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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:15 PM | By John Carson

John Carson %>
John Carson
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Lockyer wants an independent tribunal to review wrongful convictions
Expect to start hearing a lot more from James Lockyer and Innocence Canada in the very near future. Lockyer told The Lawyer’s Daily that a campaign is in the works to advocate for the creation of an independent tribunal to examine the cases of those who claim to be wrongfully convicted. He said the need for such a body is compelling and long overdue.

SCC rules Ontario provincial court judges can jointly try criminal and provincial offences
Reversing the Ontario Court of Appeal on a significant jurisdictional point, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 6-1 that Ontario provincial court judges can concurrently try a summary conviction criminal offence and a provincial offence in a single trial.

Self-represented defendants in murder cases | Clayton Ruby and Annamaria Enenajor
Watching an accused person defend himself at a murder trial is an uncommon experience in Canada. Murder is the most serious offence in our Criminal Code. Murder trials can be complex, lengthy and technical. Most people facing a potential sentence of life in prison without parole for 25 years would seek to be represented by skilled counsel with the experience and stamina to respond to the Crown’s case in court. This was not the decision that Dellen Millard made when charged with the murder of Laura Babcock. Instead, he decided to go it alone.

Cryptocurrency and cybersecurity: A primer
As the value of bitcoins continues to soar, there has been increased interest in whether cryptocurrencies may one day replace traditional currencies. However, regulators and the broader public remain skeptical and concerned about whether digital currencies are vulnerable to manipulations and therefore, present a risk to our financial system.

A U-turn on the road to reconciliation | Lynda Collins and Natasha Bakht
On Nov. 2, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in the landmark case of Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia. The Ktunaxa are a First Nation in B.C. who challenged the construction of a massive ski resort on a traditional sacred site, known to them as Qat’muk. The resort has been widely opposed by local communities and environmental NGOs that fear it will despoil a pristine wilderness area and threaten grizzly bear populations. Ktunaxa Nation represents the first time in Canadian history that the Supreme Court has considered whether environmental harm can violate a Charter right.

John Carson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Lawyer's Daily.