All posts filed under: Public law

Quebec inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people calls for changes to justice system

It will take a healthy dose of political will, huge investments and nearly a generation for the Quebec government to implement the wide-ranging recommendations an inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people made to the province’s justice and correctional systems, according to legal experts.

Quebec expanding pilot program to prevent addicts convicted of crimes from reoffending

A pilot program that began six years ago to help Montreal alcoholics and drug addicts convicted of crimes from reoffending will be expanded across the province, announced Quebec Minister of Justice Stephanie Vallée.

Why it matters: The program, offered initially only to detainees while their cases were pending, will now be expanded to include people who are not detained while charged with a crime.

Quebec Bar and Ombudsman want to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault

The Quebec Bar and the Quebec Ombudsman wants to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault to gain access to the legal system and are calling on the provincial government to follow in the footsteps of the overwhelming majority of Canadian provinces and eliminate the prescription period for civil actions in cases of sexual assault.

Why it matters: “It is necessary to make restorative justice accessible which means ensuring that victims of sexual assault can exercise their rights in all confidence and liberty and in the simplest manner possible.”

Red zones violate rights of marginalized people, study says

“Red zones ” or “no-go” orders, conditions of release imposed by police or the courts in bail or probation orders that prohibit an individual from entering or being found within a specific place or area, have become increasingly pervasive but are costly, ineffective and violate people’s rights, concludes a new study.

Why it matters: “Legal actors are pursuing legitimate objectives such as preventing crime and trying to promote social reintegration of offenders in the case of probation orders,” said Marie-Eve Sylvestre, the report's lead researcher and a law professor at the University of Ottawa. “But they are unaware of how inefficient the system is and how little it achieves its objectives in terms of preventing crime.”

Free legal advice provided this weekend by Young Bar of Montreal

The Young Bar of Montreal will provide free legal advice by telephone this weekend. Volunteer lawyers and notaries will be available to answer questions on a wide range of subjects, from consumer to family law to labour to the management of estates.

People can call the hotline at 1 844-779-6232 on Saturday, October 14th and Sunday, October 15th from 9:00 to 16:30.

“The Clinic is an efficient and accessible service for all that allows us to respond to the growing needs of the community when it comes to justice,” said Sophia Rossi, president of the Young Bar of Montreal, adding that she hopes to offer this service more frequently. The Bar has 5,000 members, composed of lawyers with ten years and less of practice.

The 29th edition of the “Legal Helpline” is an initiative conducted in partnership with the Barreau du Québec and the Centre d’accès à l’information Juridique (CAIJ).

“The activity, which is very much appreciated by our fellow Quebeckers, provides access to justice and, year after year, has proven to be an event not to be missed,” said Paul-Matthieu Grondin, president of the Québec Bar.

Ottawa given until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act

The federal government dodged a potential crisis that would have halted Indian status registrations after the Quebec Court of Appeal begrudgingly gave Ottawa until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act and complete a bill that has been held up by the Senate.

In a ruling that marks the first time a Canadian appellate court has been called upon to decide whether or not to extend yet again the suspension of a judicial declaration of constitutional invalidity of a legislative provision, the Quebec appeal court scolded the federal government for the “unacceptable delays” and the absence of administrative measures that would have mitigated the discrimination.

“There are limits as to how long suspensions of declarations of constitutional invalidity may last,” said Justice Robert Mainville in a 20-page ruling in AG Canada c. Descheneaux, 2017 QCCA 1238. Justices Marie-Josée Hogue and Patrick Healy concurred with the August 18th decision.