Focus On



Wednesday, April 29, 2020 @ 11:26 AM

Examining ‘irreplaceability’ of courtroom advocacy, testimony | David W.L. Wu

Many in the legal community have for years advocated for the increased use of electronic technologies in courtroom proceedings. The hesitancy of the courts in Canada to adopt and make routine use of basic technologies such as e-filings and video/teleconferencing is, frankly, baffling to many. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 @ 11:06 AM

COVID & Cobain: coronavirus in jail | Jeffrey Hartman

I sat on a bench in Seattle a few winters ago. It was cold, rainy and perfect because Kurt Cobain lived and died next door. He was an antihero with no patience for lies and games. I started writing when I heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” recently. Kurt’s lyrics are distinguished below.   ... [read more]

Monday, April 27, 2020 @ 1:36 PM

Coming out of the Stone Age | Michael Lesage

Since being forced to close last month, the Ontario court system has made great strides. No longer only operating under an effective “weekend/holiday” schedule, it is now able to handle certain unopposed motions in writing and even emergency motions via Zoom and other videoconferencing technology. While still not accessible to the majority of the public nor able to handle everyday disputes, it appears to be moving in the right direction. ... [read more]

Monday, April 27, 2020 @ 8:41 AM

Wellness: My post-COVID hopes for the profession | Darryl Singer

Our profession has and will continue to suffer as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. From small boutique firms to large national firms, many have been forced to lay off staff, take on additional debt and forgo partner draws. Solo practitioners, particularly those whose income is dependent on Legal Aid or working clientele and a fully operational court system, have had much of their work dry up. ... [read more]

Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 2:25 PM

League of heroes, revisited | Marcel Strigberger

“Love levels all ranks” uttered Sir Joseph Porter in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore. He made that remark while courting the daughter of the good ship’s captain, whose station in British society was way south of his own. Given the current COVID-19 situation, I will say a good pandemic levels all ranks. We have new heroes on the block. ... [read more]

Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 11:53 AM

We can’t police our way out of pandemic | Kyla Lee

In British Columbia, measures have been put in place, as they have across the country, to flatten the curve in the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 8:44 AM

The Charter, freedom and a drugstore | Brian Bird and Derek Ross

Last Friday, April 17, was the 38th birthday of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter’s adoption in 1982 was a transformative moment for Canada. In that regard, another important anniversary occurs Friday April 24 — the 35th birthday of R v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295 the first decision of the court to interpret one of the Charter’s “fundamental freedoms.” ... [read more]

Thursday, April 23, 2020 @ 8:27 AM

Under cover of COVID-19, rule of law falters | Pamela Palmater

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, Indigenous peoples and allies were engaged in nationwide solidarity actions in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, its traditional leaders and clan members. Their actions were in response to RCMP removing Wet’suwet’en peoples from their homes to allow construction of Coastal Gaslink pipeline on their territory without their consent. Solidarity actions included peaceful occupations of railways, ports, bridges, highways, legislatures and minister’s offices supporting Wet’suwet’en calls for RCMP and Coastal Gaslink off Wet’suwet’en lands. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 1:14 PM

How to sentence during pandemic | Laurelly Dale

Generally, people don’t sign up to go to jail. Sentencing is not an optional exercise. Society has made peace with the basic punishments of prison life: deprivation of liberty, personal security, goods, privacy. COVID-19 has skipped the line. The virus has added to the list of punishments without going through the proper channels (i.e. the legislature). ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 1:04 PM

Lawyers of the future: Virtual mooting in COVID-19 era | Sigma Samanta Khan

Whether a law student is an eager litigator-to-be or a shy public speaker breaking out of their shell, mooting is a traditional and universal rite of passage for all law students, and practising lawyers often fondly reminisce about their law school mooting experiences. ... [read more]