Richard J. Scott Award nominations due Friday, September 27, 2019.

The award honours former Chief Justice Richard Scott, who served as Manitoba’s Chief Justice for over 20 years and is a Past President of the Law Society of Manitoba.

The Richard J. Scott Award is presented annually by the Law Society of Manitoba to an individual who advances the rule of law through advocacy, litigation, teaching, research or writing. Activities that support an independent judiciary, an independent legal profession, access to legal services, access to justice, and public interest advocacy are all eligible.

Past recipients include:
Byron Williams (2013)
Irene Hamilton, Q.C. (2014)
Allan Fineblit, Q.C. (2015)
Jeff Hirsch (2016)
John Myers (2017)
Karen Dyck (2018)

The award is presented in conjunction with the annual Isaac Pitblado Lectures which take place on November 8, 2019.

The deadline for nominations is September 27, 2019.

Nominations can be sent to:

Chief Executive Officer
The Law Society of Manitoba
200 – 260 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0M6
or
by e-mail to Pat Bourbonnais
at pbourbonnais@lawsociety.mb.ca.

Nominations should be accompanied by the nominee’s c.v. and an explanation as to why the nominee deserves this award.

For more information, contact Kris Dangerfield at 204-926-2013 or by e-mail at kdangerfield@lawsociety.mb.ca.

Notice from the Provincial Court of Manitoba

There is a general presumption, based on principles of access to justice, matters will be heard in the community in which the incident is alleged to have occurred. It is in the public interest to have matters heard in the community or the closest judicial centre so that members of the affected community can participate fully in the proceedings and see that justice is done.

There may be extenuating circumstances where the above principles should not apply. If that is the case and counsel are seeking to have any matter heard in a judicial centre other than the judicial centre closest to where the incident is alleged to have occurred, counsel shall bring an application before the presiding judge, in the originating judicial centre in which the incident is alleged to have occurred, requesting the matter be transferred to another judicial court centre.

This protocol applies to all jurisdictions and all matters and is effective immediately.

The original signed by Chief Judge Margaret Wiebe on July 25, 2019.

Gladue Reports Database Update

Way back in May 2018, I wrote about a project out of Saskatchewan to create a database for researching Gladue principles. This resource was going to operate under a subscription model, but has just received funding to make it open access. Content is from Saskatchewan, however, researchers in other jurisdictions will likely find it a useful starting point. It would be even better if other jurisdictions found a way to add on to it.

For now, congratulations to the Law Society of Saskatchewan, Legal Aid Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing for having the foresight to develop and fund this resource.

H/t to The Lawyers’ Daily: Creators of novel Gladue database hope it becomes widely used after free access

Summer Rerun – Charterpedia

Summer vacations cut into staff available to write original posts. Over the next few months we’ll be rerunning posts we think you should be reminded of. Enjoy!

The law librarian world is geeking out today over Charterpedia, the federal government’s compilation of analysis and caselaw on the Canadian Charter. It’s like a crowd-sourced annotated Charter, for free!

This Charterpedia provides legal information about the Charter and contains information about the purpose of each section of the Charter, the analysis or test developed through case law in respect of the section, and any particular considerations related to it. Each Charterpedia entry cites relevant case law, and citations to Supreme Court of Canada decisions are hyperlinked whenever possible.

If you don’t have access to a paid annotated Charter product (or even if you do), I’d highly recommend starting with this.

(Originally published Dec 15, 2017)

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.