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Year: 2015

Sexual assault law & evidence

A few weeks ago, a judgement from Alberta made the news because of some comments made by a judge in a sexual trial. In the case of R v. Wagar, Justice Camp, who later sat on the Federal Court, made remarks to the complainant asking why she "couldn't just keep her...

Lockdown on rights: why jail lockdowns matter

The Citizen recently published this article, outlining how the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) on Innes Rd has been affected by a rising number of lockdowns. During a lockdown, inmates are kept in their cells and visits with family or lawyers are limited. The...

Election promises: criminals vs victims

With the federal election only days away, I had lofty aspirations of providing a concise overview of the parties' platforms with respect to the criminal justice system. However, the campaign has not touched on these issues very much, and it is only the Conservatives...

Truth, reconciliation and sentencing

This week I found myself sitting across from a client at the cellblock in the courthouse, preparing for a guilty plea. He is Inuit, having lived in Ottawa for over a decade. He has long criminal record, mostly made up of petty thefts and breaches of probation. He has...

High School Confidential

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking to two law classes at Canterbury High School. I always like speaking to classes, seeing what kind of things they are curious about and what kind of questions they'll ask. In this instance, we got into some interesting...

Demystifying criminal law

The more I talk to friends and family about my work, the more I've realized that there is a big gap in terms of what the general public knows and understands about how our criminal courts work. While we see stories in the news about crime in our community, or the...

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