Tag Archives: Canada

Saudi Arabia/Canada: Two exceptional human rights defenders honoured by Law Society

February 23, 2017

Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas congratulates the recipients of the Law Society’s 2016 Human Rights Award: Cindy Blackstock, PhD (left), and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada Executive Director Gail Davidson (right), who accepted the award on behalf of human rights defender and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair, who has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since 2014 for his human rights activities. Dr. Blackstock and Abu al-Khair both received the award at a special ceremony in Toronto on February 22,  in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally. (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)

The Law Society of Upper Canada honoured two exceptional human rights advocates last night at Osgoode Hall.

Human rights defenders Waleed Abu al-Khair and Cindy Blackstock, PhD, were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally.

“We are extremely pleased to honour Dr. Blackstock and Mr. Abu al-Khair, both of whom have shown remarkable courage and conviction in their tireless efforts to promote human rights, said Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas at the evening ceremony. “Through Dr. Blackstock’s efforts to address systemic discrimination of First Nations children, she has made a significant and lasting contribution that will have a powerful impact on generations of First Nations children,” he said. “Mr. Abu al-Khair has sacrificed a great deal. In honouring him with the Law Society’s Human Rights Award, we say to him, and to others like him, your sacrifice does not go unrecognized,” said Treasurer Schabas.

Recipient Waleed Abu al-Khair, 37, has been arbitrarily imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since April 15, 2014. He is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist and is the founder of the organization the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. He has worked tirelessly to defend human rights and the rule of law for all — in the face of extreme adversity and at the cost of his own freedom. Gail Davidson, Executive Director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, accepted the award on his behalf.

“Waleed began practising law in 2007 and since then he has used the written and spoken word coupled with his legal knowledge, to fearlessly advocate for reforms to improve the lives of all in Saudi Arabia by calling on the government to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally protected rights such as rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to participate in public affairs. He has also advocated passionately for the equal rights of women and on behalf of prisoners of conscience,” Davidson said.



http://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/deux-defenseurs-exceptionnels-des-droits-de-la-personne-honores-par-le-barreau-614640034.html (FRANCAIS)

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Canada/Québec: L’insoutenable silence de la bâtonnière

le 21 février, 2017

Les avocats et notaires du Québec sont en grève depuis octobre dernier.

Si, aujourd’hui, j’ai décidé d’écrire et de m’exprimer publiquement sur le conflit interminable qui sévit entre le gouvernement du Québec et les juristes de l’État, c’est que je ne comprends pas le Barreau du Québec de demeurer à ce point inactif devant un conflit qui touche directement la sécurité et le mieux-être fondamental des citoyens du Québec, tout comme celui d’un groupe de juristes quand même restreint de quelque 1100 avocats et notaires, entièrement voués au service de l’État et de ses citoyennes et citoyens.

Pour avoir, pendant quelque 40 ans, cumulé des fonctions d’administrateur d’État, de juge administratif et de juriste de l’État, je ne peux faire autrement que d’être admiratif devant la détermination de ce groupe d’anciens collègues et d’amis, car, il faut bien le comprendre, ces juristes sont le trait d’union essentiel entre le citoyen et l’État.

Autant je déplore le manque de solidarité et l’apathie des organismes oeuvrant dans le secteur juridique, particulièrement le Barreau du Québec, autant je ne comprends pas le gouvernement de ne pas tout faire pour régler cette grève qui, virtuellement, paralyse depuis le 24 octobre 2016 les tribunaux administratifs, soit : l’aide aux bénéficiaires de l’aide sociale, aux accidentés du travail, aux victimes d’actes criminels et d’accidents de la route ainsi qu’aux bénéficiaires de la Régie des rentes.



Canada (Québec): Les avocats et notaires reprendront les négociations avec Québec

le 8 décembre, 2016

Les avocats et notaires de l'ANEQ sont en... (PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, archives LA PRESSE)

Les avocats et notaires de l’État québécois (ANEQ) qui sont en grève depuis plus de six semaines retourneront à la table de négociation avec le gouvernement du Québec lundi prochain.

L’association syndicale a annoncé la nouvelle jeudi soir, par voie de communiqué.

Les avocats et les notaires de la fonction publique et de l’Agence du revenu du Québec se livrent à un bras de fer contre le gouvernement québécois depuis le 24 octobre dernier.

Le principal point en litige entre les deux parties est la demande du syndicat de modifier en profondeur le régime de négociation qui concerne ses membres. Il veut obtenir un mécanisme d’arbitrage qui lierait les parties, et non plus un processus de médiation.

L’ANEQ regroupe quelque 1100 avocats et notaires, mais ils ne sont pas tous en grève puisqu’une partie d’entre eux doit continuer d’assurer les services essentiels.

Ces employés de l’État sont sans contrat de travail depuis le 31 mars 2015.



Canada: Case Against Man Accused In Shooting Of Prominent Toronto Lawyer Returns To Court

October 31, 2016

Case Against Man Accused In Shooting Of Prominent Toronto Lawyer Returns To Court

A Toronto man, with an extensive criminal history, is scheduled to appear in court Monday on an attempted murder charge, after a prominent lawyer was shot in the legs last month.

Grayson Delong, 51, was out on bail when J. Randall Barrs was struck by gunfire several times outside of his law office on Bedford Road, in the Bloor Street and Avenue Road area, in broad daylight.

DeLong was also injured on September 20. He had been under surveillance by Halton Regional Police at the time, and was shot by a plainclothes officer.

It’s expected he will appear on attempted murder, disguise with intent and 13 firearms-related charges via video-link.


Canada: Toronto criminal lawyer Randall Barrs shot in Annex in brazen daylight attack

September 21, 2016

Well-known Toronto criminal lawyer Randall Barrs, pictured here in 2004, was one of two men shot, legal sources say.

A Toronto criminal lawyer was shot in the leg by an unidentified man in the driveway of his Annex office Tuesday afternoon. Sources in the legal community confirmed he was Randall Barrs, 66.

His assailant, seated in a silver Honda Civic, was then himself shot by a Halton Regional Police plainclothes officer doing surveillance in the area, according to Special Investigations Unit spokesperson Jason Gennaro. It’s not clear why the surveillance was being done.

The SIU, which probes cases of serious injury or death involving interactions with police, was called to the scene on Bedford Rd. near Prince Arthur Ave. at about 3:30 p.m., after the incident ended with both men being taken to a trauma centre in serious condition. It has designated one subject officer and four witness officers in its investigation of the shots fired by the Halton officers.

Toronto police are conducting the investigation of the shooting of Barrs. The alleged shooter, 51, remained in serious condition Tuesday night. Police did not identify him, nor confirm whether he was known to police.

Criminal defence lawyer Clayton Ruby described Barrs as a very well-respected lawyer who has argued before the Supreme Court of Canada and represented clients in many drug and gun cases.

Criminal lawyers are very rarely attacked,” he says. One of the few times it has happened, he recalls, was when a well-known Montreal mafia lawyer Sidney Leithman was shot and killed 25 years ago, murdered by gunmen in an SUV as he sat in his car at a red light.





Canada: Woman held under Mental Health Act launches court challenge for legal aid lawyer

August 15, 2016

file photo

A B.C. woman detained against her will under the Mental Health Act has filed a legal challenge to get the government to provide her with a legal-aid lawyer.

The 39-year-old woman, identified only as Z.B., is challenging her doctor’s decision to keep her in a hospital psychiatric ward in a mental health review panel hearing scheduled for Aug. 23.

Z.B. is homeless and receives CPP disability payments of $500 a month. She qualifies for legal aid representation, yet her request for a lawyer was denied because the Community Legal Assistance Society, the organization contracted by the Legal Services Society to provide mental health legal aid in the province, did not have the funding to provide her with a lawyer.

“The government has detained her against her will, and she has the right to a fair hearing,” said lead counsel Mark Underhill, who was retained by the B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre to represent Z.B. “In her case, there is no serious question that she requires legal representation to have any chance at a fair hearing.”

Woman held under Mental Health Act launches court challenge for legal aid lawyer



B.C. agrees to fund lawyer for mentally ill woman held in hospital

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/regions/colombie-britannique/2016/08/15/003-hospitalisation-contre-volonte-avocat-aide-juridique.shtml (FRANCAIS)

Canada: Quebec attacks on lawyers “shocking,” says Roots Gadhia

Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia says she’s shocked at the news of a third attack on Quebec criminal defence lawyers. Read Story

“For years Quebec has been well ahead of other provinces in prosecuting mega-trials and trials specificifically connected to organized crime,” she notes. “These trials take on lives of their own. In most cases they have a police informant or agents who are paid by the police to infiltrate these organizations. In addition, these cases have always gone hand-in-hand with years of surveillance and wiretaps; some of it quite damning,” says Gadhia.

“The information that is then disseminated to the defence lawyers for the proper representation of their clients is rife with details on double-crossings and outright betrayals, but it boggles my mind that a lawyer would get hurt by this. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”


See also: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/assault-on-lawyer-shocks-quebecs-legal-community/article2227437/