So much for fundamentals

A “senior federal official” describes the new anti-terrorism legislation in a nutshell: “We remove the right to silence.”
Source: The Globe and Mail

Necessary kidnappings

Remember when the Supreme Court narrowly defined the defence of necessity in the Robert Latimer case last year? Something about an “air of reality” to the imminent harm, judged objectively? Justice James Donnelly of the Ontario Superior Court may have missed that. The result is last month’s acquittal of Carline Vandenelson, a Stratford mother who admitted to abducting her children from their father because the courts limited her access. Ms. Vandenelson claimed necessity on the grounds that she believed being deprived of their mother would cause her children irreparable harm. In leaving the defence to the jury, Justice Donnely stated:

“Ms. Vandenelsen acted in developing circumstances and a swirl of powerful emotions… She was involved in a high-stakes contest. At issue was a precious asset, the formative years and the welfare of her children.”

So, it may be objectively necessary to ignore court rulings?
Source: The Globe and Mail, The National Post

I’d confess too

Canadian police are worried that suspects will figure out their methods now that the Supreme Court, in R. v. Mentuck, has refused to uphold publication bans of undercover tactics. Here’s how they got a confession in this case, as outlined by Iacobucci J.

“Following the first trial, the respondent was targeted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in an undercover operation code-named Operation Decisive. The undercover operation followed a pattern commonly employed by Canadian police. The respondent was invited by undercover officers to join a fictitious criminal organization. He was then asked to undertake certain tasks, the claimed importance of which was increased over time. The tasks included counting large sums of money and delivering parcels. The respondent was then told to be honest about his involvement in the murder of Amanda Cook. When he denied involvement, he was told that the “Boss” of the organization was angry with the person who had recruited the respondent as the respondent was a liar. The respondent was again encouraged to discuss the murder honestly. He was told that the criminal organization would arrange for a person dying of cancer to confess to the crime, and thereafter would provide assistance to the respondent in suing the government for wrongful imprisonment.”
Source: R. v. Mentuck








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