

New evidence in an IRP case

One thing that has always bothered us about the Immediate Roadside Prohibition legislation is the fact that the timelines are too short to be able to mount a proper defence. The Application for Review must be filed within seven days, and there are no extensions. The decision must be rendered within twenty one days of the date you were pulled over, except if the Superintendent extends the time period. And in June, RoadSafetyBC unilaterally changed its policies so that after the hearing had ended, no more submissions could be provided. Even when they granted themselves long extensions of the time to...

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