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In Black Action Defence Committee and Urban Alliance on Race Relations v. Huxter, Coroner, [1992] O.J. No. 2741, the Ontario Divisional Court overturned the decision of the coroner to deny standing to the Urban Alliance on Race Relations for Metropolitan Toronto. The court held that a coroner must have regard to the preventative role of an inquest (in this case, the Lester Donaldson inquest) and its role in allaying public concerns. The Alliance had a “unique expertise” in cross-cultural sen...

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In the case of R. v. Brown, the accused was a young black man and a professional basketball player. He was stopped by a police officer while driving an expensive motor vehicle. The officer claimed that he stopped the accused because the accused was speeding, but there was evidence that called this claim into question. The defence claimed that the accused was stopped because the police had racially profiled him. The court held that a racial profiling claim could rarely be proven by direct evidenc...

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The subject of Gnanasegaram v. Allianz Insurance Co. of Canada was an appeal from a lower court decision where the trial judge ruled that the plaintiff could only raise issues of discriminatory conduct against the plaintiff and not issues of systemic racism by the employer. The Court of Appeal held that for the purposes of pleading discriminatory conduct as a basis for a wrongful dismissal claim, there was no principled basis for distinguishing between allegations of direct discrimination aimed...

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In the case of R. v. Williams, the accused, an Aboriginal man, pleaded not guilty to a robbery charge and elected a trial by judge and jury. The trial judge at the first trial allowed questions to be put to potential jurors but the Crown successfully applied for a mistrial on the basis of procedural errors and the “unfortunate publicity” of the jury selection process. At the second trial, the judge who heard the accused’s motion for an order permitting him to challenge jurors f...

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Manish Odhavji was fatally shot by police officers. The Special Investigation Unit (“S.I.U.”) began an investigation. The police officers involved in the incident did not comply with S.I.U. requests that they remain segregated, that they attend interviews on the same day as the shooting, and that they provide shift notes, on-duty clothing, and blood samples in a timely manner. The Supreme Court found that the failure of a public officer to perform a statutory duty can constitute misf...

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Hill v. Hamilton Wentworth Police is the seminal case on the tort of negligent investigation in Canada. The plaintiff was investigated by the police, arrested, tried, wrongfully convicted, and ultimately acquitted after spending more than 20 months in jail for a crime he did not commit. The Supreme Court of Canada found that the police are not immune from liability under the law of negligence and the tort of negligent investigation exists in Canada. Police officers owe a duty of care to suspect...

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This case is the first discipline prosecution of commissioned officers in the history of the O.P.P. Lawyers Julian Falconer and Asha James of Falconers LLP represented MacDonald and Jevons, who maintained their innocence throughout. During the middle of a contentious cross-examination of O.P.P. Commissioner Juilian Fantino by Mr. Falconer, the Commissioner brought a judicial review application on the grounds of a reasonable apprehension of bias against the adjudicator. The application was dismi...

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Julian Falconer of Falconers LLP represented the Schaeffer and Minty families in an Application against police officers involved in the death of their family members. The Application sought judicial interpretation of various provisions of the Police Services Act to determine whether the conduct of the involved police officers was consistent with the Police Services Act and the regulations passed pursuant to the Act. The Notice of Appeal from the ruling of the Divisional Court was filed with the ...

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Nishnawbe Aski Nation became concerned about the way in which the jury roll had been constituted as a result of information disclosed in the fall of 2008 at an inquest in Kenora. The information obtained in the inquest indicated that Indian and Northern Affairs Canada had ceased providing band electoral lists to the provincial jury centre in 2000 and, as a result, First Nations people were significantly underrepresented in the Kenora jury roll. During the Inquest into the death of Reggie Bushie,...

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Iacobucci Jury Roll Review On August 11, 2011, the Ontario Government announced that an independent review would be conducted into the issue of First Nations Reserve community members’ exclusion from jury rolls in Ontario.  Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Justice Frank Iacobucci, was appointed to conduct a systemic review by reporting on past practices, and to make recommendations to enhance representation of First Nations in the justice system. His report was re...

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