Focus On
The Friday Brief

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

Friday, May 04, 2018 @ 1:54 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Senate committee urges delayed cannabis legalization, that 20% of cannabis licences go to Indigenous peoples
Senate committees are proposing major changes to the Liberal government’s cannabis bill, including delaying legalization of recreational cannabis for up to a year, reserving “at least 20 per cent” of cannabis production licences to Indigenous groups and making the proposed criminal prohibitions and penalties less onerous for youths.

Mystery buff lawyer spots some ‘Easter eggs’ in McLachlin’s just-launched debut novel
Beverley McLachlin’s much-anticipated debut novel Full Disclosure was launched May 1 and it contains an airtight disclaimer, as is only to be expected from an author with such impeccable legal credentials.

Wrongful impregnation of patients with fertility doctors’ own sperm raises novel criminal law questions, experts say
What crime (if any) does a fertility doctor commit when he hijacks his patient’s body, including her genes, by secretly using his own sperm to impregnate her? It’s a cutting-edge — but far from clear-cut — criminal law question that arises from the misconduct of some infertility doctors prosecuted in the U.S. and in Europe who, unbeknownst to their patients, surreptitiously substituted their own sperm for that authorized by the women — and thereby produced dozens of babies who were later discovered to be the doctors’ own offspring.

B.C. modernizes class action legislation; group looking into same for Ontario
British Columbia has made changes to modernize its legislation on class action proceedings, and a law reform group is looking into whether Ontario should take similar steps.

Ontario court decision on bias against black Canadians called ‘a game changer’
An Ontario Superior Court justice has referenced systemic bias against black Canadians in reaching a sentence in the case of a young black man who pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm. But the practical implications of the decision are receiving a mixed reaction from legal experts, with some calling it transformative but another saying it is merely an example of a judge doing his job properly.

Legal responses miss the mark on human trafficking, exploitation
In her column, Karen Campbell writes “Despite significant investments and public attention, laws and policies to address trafficking have missed the mark on what trafficking is and why it’s a problem and, in many cases, have made women less safe.”

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