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Media Sarah Leamon

Sarah Leamon in The Huffington Post

Unless you've experienced the criminal justice system firsthand, "victim fine surcharge" probably doesn't mean very much to you. But it has been at the centre of an ongoing legal controversy for a number of years now. The mandatory victim fine surcharge was first brought into effect by the Stephen Harper government in 2013. It amounts to 30 per cent of any monetary fine that is ordered to be paid by the court. If no fine is ordered, a fine of $100 is payable for a summary-offence conviction, and $200 for being convicted of an indictable crime. This means that where an offence carries a mandatory $1,000...

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Sarah Leamon in CBC News: THC and DUIs

Perfect 'weed breathalyzer' may never come. When it comes to drivers impaired by marijuana, there are still a lot of unanswered questions in B.C. — even with legalization still expected to take place this summer. The tools, training and method of determining whether a driver is impaired by marijuana are still not certain. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said last week the province is still waiting for information from the federal government on those details, including what devices will be used as breathalyser equivalents during roadside stops. ...

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Sarah Leamon on Roundhouse Radio: New Pot Plan in BC

Sarah Leamon on Roundhouse Radio

Sarah Leamon, criminal defence lawyer at Acumen Law Corporation and chair of the PACE Society board, joins Gene Valatis to talk about the new pot plan in BC, what will happen for those crossing the border and driving while impaired. Ms. Leamon said there were two devices authorities are planning to use to measure roadside impairment but both neither are reliable. "All it can tell you," she said. "Is how much THC is in your oral fluid. That actually doesn't have any discernable ratio to the amount of THC that is in the bloodstream, nor does it have any kind of correlation whatsoever...

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Sarah Leamon in The Georgia Straight: Marginalized Canadians suffer unjustly with mandatory victim fine surcharges

Unless you’ve experienced the criminal justice system firsthand, “victim fine surcharge” probably doesn’t mean very much to you. But it has been at the centre of an ongoing legal controversy for a number of years now. The mandatory victim fine surcharge was first brought into effect by the Harper government on October 24, 2013. It amounts to 30 percent of any monetary fine that is ordered to be paid by the court. If no fine is ordered, a fine of $100 is payable for a summary-offence conviction and $200 for being convicted of an indictable crime. This means that where an offence carries a...

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Sarah Leamon on Roundhouse Radio: What is the Mandatory Victim Surcharge?

Sarah Leamon talking on Roundhouse Radio

What is the Mandatory Victim surcharge? And how is it impacting low-income individuals convicted of a crime? Sarah Leamon, criminal defence lawyer at Acumen Law Corporation and chair of the PACE Society board, breaks down why the Mandatory Victim Surcharge is problematic and what will take place for the suspect in the Toronto van attack. Ms Leamon said: "It starts to become a real problem for people who are low income and marginalize. So where there are very large fines ordered – and often under our criminal code there are mandatory minimum fines – that judges cannot depart from. "So for some offences, you...

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Sarah Leamon in the Huffington Post: Canada’s Ban On Paid Surrogates Is Vague, Harsh And Clearly Outdated

A Liberal MP is trying to change Canada's surrogacy laws and expand reproductive rights for Canadians. Anthony Housefather has announced his plans to introduce a private member's bill, which would repeal the current legal prohibitions against paying for a surrogate. Current laws are surrogacy in Canada are vague — and simultaneously harsh. They are governed by the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which states that while it is legally permissible to compensate a surrogate for expenses reasonably related to the surrogacy arrangement, it is illegal to pay a surrogate for her services outright. It also bans monetary compensation for sperm and egg donations. If a person is found guilty...

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Bill C-75 Fails To Deliver Necessary Changes To The Justice System

Sarah Leamon writing for The Huffington Post

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has introduced a massive, 300-page bill to overhaul the justice system. While many aspects of Bill C-75 are intended to curb courtroom delay, others are focused on ending intimate partner violence and diversifying juries. But will this bill be effective? I recently read Bill C-75. Here's what you need to know. One of the most controversial aspects of Bill C-75 is its proposal to do away with preliminary inquiries in the vast majority of criminal proceedings. Generally speaking, preliminary inquiries are used to test the strength of the Crown's case prior to proceeding to trial. Adults charged with an indictable offence...

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Sarah Leamon in The Georgia Straight on the Canadian ban of paying for surrogacy

A Liberal MP is trying to change Canada’s surrogacy laws and expand reproductive rights for Canadians. Anthony Housefather has announced his plans to introduce a private member's bill, which would repeal the current legal prohibitions against paying for a surrogate. Current laws are surrogacy in Canada are vague...

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Sarah Leamon on CBC News: Women’s Association of Criminal Lawyers

A criminal defence lawyer based in Richmond, B.C., has created a support group for female lawyers in reaction to what she claims is rising discrimination in the field. Sarah Leamon says she created the Women's Association of Criminal Lawyers to give women in criminal law a space to address and share their concerns. Leamon, who has been in the field of criminal law for the past seven years, says she has experienced numerous forms of discrimination in and outside the courthouse. She said while the number of men and women going to school to become criminal lawyers is roughly equal, she's noticed an alarming rate of women leaving the field...

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