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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 3:42 PM | By Matthew Grace


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

Accused must subjectively know they are breaching bail for conviction, Supreme Court rules
The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous ruling that convictions for breaching bail must be based on a “subjective” standard of fault rather than an “objective” one will curtail prosecutors’ haste in moving on such charges and force bail courts to focus on an accused’s circumstances and ability to comply, says a lawyer.

Mixed reaction as Alberta moves to revamp mental health laws
The Alberta government has announced plans to amend its mental health legislation in response to a 2019 court decision in which portions of it were struck down as unconstitutional, but a lawyer involved in that case is calling the proposals a “Band-Aid solution” which could invite further challenges down the road.

Task force aims to help modernize justice system and role of advocates
Some of Canada’s greatest legal minds are coming together to contemplate the future of the country’s justice system beyond COVID-19.

Trudeau says ‘COVID Alert’ national contact tracing app to be made available July 1 in Canada
Ottawa and Ontario plan to roll out for testing in that province July 1 a “completely voluntary, anonymous and secure” mobile contact tracing application for COVID-19 that will also be offered to everyone across the country — although buy-in from the other provinces and territories must still be obtained to make the app fully operational nationally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

Divorce Act delays jeopardize women and children
In her column, Pamela Cross writes: “Just last month, I wrote a series of articles for The Lawyer’s Daily that explored the pros, cons and gaps in the revisions to the Divorce Act, which were slated for implementation on July 1. The virtual ink on the page of those articles had barely dried, however, when Canada’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice David Lametti announced that implementation was being delayed until March 1, 2021, citing ‘extraordinary circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.’ ”

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