Do you know your rights as a Canadian citizen?


Niflmir
#31
I think this thread was a really good idea.

However, I think the idea of the thread has been derailed by a bashing of our criminal justice system. Am I the only average citizen here (as in, not a legal expert) that actually takes the time to read court cases and understand the workings of our justice system?

It is easy to get information about court proceedings, it is even your right to be able to do so. Here are some links:
Justice Canada (contains all of our laws): www.justice.gc.ca/en/ (external - login to view)
Supreme court of Canada: www.scc-csc.gc.ca/ (external - login to view)
BC courts: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/
Alberta: http://www.justice.gov.ab.ca/home/
Saskatchewan: www.sasklawcourts.ca/default.asp?pg=ca_about (external - login to view)
Manitoba: www.manitobacourts.mb.ca/ (external - login to view)
Ontario: www.ontariocourts.on.ca/ocj.htm (external - login to view)
Quebec(English version): www.tribunaux.qc.ca/mjq_en/c-.../index-cq.html (external - login to view)
New Brunswick: www.gnb.ca/cour/index-e.asp (external - login to view)
Nova Scotia: www.courts.ns.ca/ (external - login to view)
Prince Edward Island: http://www.gov.pe.ca/courts/
Newfoundland and Labrador: www.court.nl.ca/ (external - login to view)
Yukon: http://www.justice.gov.yk.ca/prog/cs/
Northwest Territory: www.nwtcourts.ca/ (external - login to view)
Nunavut: www.nucj.ca/index.htm (external - login to view)

There are equivelent sites where you can read about the decisions in the Youth Courts of Justice, only the names are protected. Wherever you are in Canada, you can easily find out about the cases near you and it is a lot more difficult to get off a crime than people seem to think.

Everything can be accessed through: www.canlii.org/ (external - login to view)
Last edited by Niflmir; Mar 16th, 2007 at 07:56 AM..Reason: Added link to Canadian Legal Information Institute
 
tamarin
#32
Nif, interesting links! I shall take you up on your dare. I am looking for the specifics on specific local cases. Some mundane, others not. I want to see if I can quickly access those specific ones. I'll report back later. I hope you're not wasting my time and offering a general overview site!
 
Niflmir
#33
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Nif, interesting links! I shall take you up on your dare. I am looking for the specifics on specific local cases. Some mundane, others not. I want to see if I can quickly access those specific ones. I'll report back later. I hope you're not wasting my time and offering a general overview site!

I don't know how "quickly" you will be able to do it... but I think you should be able to beat 6-8 weeks that the government would give you.

If you know the case number you should be able to enter that in CanLII. Other than that, their search engine seems overly complicated. I generally just go searching for stuff to establish precendence, since I generally need to know how to interpret such and such a section of Legalese.
 
Tonington
#34
Nice links Nif. I thought of adding some other laws specific to what happens on the forums like the hate crime proliferation and what not.

Another site people might find interesting and eye opening is Stats Canada. I don't find it overly difficult to find what I'm looking for and they do a first rate job at collecting and analyzing the relevant data. Really a national treasure I think.
 
tamarin
#35
Nif, I've just returned home and given your search a try. I'm not impressed. You're wasting my time. Under Divisional Court for Ontario only 1079 decisions are logged. The database is way way behind. The ability to find anything of local importance and find it quickly simply isn't there.
The court system is in crisis. We don't have the Justices of the Peace nor courtroom time to handle the deluge. Most charges in Ontario are dropped. We need transparency in the justice system. Not a site that basically references key judgments or case studies. A system to monitor all cases in the province could easily be set up and give privacy its due where warranted. If there's a grow-op busted I should be able to easily access info on the case. If teens have smashed public property I should be able to see how the case was completed. As it stands now we're all in the dark. Charges come constantly in the paper and only a few ever surface again as court decisions. We're entitled to know if the system is working or not. The easiest way is to do it is as I said. Treat each case like an eBay sale. There's not an item of the millions on eBay that can't be accessed in seconds if you know its number. Justice should be as easily accessed and understood. Too much is swept under the carpet in this country and it's allowed to happen because we don't have access to essential and specific information.
 
Niflmir
#36
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Nif, I've just returned home and given your search a try. I'm not impressed. You're wasting my time. Under Divisional Court for Ontario only 1079 decisions are logged. The database is way way behind. The ability to find anything of local importance and find it quickly simply isn't there.
The court system is in crisis. We don't have the Justices of the Peace nor courtroom time to handle the deluge. Most charges in Ontario are dropped. We need transparency in the justice system. Not a site that basically references key judgments or case studies. A system to monitor all cases in the province could easily be set up and give privacy its due where warranted. If there's a grow-op busted I should be able to easily access info on the case. If teens have smashed public property I should be able to see how the case was completed. As it stands now we're all in the dark. Charges come constantly in the paper and only a few ever surface again as court decisions. We're entitled to know if the system is working or not. The easiest way is to do it is as I said. Treat each case like an eBay sale. There's not an item of the millions on eBay that can't be accessed in seconds if you know its number. Justice should be as easily accessed and understood. Too much is swept under the carpet in this country and it's allowed to happen because we don't have access to essential and specific information.

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
I am hardly wasting your time. It is simply erroneous to think that every trivial aspect of criminal conduct will make it into the court. There are better avenues for the rehabilitation of first time offenders who suffer a lapse of judgement than sending them to court. These cases will never be made available to the public for the protection of the people involved, as well as guilty pleas to offences. I sent you those links so that you could read and understand our justice system based on actual experience, as it stands now you seem to base your opinions on common errors and biases.

A system to monitor all rulings should never be set up. The primary aim of our justice system is rehabilitation and such a system would be inhibitory. If the details of the case in question are severe enough that it goes to court it is assigned a unique label, you can look up cases easily based on this number, but you are never made aware of these details by the media. I don't know why they never give these details.

Again, I offered to help you if you had trouble. If you are willing to share the details of the cases that you are interested in, I can help you find information about them. If they are fairly recent, it is quite probable it has not even been ruled on yet, if it has even been heard yet. You would need to tell me dates and enough information for me to determine which laws would have been broken. However, as it stands now you just seem to want to bash the court system. You talk about a deluge which I assume stems from your awareness of a long wait time for some cases to come before court, but those wait times have more to do with providing applicants and respondents with time to prepare than with a lack of staff. The papers are always quick to trump up charges and will even lay blame, even in situations where the police don't have a suspect. This is why it is so important that juries never read media articles related to the case they are sitting on.

All of this just goes to show that Tonington's point is an excellent one. People do not understand enough about how their country works. They assume that if something doesn't work the way they think it should, it means it is broken. The crime rate has fallen since its peak in 1991, yet due to media glamorization, people are thoroughly convinced it is higher than ever. Because of this, there are many people who want to arbitrarily degrade certain human beings and give more power to the police institution when there are plenty of organizations that know better and advocate for the reverse using actual information.
 
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