Bench Press 38-5: Habeas Corpus in Modern Times

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled unanimously in favour of a federal penitentiary prisoner who challenged a prison warden’s decision to transfer him from medium to maximum security. Gurkipal Khela used the ancient writ of Habeas Corpus: the right to go before a court to challenge his or her detention.  The Supreme Court stated […]

Bench Press 38-5: Shakespeare in Court

An Ottawa judge quoted Shakespeare when sentencing a 69-year-old sex offender recently.  The offender had assaulted his neighbour in her home after taking her out for a birthday dinner.  The Judge referenced Act 1 Scene VII of MacBeth: “He’s here in double trust. First, I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the […]

Bench Press 38-5: Some Bones to Pick

Poor Richard III!  Shakespeare’s play portrays him as a villain and a murderer. Killed in battle 500 years ago, his remains were discovered in 2012 under a parking lot in Leister, England.  Another battle ensued about where to bury him. The Government had granted a burial license to the City of Leister, which planned to […]

Bench Press 38-5: Justice is Blind

The Alberta Court of Appeal recently faced an interesting dilemma when pondering how to sentence a legally blind man.  The accused had been found guilty of sexual assault. He was legally blind and had used a guide dog since he was 17.  The trial judge feared for his safety in prison and worried that time […]

Bench Press 38-5: Balancing Work and Family

Fiona Johnstone began a long odyssey through Canadian courts when she encountered difficulties in finding childcare for her two toddlers so that she could continue to work for Canada Border Services. A childcare expert testified that Ms Johnstone faced a very difficult work environment: different shifts at different times and different days including weekends, overtime, […]

Bench Press 38-4: Cabinet Ministers Breaking the Law

Several environmental groups took the federal ministers of oceans and fisheries and the environment to Federal Court seeking a declaration that they must act to protect endangered species. Madame Justice Anne McTavish granted them the declaration they sought.  She noted that the Species at Risk Act requires the ministers to publish a proposed recovery strategy, […]

Calling all Contributors! Write for LawNow Magazine!

LawNow is looking for volunteer contributors. If you share our enthusiasm and commitment to public legal education, consider writing on one of the topics in our Call for Contributors: Vol 39, or contact us with your own suggestions for themes, special reports, and columns. Topics outlined in the Call for Contributors include: Family Law Vulnerable Youth New […]

Bench Press 38-4: Vampire Slayer Victim of a “cruel and unforgiving illness.”

Glen Race murdered two Halifax men in 2007.  He pled guilty to both charges and then made an application to be found not criminally responsible (NCR).  Mr. Justice Kevin Coady of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia reviewed the law and the legal requirements for a convicted person to be found not criminally responsible. He […]

Bench Press 38-4: “Ski Buddy” Liability

Mark Kennedy of Colorado died on a heli-skiing expedition when he fell into a tree well.  His widow claimed that he had been paired with a “ski-buddy” who was contractually obliged to stay close to him, keep him in sight and assist or alert guides and other skiers if he saw that his buddy needed […]

Bench Press 38-4: Alberta Statutes in English Only

Gilles Caron, of Edmonton, was issued a traffic ticket in 2003.  Mr. Caron, whose first language is French, fought the ticket, arguing that the ticket, Alberta statutes and his court hearing should all be available in French. A provincial court judge dismissed the ticket charge, finding that the statute was inoperative because the province of […]