Criminal Justice Kamloops
On September 27, the Criminal Justice – Kamloops Section welcomed Tracy Kovacs to discuss restorative justice program in Kamloops and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Criminal Justice Nanaimo
On October 24, the Criminal Justice – Nanaimo Section welcomed Christine Bootsma, Assistant Deputy Warden for Programs at Nanaimo Correctional Centre, to discuss a new program to create a Right Living Community (“RLC”) unit at each of the correctional centres in BC. The RLC is modeled after the Guthrie Therapeutic Community at Nanaimo Correctional Centre, providing inmates (residents) selected for the program with “a positive peer culture environment, which encourages appropriate behaviour through reinforcement and accountability.” The goal of the RLC is to move away from the “jailhouse mentality” toward a community-based behaviour shaping model. Acting Deputy Warden Bootsma highlighted the primary values of the RLC and explained how this new model is providing residents with the tools to live prosocial lives upon re-entering the community. On November 28, the Section welcomed Randi Manz and Kirsten Bjermeland of the John Howard Society Restorative Justice Program. They outlined the programming options available for Restorative Justice in Nanaimo, in which accused persons must meet certain criteria before being admitted to the program: admit guilt, demonstrate remorse, consent to voluntary participation. Kirsten and Randi discussed in depth the intake interview that a client would go through if they were accepted to the Restorative Justice Program, and how restorative justice staff will carry out one of two processes in the program. Derek W. Jackson, Legal Research Counsel, presented on Ethics and Civility in the courtroom on December 11. He reviewed the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia provisions dealing with the responsibility of lawyers to their clients, other lawyers and the courts, as well as the distinction between conduct unbecoming a lawyer and professional misconduct. Derek also discussed the onus and standard of proof in Law Society hearings, and reviewed some key decisions, including the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Groia, where the respondent was successful in his appeal relating to allegations of professional misconduct.
Criminal Justice Vancouver
On September 26, the Criminal Justice – Vancouver Section welcomed The Honourable Judge Ellen Gordon, Provincial Court of British Columbia, Kaityln Chewka, Legal Counsel for the Constitutional & Administrative Law group of the Ministry of Attorney General, and Meghan Forhan, Defence Counsel with Mickelson & Whysall. The meeting included a summary and analysis of changes to the Criminal Code and Motor Vehicle Act, as well as the new regime included in the Cannabis Act. Both criminal law and administrative law topics were covered, including judicial reviews of Authority Determination Process decisions, implications for sentencing of marijuana-related offences, as well as anticipated changes to search and seizure law. On October 24 Peter Edelmann, Defence Counsel with Edelmann & Co. Law Offices, Joven Narwal, Defence Counsel with Narwal Litigation LLP, and Tony Paisana, Defence Counsel with Peck and Company Barristers, formed a panel to discuss criminal charges, discharges and convictions, and their respective consequences. The panel discussed, among other pivotal points, how a criminal charge or conviction can impact an accused’s immigration status; his or her ability to travel; and his or her ability to work in a professional setting. The panel also addressed emerging issues with British Columbia’s civil forfeiture regime. On November 21, Section members welcomed The Honourable Chief Judge Melissa Gillespie, Provincial Court of British Columbia, Ian Donaldson, QC, Donaldson’s, and Todd Gerhart, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, for a lengthy discussion with respect to emerging ethical issues, including the new legal framework following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Groia on civility in the courtroom.
Criminal Justice Victoria
Kicking off this term on September 26, the Criminal Justice – Victoria Section welcomed The Honourable David Eby, Attorney General of British Columbia, to speak on a variety of leading issues. He discussed legal aid funding, additional funding for Gladue reports, the review of legal aid provision in BC, tabling legislation to re-instate a Human Rights Commission, actualizing the challenges raised in the last Justice Summit regarding Indigenous justice, caps on personal injury damages, and the significance of money laundering in light Peter German’s report of money laundering in BC casinos. On October 24, Rod Garson, Deputy Director, Prosecution Support Unit joined Section members to discuss Bill C-46: Cannabis/Drug Impaired Driving. Rod gave a thorough background on the development of the legislation and summarized the main changes that will be implemented in the law. Following this substantive law presentation, the Section was pleased to have Peter Leask, QC and Chris Johnson, QC speak to us about the establishment of the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers (A.L.L.). Kimberly Henders Miller, Crown Counsel, BC Prosecution Service, and Dale Marshall, Defence Counsel, Marshall and Massey, presented on November 21 on matters of criminal law, and answered questions relating to ethical obligations of both Crown and Defence.
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