Accessibility in Sentencing

As I’ve mentioned before, I read “What’s hot on CanLII” every week to find out what decisions a significant number of viewers found interesting. Sometimes, I make surreptitious finds that I like to share with you.

This week, the number 2 case was R. v. Morris, 2018 ONSC 5186. What was so significant about this case? It was written reasons for sentencing, provided by Nakatsuru, J. The importance of the decision is the language and the writing. Justice Nakatsuru wrote as if he was speaking directly to the offender. He used short sentences, plain English, and he explained every detail of how he came up with his decision and why he chose to accept some evidence even though the Crown objected.

This is not the first time Justice Nakatsuru has written in this manner. In R. v. Armitage, 2015 ONCJ 64, a decision of the Gladue court in Toronto, he also wrote directly to the offender.

I find this approach incredibly heartening. To me, it shows that justice is listening to offenders and not only taking into account their background, but explaining it to them so they can understand. In a law library like we have, we’re surrounded by works that require significant literacy skills to understand. Thank you to J. Nakatsuru for considering his audience while writing his decision.

Law in the Library

Law in the Library is a free program offered by the Winnipeg Public Library in conjunction with the Community Legal Education Association. This program offers free sessions on various areas of law, presented by professionals.

Registration through the Winnipeg Public Library is required.

The upcoming sessions are:

Small Business and the Law

Thursday, September 13: 6:30- 8 pm.  Register

ABCs of First-Time Home Buying

Tuesday, October 2: 6:30-8 pm.  Register

Wills

Monday, October 15: 6:30 – 8pm.  Register

Criminal Law: What are Your Rights?

Tuesday, October 30: 12 – 1 pm.  Register

Healthcare Directives and Powers of Attorney

Thursday, November 1: 6:30-8 pm. Register

How to Start a Business

Monday, November 5: 5:30-7:30 pm. Register

 

New Book Display: Immigration

This week in the library we’ve created a display around our most relevant immigration resources. Most of these are online resources that you can access in the library, or behind the Law Society Member’s Portal.

Books

Online Resources

DesLibris:

Quicklaw:

If you’re looking to take out any of these books (48 hour loan period), or need help accessing these materials online, contact staff and we will be happy to help.

“Modernizing Our Family Law System” – Report

The Manitoba government has just released a report titled Modernizing Our Family Law System, by Manitoba’s Family Law Reform Committee. The 10 page report, followed by 4 pages of appendices, is written in plain English, befitting the audience it is intended for. The Committee suggests a three year pilot project.

Our model would by legislation, require all matters proceeding
under the Family Maintenance Act to be commenced by
an application form which would be simple enough that an
individual could complete it with or without the assistance
of a lawyer.

...

While restricting this pilot project to Family Maintenance Act
matters will significantly limit the scope of this initiative, we
believe there will be a large volume of matters, sufficient to
test the effectiveness of this approach during the pilot phase.

The Committee was formed in the fall of 2017, and completed their report in record time, as mandated by Justice Minister Stefanson.

As many studies have noted, the adversarial court system does not work well for family law matters. Families must continue to work together after divorce and custody issues are taken care of. We will be watching for the government to introduce legislation to enable this project, and keep you informed when it has been released.

News Release: Family Law Modernization Report Recommends Innovative Pilot Project to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families

Both ‘opportunity’ and loss for lawyers in revamp of Manitoba family law

New Book Display: Wills

On June 18th the Winnipeg Public Library in conjunction with Community Legal Education Association is hosting a free session on Wills at the Windsor Park branch.

Lawyer Marvin Giesbrecht, of St. Mary’s Law LLP  will be speaking about what a will is, what it does, and what to include in your will.

Registration is required. For more information click HERE.

In keeping with this theme, we have created a display of relevant titles available here in the library.

Titles are:

If you’re looking to take out any of these books, please see a staff member. (48 hour loan period).