Focus On
The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Managing Editor’s must-read items from this week

Friday, October 25, 2019 @ 2:29 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

SCC’s Gascon encourages lawyers and judges to talk openly about anxiety, depression
Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada are legal icons, so it’s easy to forget that they are human beings and struggle with the same afflictions as the rest of us. That’s why retired Justice Clément Gascon’s decision to reveal that he lives with anxiety and depression has been so salutary for the legal profession’s awareness of, and efforts to destigmatize, the mental health challenges so many lawyers and judges face.

Investment in access to justice more than pays for itself, report finds
Every dollar governments spend on programs and services that improve access to justice generates financial benefits equivalent to between $9 and $16, according to a review of research conducted by the Toronto-based Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ).

SCC leaves open question about jury unanimity in B.C. sexual assault case
The Supreme Court of Canada has reinstated the conviction of a B.C. man charged with sexual offences against his niece but said it would “leave for another day” whether the issue of prosecutors drafting a single count to capture multiple incidents passes constitutional muster.

NS Crown attorneys walk out, premier deems action illegal
Crown attorneys in Nova Scotia have walked off the job. Now the provincial government is striking back. The Oct. 23 walkout, which Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is calling an “illegal strike action,” came swiftly in response to the government bringing forward new legislation that takes away Crown attorneys right to arbitration and gives them the right to strike instead. However, that same legislation also deems Crown attorneys an essential service and locks them in to a total seven per cent wage increase over the next four years.

Lessons on dealing with trauma from one who knows
In her column, Ava N. Williams writes “In 2017, I was halfway through law school and was featured in theGlobe and Mail’s Unfounded series about how police forces across Canada report on sexual assault. I had not spoken publicly about my assault, and many people in my life didn’t know about it. But I felt that it was important to share my story. I didn’t want what had happened to me to continue happening to others and I felt that Unfounded had the potential to make a change.”

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.