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Fostering links with the general public: a role for civil society

By: Samantha Backman

On a soft August evening, I gathered with my coworkers from BCNL to attend the launch of an art exhibition in the Crystal Garden, a lush green oasis in the heart of Sofia. The sun’s rays permeated the cover of the park’s majestic trees to illuminate an array of boards depicting striking photographs, vibrant illustrations, and thought-provoking texts. This was an exhibit with a particularly special mandate – to portray “socially-engaged” art.

With funding from the Sofia Municipality and in partnership with the Center for Non-Formal Education and Cultural Activity (ALOS), BCNL organized a contest through which young people were to engage with the topic of civil rights and freedoms via photography, visual arts, and writing. The competition had a particular focus on freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech. The goal of this “Civil Alarm Clock” initiative was to develop the participants’ sense of civic culture and to stimulate their interest in human rights.

The award-winning works on display in the Crystal Garden evidenced a profound personal connection to a variety of themes, from environmental protection to “fake news.” In casting my eyes over the pieces, I was moved by the palpable commitment of these young artists to the defence of civil rights. They had mobilized art as a vessel to express their passion, their outrage, their determination.

This unique initiative has prompted me to reflect upon the importance of public outreach for civil society organizations. I am fascinated by BCNL’s mandate to foster connections with the general public in order to promote civil society and human rights on a societal level. Including everyday people in a dialogue about human rights seems perfectly in line with the grassroots, bottom-up orientation of civil society organizations. Moreover, I would like to believe that these kinds of efforts cultivate active citizenship and a sense of “community.” The exercise of thinking about what it means to have rights and what it is at stake when rights are trampled upon or lost undoubtedly makes us more sensitized to the world around us, with all of its injustice. If we can get people to “care” about human rights, then do we not have a greater chance of creating a more just and equal world? If people are awakened to the host of human rights issues around them, perhaps we can stem the tide of apathy towards the infringement of rights.

As I conduct my research on disability rights during my internship, I have come to see that there is a critical need for public outreach in this field. I have come to understand that securing legal reforms in the area of legal capacity and supported decision-making is only the first step towards ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality before the law in practice. Next, a broader cultural shift is required in terms of the ways in which persons with disabilities are viewed by their communities. Indeed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has called upon states to raise awareness about the abilities and rights of persons with disabilities, and to dismantle stereotypes and negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities.[1] The Special Rapporteur affirms that “persons with disabilities must not be seen as objects of care, but rather as rights holders in the same way as every member of society.”[2]

How exactly are states to engage with the public to raise awareness about disability rights and combat prejudice against persons with disabilities? This is certainly not a straightforward question. Nevertheless, civil society organizations may provide crucial assistance in carrying out public outreach initiatives, as they can lead sensitization efforts on a local scale. Firmly embedded in their communities, civil society organizations like BCNL are singularly well-positioned to broadly spread awareness of social issues and to build bridges between people and groups so that we may ultimately peel back stereotypes and secure equal rights on the ground.

[1] Catalina Devandas Aguilar, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities (theme: legal capacity reform and supported decision making)” (12 December 2017), online: < https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Disability/A.HRC.37.56.docx>  at para 79.

[2] Ibid.

 

The “Civil Alarm Clock” art exhibition in the Crystal Garden

 

Photo Credit: BCNL. Attendees at the exhibition enjoy a live violin performance.

 

Photo Credit: BCNL. Attendees at the exhibition hear from one of the contest’s prizewinners.

 

A photo from my hike in the magnificent Seven Rila Lakes

 

Tsarevets Fortress in the city of Veliko Tarnovo

Les gens et les expériences

Par Riley Klassen-Molyneaux

One Earth Future, Colorado, États-Unis

13 août 2019

Hier, près du somment de la plus grande montagne des Rocheuses, Mount Elbert, un ami a posé une question à moi et à une deuxième amie qui complétait notre équipe tripartite. Il nous a demandé ce qui comptait le plus : l’activité, l’endroit, ou les gens qui nous entourait. L’amie a répondu de la manière qu’on répondrait tous du premier abord : c’est la combinaison des trois, de l’activité, de l’endroit, et des gens qui nous entourent, qui donne la meilleure expérience.

Mais notre interrogateur n’était pas satisfait. Nous étions tous d’accord pour dire que participer à une activité incroyable est mieux quand on arrive à la partager avec quelqu’un, durant ou après, mais il nous incitait à choisir un des trois pris en isolation : l’activité, l’endroit, ou les gens.

Introverti qu’il est, l’ami a répondu à sa propre question en disant qu’il préfère largement une activité stimulante qu’un bel endroit ou un groupe de gens avec qui il pourrait causer. Notre amie a décidé que s’il fallait choisir, elle choisirait aussi l’activité au prix de l’endroit et des gens.

Bien sûr, j’ai fait un tas d’explorations moi-même au Colorado, y compris le Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, certains restaurants délectables comme Mezcal ou Machete Tequila + Tacos, et plusieurs randonnés qui permettaient des réflexions intéressantes. Je n’ai pas pu faire plusieurs activités aussi, comme le Colorado State Capitol, le Boulder History Museum, et St. Mary’s Glacier.

Mais ma réponse à sa question était que les gens me paraissaient le plus important, bien que l’activité et l’endroit comptent aussi.

Au cours de mon séjour avec One Earth Future (OEF) au Colorado, ce sont les gens qui m’ont marqué le plus. Cette expérience était incroyable grâce à ceux et celles que j’ai rencontrés, mais je les ai rencontrés grâce à l’endroit et nous avons créé nos amitiés au cours des activités inoubliables.

Tout au long de mon stage, j’ai pu m’entrainer avec un des meilleurs pratiquants de jiu-jitsu brésilien aux États-Unis, John Combs. De cette manière j’ai rencontré des Américains venant de chaque coin du pays. Le gymnase m’a offert des amitiés que seule la méritocratie du sport le peut.

De compagnie avec une douzaine d’athlètes de mon gymnase, j’ai eu l’expérience culturelle d’assister au 21e anniversaire d’un des nôtres et de rire en imitant l’accent russe, les uns les autres, et de profiter de la causerie fraternelle. Je crois bien qu’il y avait aussi de la boisson mêlée à cette affaire.

L’autre stagiaire, Derek, son amie, et moi sommes allés voir Canyonlands et Arches National Parks, entre autres, au Utah.Là-bas on a vu combien le ciel est bleu perché sur le rouge des pierres du désert. On y était aussi pour discuter du Sud des États-Unis et pour rire tout le long du trajet.

J’ai pu faire la fête à Denver avec un groupe de jeunes avocates et étudiantes en droit. Autour des tequilas, j’ai pu retracer mes capacités de danse two-step au fameux Grizzly Rose et leur dévoiler que le Canada était plus de quelques arpents de neige.

Au travail, j’ai appris à connaitre mes collègues, devenus amis. J’ai aussi appris que sauver le monde, un conflit à la fois, un pays à la fois, n’impliquait pas la morosité conversationnelle que je trouve chez beaucoup de bienfaiteurs dans le monde.

Dans deux affaires qui impliquaient aussi des breuvages alcoolisés, avec des collègues de OEF j’ai assisté à un match de soccer et un match de baseball. Il y avait là des expériences culturelles américaines où j’ai profité de leur compagnie sous prétexte du sport. Ces évènements, en plus des happy hour multiples auxquelles j’ai assistées, m’ont permis de connaitre mes collègues sur le plan personnel et m’ont fait partie de leurs opinons honnêtes sur OEF dans une ambiance décontractée.

Pour une course de relais sur trois cent miles qui montait du Wyoming jusqu’à Steamboat Springs, Derek et moi avions le supplice et le privilège de nous entrainer à côté d’une coureuse olympique prospective et dix autres personnes motivées. Ensemble, à travers des montagnes, nous avons couru l’un après l’autre pour plus de trente heures sans arrêt et sans beaucoup dormir. Le résultat était un placement compétitif –– même si on ne l’était pas –– et des amitiés forgées dans la sueur et des éclats de rire sans fin.

Avec ma copine, qui est venue me visiter, j’ai pu monter plusieurs montagnes au Rocky Mountain National Park, au Eldorado State Park, et au Chautauqua Park qui se situe dans la ville même de Boulder. Au cours de nos explorations, on a appris sur l’histoire de Boulder et on a vu le paysage qui entoure cette ville exquise.

En écrivant ces lignes, le centre-ville de Calgary s’approche et mon avion descend vers la mère patrie. Une chose est sure : je reviens à ma ville natale avec des souvenirs qui vont durer aussi longtemps que ma mémoire.

Statutory Analysis and the Necessity of Data:

By Emma Brown

In my first year Constitutional Law course, my professor went on a small tangent during one class about the importance of data. We were discussing equality rights, and she was explaining “adverse effects discrimination” – imploring us to think divergently by considering that facially neutral policies and laws may have differential impacts on certain groups. Without data, she elaborated, these adverse effects are not always clear.

In May, when I finally had time to read for pleasure, rather than for school, I devoured Caroline Criado Perez’s book, “Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.” The book outlines countless ways that the gender data gap unintentionally leads to policies and designs that put women disproportionately at risk. As I read this book, my mind was pulled back to that Constitutional Law lecture. Little did I know that my summer placement would build on this pattern, highlighting in my mind the importance of understanding laws within the context of their background and enforcement.

Since June 10th, I have been working at the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD). The organization, which works to “promote, protect and develop those human rights which serve as the foundation for or underpin democracy,”[1] is best known for its data – in particular, the Global RTI (right to information) Rating. The rating system consists of 61 Indicators, which each evaluate a different component of “RTI” laws. The fact that the organization created this type of quantitative evaluation is not surprising, since the Executive Director studied and taught mathematics before obtaining an L.L.B. and pursuing a career in human rights.

While the organization is best known for this rating system, however, the vast majority of the organization’s time is spent on other projects, which tend to be focused more on qualitative analysis of laws from around the world. In particular, my work has mostly involved statutory analysis of international laws related to civic space. The analysis I conduct is then used for a project CLD is currently working on with a major international NGO. While many of my tasks are meant to be merely focused on the evaluation of laws, and not policy, I’ve quickly learned how difficult it is to conduct this type of analysis sincerely without looking at the reality on the ground.  In many cases, law and practice – those two perennial counterparts – are unfortunately juxtaposed.

The easiest laws to evaluate are the ones that are clearly deficient. For example, the Penal Codes in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) contain provisions that criminalize those who damage the reputation of heads of state.[2] In Rwanda, this provision exists despite the fact that general defamation has been decriminalized. In the DRC, the Code contains a general defamation offence,[3] but insulting the head of state (prohibited under the press law) carries a heavier penalty.[4]  In both cases, the provisions violate international standards, which establish that public officials must withstand a greater degree of criticism than others.[5] Issues like these – where laws clearly violate international standards, or, as is common in the area of access to information, simply don’t exist[6] – are easy to spot.

It becomes much more difficult when laws appear acceptable on their face, but a quick google search shows that practices in the applicable country do not align with the official laws or policies. Here, data becomes crucial in order to understand why this misalignment occurs. Often times, it’s a mere issue of enforcement – when state actors ignore the laws, they become irrelevant. For example, while Montenegro’s public assemblies law largely reflects international standards – containing a notification (rather than approval) system, creating an appeal process for refusals of assemblies, and recognizing (albeit in a vague way) spontaneous assemblies[7] – police frequently misinform organizers of assemblies on their rights and obligations.[8] As a result, the rights conferred by the law are largely meaningless. However, in many other scenarios, the divergence between law and practice are caused by much deeper issues.

Often times, the failure to operate in accordance with the official laws has to do with the reason for the laws’ existence in the first place. An example of this issue can be seen in Serbia’s Law on Personal Data Protection (adopted in 2018).[9] The motivation for passing this law was (at least in large part) to support Serbia’s goal of EU membership – not, as one might assume, to create the best data protection scheme in the Serbian context. Because of this, the law virtually mirrors the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but fails to take into account Serbia’s history in this area.[10] In general, there is a lack of privacy culture in the country, meaning that most individuals and organizations are not aware of privacy rights.[11] In terms of legislative history, the previous 2010 Law on Electronic Communications required telecommunication providers to keep records of the source, destination, and timing of all electronic communications for one year, for potential government use.[12] Until 2013, this data could be collected without a warrant,[13] and even after this provision was found unconstitutional, rates of unauthorized access were unknown, as technical systems created by the previous regulatory framework continued to exist.[14] Because of this, the 2018 law may appear acceptable on its face, but when considered in relation to Serbia’s history, its flaws are more crucial than they may first appear. While it is too soon to fully examine the law’s impact, it has been criticized as being overly complicated – which is problematic in light of the lack of privacy culture – and as failing to address digital privacy issues – which is concerning considering the existence of current avenues for unauthorized surveillance.[15]

The impacts of a country’s background on the effectiveness of a particular law is, of course, very context specific, but has been relevant in each of the nine countries I’ve looked at through my placement. In many cases, the motivations behind legislation are rooted in international political goals, but in others, the motivations are rooted in different, but equally relevant concerns: In Rwanda, media laws have to be considered in light of the media’s role in the genocide.[16] In Bosnia & Herzegovina, policies regarding government consultation with civil society have to be understood in light of the fact that NGOs were largely created after the war to deal with service needs, not civil society ones.[17]

As a law student who previously completed an undergraduate degree in “legal studies,” I’ve long been aware that laws cannot be fully assessed in isolation. However, my time at CLD has greatly deepened this understanding, as I’ve seen how many different ways practices can deviate from laws. Issues can, of course, can be rooted in a law’s structural flaws, but can also arise when the law appears perfectly adequate but fails to take into account the context it is meant to operate within. Data, then, seems crucial for anyone hoping to affect positive change through statutory analysis, as recommendations for future improvement should ideally be sensitive to the causes of the deficiencies, rather than just the technical inadequacies of the applicable law – virtually identical provisions can be appropriate in one country, and entirely lacking in another. Much like in the context of equality issues, where policies that appear neutral can have adverse effects on different populations, and in the context of design, where the gender data gap can put women at disproportionate risk, sincere analysis of human rights law requires data regarding the motivation for the creation of each law and the societal context that it operates within.

In this way, my placement at CLD has not only made me familiar with international human rights standards related to civic space and given me the opportunity to engage with laws from a variety of different legal systems; it has also given me a new skepticism that will undoubtedly impact how I consider the laws I study through the remainder of my degree (and later, engage with through the course of my career).

 

 

[1] Centre for Law and Democracy, “About Us,” https://www.law-democracy.org/live/about-us/what-we-do/.

[2] Art 236 of Law No 68/2018 of 30/08/2018 (Rwanda); Article 77 of Law No 96-001 of 22 June 1996 (DRC); Article 251, 252.

[3] Art 74 of Decree of 30 January 1940 on the Penal Code (DRC).

[4] Article 77 of Law No 96-001 of 22 June 1996.

[5] General Comment No. 34, CCPR/C/GC/34 at para 38.

[6] For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Madagascar recognize the right to information in their constitutions but have no implementing legislation.

[7] Law on Public Assemblies and Public Performances, Official Gazette of Montenegro No. 52/16.

[8] ECNL: Monitoring the Right to Free Assembly (2017): (http://ecnl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ECNL-FoPA-Montenegro-2017.pdf), pg. 4.

[9] Law on Personal Data Protection (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia. No 87/2018).

[10] BD2P, “Serbia: The Law on Personal Data Protection,” December 2018, online: https://www.bd2p.com/upload/files/1545208079-eef11.pdf at pg. 3.

[11] EDRi, “Will Serbia Adjust its Data Protection Framework to GDPR,” 2019, online: https://edri.org/will-serbia-adjust-its-data-protection-framework-to-gdpr/.

[12] Art 128-129 of the Law on Electronic Communications (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 44/10).

[13] Global Freedom of Expression (Colombia University), Summary of Constitutional Court decision (Official Gazette RS, no. 60/13), online: https://globalfreedomofexpression.columbia.edu/cases/serb-law-on-electronic-communications-articles-128-1-128-5-129-4-2013/.

[14] Global Information Society Watch, “Serbia,” 2014, online: https://www.giswatch.org/en/country-report/communications-surveillance/serbia.

[15] EDRi, “Will Serbia Adjust its Data Protection Framework to GDPR,” 2019, online: https://edri.org/will-serbia-adjust-its-data-protection-framework-to-gdpr/.

[16] See Allan Thompson, The Media and the Rwanda Genocide (London: Pluto Press, 2007).

[17] See discussion in Arnaud Kurze, “Time for Change: Aid, NGOs, and Transitional Justice in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” (2017) 1:5 Transitional Justice Review.

Law and Justice: Friends or Foes?

A very cloudy sunrise at Angkor Wat

By Adelise Lalande

As I prepare for my 32 hour-long journey home to Canada, I look back on my third week of work at LICADHO, when I sat in on interviews with incarcerated teenage girls in a prison outside Phnom Penh. While I was the designated note-taker for these interview sessions, I am sure I was brought along not because of my mediocre calligraphy skills, but rather because my manager thought it would be a great learning experience. 

Over the course of two hours, I jotted down the stories of fifteen- and seventeen-year-old girls who were facing up to twenty years in prison for nonviolent, drug-related offences. Prison conditions in Cambodia are horrendous. Because bail provisions aren’t being applied properly by the courts and because of the government’s “war on drugs” since 2017, overcrowding is a serious issue. Some inmates share a single cell with upwards of a hundred inmates. A bed is considered to be a luxury item which few have access to. Showers are similarly rare. With daily temperatures outside averaging about 35 degrees celsius, I can only imagine how suffocating prison cells must get. 

Trying (and failing) to master the art of crossing streets in Phnom Penh

The legal system in Cambodia fails not only defendants but also victims. In a country where 35% of the population still lives in poverty, many are unable to pay the bribes demanded by authorities in exchange for pursuing cases. Others lack the resources required to make frequent trips to court. The justice system is effectively inaccessible to those without money. 

For example, I was particularly shocked to learn that the cost of a rape kit in the country—which courts require in order to prosecute—is over US$40. Subsidised kits are available but the process for obtaining one is long and complex. For these reasons, victims of human rights abuses are often compelled to accept out-of-court cash settlements in lieu of pursuing charges. Their abusers thus get to walk free. 

In prisons, NGOs are greatly relied upon to deliver basic necessities, such as food, medicine, menstrual hygiene products, vocational training and recreational/cultural activities. As is the case in the justice system, prisons are worse for those without means. LICADHO reported in 2015 that basic commodities and individual rights come at a price behind bars. Due to widespread corruption in the system, bribes are demanded from inmates in exchange for anything from extra food and showers to opportunities for paid work and library access. LICADHO has even received reports of inmates having to pay bribes to receive medical care. 

Wat Phnom

Those behind bars are generally poor, and thus the strictest parts of the Cambodian criminal system  apply to them. This is not often the case for individuals with access to money. The same week of my prison visit, for example, a young woman who killed a young student in a hit-and-run while recklessly driving her Range Rover was released from prison after just two months in detention.  She was from a wealthy, well-connected family.

Cambodia’s legal system is skewed toward the country’s authoritarian leaders as heavily as it is toward its wealthy constituents. As any illusion of democracy in the country evaporates, the government has shown an eagerness to manipulate the legal system to maintain its power and quash dissent. Last week, I attended the trial of former Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin. The two men face espionage charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years for allegedly sharing with RFA’s U.S. bureau publicly available information that was purportedly “damaging” to the government’s reputation. This is just one example of the government’s efforts to suppress independent journalism and freedom of expression in the country via the legal system. 

Like many of my peers, I recall writing something in my cover letter for law school about wanting to learn how to use the legal system to achieve greater social justice. Prior to coming to Cambodia, I saw in law the “space for struggle to advance the social project of human liberation and emancipation… even while expressing and reinforcing the rule of the bourgeoisie,” to quote from Prof. Issa G. Shivji. But since I’ve been here and witnessed first-hand the ways in which the law predominantly serves to preserve existing power imbalances and promote kleptocratic rule, I find it more difficult than I did in the West to brush aside law’s deficiencies.

Today, I still believe the law can help achieve more equitable societies. But I enter my second year of law school  armed with greater awareness of the ways in which legal systems can also be used to further social injustice and am thus more critical of the rule of law’s basic tenets than I once was. 

 

Tourist street in Siem Reap

Pit stop along the highway

Sunset over the Tonle Sap river

 

Gladue as Restorative Justice

By Christopher Little

When first arriving in Nemaska, a small community of 760 persons in Northern Quebec one sees a community that looks as prosperous as any Southern Canadian counterpart. Residents are serviced by a modern airport, have access to new swimming and fitness facilities, and new buildings are constantly under construction

This appearance of prosperity, however, disguises many of the difficult historical experiences that community members have confronted. Indeed, the reason that Nemaska and many other communities in the region appear so new is that they were constructed largely since the 1980s, after the Cree were forced into a sedentary way of living that began during the fur-trade period and culminated with the James Bay Hydroelectric Project and the flooding of their lands.

As a Gladue writer for the Department of Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government, part of my placement has been devoted to conducting historical research about the community. It is this information, some of which is presented below, which allows the Court to better understand why some offenders appear before the Court and which may therefore diminish the moral blameworthiness of the offender.

The James Bay Hydroelectric Project

The defining event of the modern life for the Cree of the James Bay has been the creation of the James Bay Hydroelectric Project. This project began with Quebec’s desire to harness the natural resources of the land to complete its modernization. The construction of the Hydro-Electric Project was a central feature of Robert Bourassa’s 1970 electoral campaign and his promise to create 100,000 jobs, and once elected, he saw that the project was a priority.

This project, which would require changing river flows and create massive flooding, threatened the Cree way of life which was depended upon continually moving across the landscape in small, extended family groupings, to harness game resources. Although Cree groups in the James Bay did gather around the Hudson’s Bay Company trading posts where they sold furs, acquired supplies, socialized and arranged marriages, this typically occurred only in the summer months when game was scarce and fish thus became the primary subsistence food.

In advance of this project, the Nemaska people who had settled around the trading post at Lac Némiscau were visited by Hydro-Quebec officials and told that their land would be flooded and that they would have to move.  For this and other reasons, such as the closure of the Hudson’s Bay trading post, Nemaska people were relocated by the Federal government, with half going to Mistissini and half to Waskaganish (Rupert House).

The site of the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post on Lac Némiscau

However, at the time, the Cree did not have an overarching identity and instead, “the region was comprised of eight different communities having relatively little to do with each other… [and] whose primary allegiances were to their own communities (and in fact in some cases even to smaller units than the community).”[1]  As such, the Nemaska people were largely treated as outsiders in other communities, and forced to erect housing on the least desirable lands.

While beginning to transition to a sedentarized life, Nemaska people experienced other difficulties as well. For instance, elders recall that the time in exile was the first time that people had sustained access to alcohol and that alcohol overconsumption became a pressing social issue. Likewise, the time in exile also disrupted traditional cultural practices such as fishing since people from the inland were unfamiliar with coastal tidal waters.

While living in exile, the James Bay Hydro Electric Project proceeded without consultation with the Cree. It was only a young generation of Cree leaders, such as Philip Awashish and Billy Diamond, who heard about the project by reading a day-old copy of the Montreal Star, used their residential education, to organize resistance and launch a legal challenge that brought the Quebec government to the negotiating table.[2]

 

Part of Hydro-Québec’s modification of the Rupert River that was expected to result in the flooding of the Nemaska trading post.

 

Power lines run across the landscape of the James Bay region.

Creating a Community

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) provided for the relocation of members of the Nemaska band to a new site. As such, in 1978, those who were exiled at Mistissini and Waskaganish were re-located to the shores of Champion Lake. However, even after being re-located to their new community, the Nemaska people continued to experience hardship because the government was not fulfilling their terms of the JBNQA. In 1980, for instance, an epidemic of gastro-enteritis resulting from insalubrious living conditions hit Nemaska and three children died.

Cree communities are built on land reserved for their exclusive use under the JBNQA

In 1981, then M.P. for Cariboo-Chilcotin, Lorne Greenway, read the following into the record of the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development:

In August 1980 the Quebec ministère des Affaires sociales (MAS) received word from the Cree Indians of James Bay that an epidemic had broken out in their villages of Nemaska and Fort-Rupert. A mission of medical and environmental specialists was dispatched to the scene. They found: people living in substandard housing; appalling sewage and waste water disposal facilities; contaminated water supplies; poor hygiene and relative isolation from the outside world. In Nemaska, for instance, some 35 families still lived in tents, awaiting the construction of houses on permanent sites, five years after the Agreement was signed. Furthermore, the village’s isolation from the provincial road network limited outside communication to air and motor-canoe. Solid garbage and waste were being dumped into a site near the edge of Lake Champion, a shallow lake that will not long tolerate such practices without becoming polluted.[3]

While more suitable residences were eventually constructed—though housing shortages continue to plague the community—sedentarization had additional social consequences. Living in houses designed for nuclear families, for instance, upended traditional living arrangements which were based upon extended or multi-family cohabitation. A diet which had once been based around game meat was replaced by processed foods imported from the South. Likewise, whereas once every activity had been oriented towards the locality, after settling on reservations, people were now incorporated into complex administrative structures based in distant cities such as Val-d’Or.

Other more existential questions, however, were more difficult to answer: How do people who came to see themselves as “hunters and trappers,” now adopt to making a living through wage labour? How do people without a tradition of communal living—or even, perhaps, a notion of community in the sense of Western social theory—successfully live together? And finally, how do people who have experienced so much hardship, move forward with their lives in the context of radical change?

Gladue and Restorative Justice

These last two questions are ones to which there is no clear answer, and they become particularly acute in the context of serious crime and persistent offenders. Statistics illustrate that aboriginal persons are three times more likely to be victimized by crime than other Canadians.[4] Further, “Perpetrators of violence against Aboriginal people are most often other members of the Aboriginal community such as spouses, relatives, or friends of the victim, and as such, victimization among Aboriginal people in Canada is often regarded as a mirror image of Aboriginal offending.”[5]

The justice system has largely relied upon imprisonment to address of aboriginal offenders, leading to the problem of aboriginal overrepresentation that I previously discussed. However, given the colonial history of aboriginal populations—some of which is discussed above—those appearing before the court as offenders are, from another perspective, also victims.

Court rooms in Cree communities are circular, reflecting the idea that the community should be involved in justice matters.

Gladue reports allow for the possibility to address this dual victimization through restorative justice. Restorative justice approaches see crime as both a violation of the law and as a violation of relationships and communities. They therefore involve those affected by a crime to try to repair the harm done while encouraging an offender to take responsibility for their actions. Restorative justice approaches therefore not only allows the offender to grow through the process but, for all those to have their say in any proposed solutions.

Gladue reports allow for the possibility to address this dual victimization through restorative justice, which sees crime as both a violation of the law and as a violation of relationships and communities. Gladue reports allow for the realization of restorative justice in several ways, but most obviously by proposing sentences to the Court that address the underlying issues that brought an offender to appear before the Court. Courts in the James Bay region, for instance, have allowed offenders to participate in Sun Dances as well as attend land-based programs given that spending time on the land “is recognized throughout Cree society as a potential source of personal improvement.”[1] These restorative sentencing options are tailored to suit the particular offender and the community, and emerge from interviews with the offender and others, allowing those impacted by crime to have a say in its resolution.

Additionally, since Gladue reports engage with the life history of the offender, supplemented by information from other family members, the process of creating and reviewing the report allows the person to reflect upon their life experiences as well as their offences. They are often therefore able to plot a better path forward, both for themselves and their community, that will allow them to live a more harmonious life.

[1] Paul Wertman, 1983. Planning and Development after the James Bay Agreement. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies 3(2) at page 278.

[2] Ronald Niezen, 1998. Defending the Land: Sovereignty and Forest Life in James Bay Society (New Jersey: Prentice Hall) at page 48.

[3] Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 32nd Parliament, 1st Session. March 26, 1981 at page 1101.

[4] Jodi-Anne Brzozowski, Andrea Taylor-Butts, and Sara Johnson, 2006. Victimization and offending among the Aboriginal population in Canada (Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics) at page 1.

[5] Katie Scrim, 2017. Aboriginal Victimization in Canada: A Summary of the Literature. Available: < https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/victim/rd3-rr3/p3.html>

Passage à l’ACLC et Toronto en quelques mots

Par Caroline Rouleau

Déjà neuf semaines de stage se sont écoulées à l’Association canadienne des libertés civiles (ACLC). Comme le temps file! Plus que quelques jours pour en profiter.

La Charte constitue la pierre angulaire de mes recherches au quotidien et, plus largement, de la culture du CCLA. Depuis mon arrivée, j’ai fait de la recherche sur quelques sujets touchant aux libertés civiles : le « droit à l’oubli » reconnu en Europe, les types de protection de la vie privée souhaitables dans le contexte d’inspections réglementaires, la portée de la protection contre les peines cruelles et inusitées, pour en nommer quelques-uns. En sus, j’ai pu assister à des conférences ainsi qu’à des audiences à la Cour; nous sommes d’ailleurs allées observer des audiences de libération sous caution hier et les audiences au tribunal en santé mentale, en plus d’avoir un cours express sur la procédure. Il est juste de dire que l’été est riche en expériences.

Des débats d’envergure trouvent leur place dans cette petite organisation qui compte moins de dix membres. Sa mission : faire évoluer le droit de sorte que les libertés civiles se matérialisent. Sans client pour dicter la voie à suivre, le travail de l’organisation est holistique et imaginatif. Les conversations qui se tiennent à l’ACLC, auxquelles les stagiaires participent activement, tiennent compte d’une multitude de réalités. Les préoccupations soulevées révèlent une compréhension de perspectives diverses – on considérera l’impact d’une politique notamment du point de vue de minorités religieuses, de personnes racialisées, de jeunes LGBTQ, d’accusés (jugés coupables ou non coupables). Ces exemples concrets font ressortir l’importance de nos libertés civiles. Je tâche donc d’absorber le plus possible les connaissances de mes collègues.

Mon été à Toronto ne se résume toutefois pas à mon expérience de stage.

Je découvre une ville qui m’était auparavant étrangère. Toronto est un des centres les plus multiculturels au monde, et cela en fait une ville impressionnante à mon avis. Cela se reflète particulièrement dans la gastronomie : brunch aux dim sum dans China Town, déjeuner franco-jamaïcain, et cuisine mexicaine aux effluves de Mezcal. J’apprécie également la musique de rue dans Kensington Market, que ce soit le fidèle duo jazz présent toutes les fins de semaine, ou un groupe de chanteuses à saveur Nouvelles-Orléans. J’ai pu témoigner de l’effervescence créée par la victoire des Raptors, découvrir les plus beaux coins de la ville et, surtout, m’exposer à la communauté de danse de Toronto qui regorge de talent.

En somme, l’expérience est riche sur le plan légal, culturel, et humain.

Working in Human Rights isn’t all about Law

Par Félix-Antoine Pelletier

« The journey is sometimes more important than the destination. »

Laissez-moi vous raconter comment je suis arrivé au Conseil national des droits de l’Homme du Maroc…

Médina (ancienne partie d’une ville) de Rabat

Le processus pour être sélectionné pour l’un des International Human Rights Internships Program m’est familier. Je l’ai expérimenté à deux reprises.

En première année, j’ai soumis ma candidature au programme dirigé par la Professeure Nandini Ramanujam. Je ne savais pas vraiment ce que je faisais. D’une part, j’avais peu d’expérience professionnelle et de vie à mettre de l’avant. Ma maturité m’avait fait défaut. D’autre part, j’avais de la difficulté avec mon anglais. Cela s’est aussitôt ressenti en entrevue lorsque les premières questions posées en anglais sont venues… et qu’il fallait répondre en anglais. L’entrevue a duré 12 minutes. Quelques semaines plus tard, un e-mail m’annonçait que ma candidature n’était pas retenue.

Tanger, Maroc

Parmi toutes les leçons et les valeurs que j’ai tirées du sport de niveau élite et compétitif, il y a la persévérance. Peu importe les circonstances ; peu importe le contexte. J’ai aussitôt écrit à la Professeure Ramanujam et j’ai cédulé un rendez-vous avec elle. Je lui ai demandé : « qu’est-ce que je dois améliorer ? » Elle m’a répondu deux choses : mon expérience et mon anglais.This retroaction marked the beginning of a great journey.

C’est ainsi que j’ai pris mes clics et mes clacs et que je me suis exilé à Ottawa pour l’été 2018. Du mois de mai au mois de septembre, j’ai occupé le poste de Guide parlementaire au Parlement du Canada. J’ai été complètement déstabilisé. Ce fut la première fois que j’habitais dans un endroit que je ne connaissais pas. La première fois que je m’éloignais pour une aussi longue durée de mes proches. La première fois que j’habitais seul en appartement. La première fois que je cuisinais. La première fois que je travaillais dans une langue que je ne maîtrisais pas. Durant cet été, j’ai été amené à présenter des visites du Parlement et du système politico-juridique canadien à des groupes de 35 visiteurs venus de partout dans le monde. 5 fois par jour. Très souvent en anglais. J’ai rencontré des gens formidables, j’ai surpassé mes propres capacités d’adaptation et d’autonomie, j’ai grandi.

Marrakech, Maroc

Professeure Ramanujam, je vous en suis énormément reconnaissant. Avant de m’envoyer au Maroc, vous m’avez envoyé prendre de l’expérience. Je me suis entraîné à sortir de ma zone de confort, à améliorer mon anglais, à développer ma maturité, à prendre de l’expérience de vie. Merci beaucoup pour ce précieux cadeau. J’ai fait énormément de sacrifices – plus que ce qui est descriptible en un seul blog post – en m’exilant à Ottawa pour tout l’été. J’ai tout misé, all in, avec l’espoir de revenir à l’automne, de décrocher une entrevue avec vous, de vous démontrer que j’avais amélioré ce que vous m’aviez conseillé d’améliorer, et de vous présenter le parcours que j’avais parcouru depuis.

À mon retour à McGill à l’automne, en deuxième année, j’ai soumis pour une deuxième fois ma candidature à l’International Human Rights Internships Program. L’entrevue a duré 9 minutes. Mes réponses en anglais ont été satisfaisantes. D’ailleurs, au début de l’entrevue (et de sa propre initiative), la Professeure Ramanujam m’a elle-même introduit aux intervieweurs en leur parlant de mon été à Ottawa et de mon implication communautaire au sein de la Clinique Juridique Itinérante à Montréal.

Conseil national des droits de l’Homme, Rabat

Quelques semaines plus tard, j’apprenais que je partais au Maroc pour l’été 2019. J’avais déroché le stage au Conseil national des droits de l’Homme (CNDH) du Maroc. Mon objectif allait se réaliser.

 

 

 

 

Cascades d’Akchour, Maroc

« The journey is sometimes more important than the destination. » Je réfère à cette citation pour plusieurs raisons. Premièrement, mon expérience à Ottawa m’a donné une aisance remarquable dans les deux langues. Je suis maintenant beaucoup plus confiant et habile en anglais et je me débrouille plutôt bien dans les cours enseignés en anglais. J’arrive de loin, croyez-moi. Je peux maintenant entretenir quasi n’importe quelle discussion en anglais. Deuxièmement, mon expérience à Ottawa m’a enseigné l’autonomie et la débrouillardise. J’ai gagné en maturité et en ouverture d’esprit. Cela forme aujourd’hui le jeune homme que je suis. Toutes ces qualités se récupèrent dans tous les aspects de ma vie. Au-delà de me permettre d’aller au Maroc, Ottawa m’a fait grandir.

Si les objectifs du International Human Rights Internships Program sont de nous faire grandir et de découvrir toutes sortes de choses ainsi que de nous sortir de notre zone de confort, je dirais que la Professeure Ramanujam m’a fait commencer ce processus 1 an à l’avance. Cela a grandement amélioré mon expérience au Maroc.

Conseil national des droits de l’Homme, Rabat

Le CNDH du Maroc est une Institution Nationale des Droits de l’Homme (INDH). Conformément aux Principes de Paris (1992), le CNDH est une institution étatique pluraliste et indépendante du gouvernement. Le CNDH est enchâssé dans la Constitution marocaine de 2011 (article 161) et il a un mandat de protection et de promotion des droits humains.

On retrouve des INDH dans la majorité des pays du monde. Au Canada, il s’agit de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne. Le CNDH du Maroc est donc l’équivalent fonctionnel de la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne. Pour la durée de mon stage, j’ai eu la chance de travailler dans le Département de la Coopération et des Relations Internationales.

Lors d’un atelier de formation des Mécanismes de prévention de la torture, Rabat

Par mon implication sociale et communautaire en droit criminel et pénal à Montréal, j’ai été habitué à une conception « terrain » et « pragmatique » des droits humains. J’ai été habitué à aller dans des refuges pour personnes en situation d’itinérance, accompagner les usagers en Cour ainsi que chez l’agent de probation, discuter avec les avocats des usagers, planifier des stratégies pour sortir les usagers du pétrin. Bref, à avoir un contact humain avec les personnes que j’aide, à travailler avec « une personne à la fois » et à effectuer du travail à plus petite échelle dont les effets et les résultats sont quasi immédiats.

Au CNDH du Maroc, j’ai eu droit à l’envers de la médaille. Complètement. Là, c’était du travail à plus grande échelle. J’ai découvert une perspective plus « systémique » des droits humains au sein d’une structures plus rigide où les résultats prennent plus de temps à se concrétiser puisqu’ils sont à grande échelle. On découvre alors que plusieurs acteurs entretiennent certains rapports de force sur la scène internationale. Même dans un domaine aussi altermondialiste, empathique, sensible à l’autre et progressiste comme les droits humains, les intérêts sont nombreux et divergents. Par conséquent, ils s’opposent.

J’ai énormément appris sur la liaison inhérente entre le Politique et les droits humains ainsi que sur l’importance pour les acteurs locaux, nationaux et internationaux d’accumuler du capital politique. J’ai été pleinement initié au système onusien et à celui de l’Union africaine. En effet, mon travail au CNDH a été une véritable initiation au système international. Ce stage m’a permis d’apprécier les certaines tensions entourant l’existence de normes, conventions, instruments et mécanismes internationaux qui soient juridiquement non-contraignants.

Tétouan, Maroc

Contrairement à mon expérience à Montréal, j’ai plutôt travaillé assis dans un bureau et dans la salle de réunion à discuter d’enjeux régionaux, nationaux et internationaux ; de manœuvres politiques ; de plans d’action ; de « public policies ». Je suis très reconnaissant d’avoir vécu cette expérience au Conseil national des droits de l’Homme du Maroc, car j’ai eu droit à une perspective complètement différente du travail dans les droits humains.

Cela démontre la grande diversité de postes qu’il est possible d’occuper dans les droits humains.

Pour faire une véritable influence dans le domaine des droits humains, il faut voir au-delà du travail qui soit a priori « juridique ». Les droits humains et le travail dans ce domaine dépassent largement le « droit ». Les tâches dans ce domaine sont infinies et elles sont mutlidisciplinaires.

Stagiaires du CNDH à l’été 2019 : Kaoutar (Maroc), Dejan (Slovénie), Maddie (États-Unis), Blanca (Espagne), Félix-Antoine (Canada)

Certes, j’ai effectué de nombreuses tâches de nature « juridique ». Premièrement, j’ai fait plusieurs recherches liées au droit international. J’ai jonglé avec plusieurs instruments, conventions et normes internationaux. Deuxièmement, j’ai rédigé des plaidoyers fondés sur des bases juridiques pour permettre au CNDH de prendre position et d’émettre des recommandations face à des violations des droits humains perpétrées à l’étranger. Troisièmement, j’ai produit des rapports exposant comment d’autres pays composent avec certaines situations liées aux droits humains. Du travail a priori « juridique », j’en ai eu.

Akchour, Maroc

Néanmoins, la majorité de mes mandats n’étaient a priori pas « juridiques ». À mon avis, ce sont tous les « à côté » qui rendent efficient et pragmatique le travail dans le domaine des droits humains. Au CNDH, j’ai été amené à effectuer plusieurs mandats qui a priori n’ont rien à voir avec le « droit ». Par exemple :

1- J’ai traduit des documents de l’anglais vers le français. Bien que cela ne soit a priori pas « juridique », cela a permis à mes supérieurs (maîtrisant principalement que le français et l’arabe) de prendre connaissance d’un dossier selon toutes ses nuances et de prendre des décisions éclairées quant au sort des relations internationales relatives aux droits humains en Afrique.

Médina de Tétouan, Maroc

2- J’ai traduit une convention collective complète de travailleuses marocaines, de l’espagnol vers le français. Je parle à peine l’espagnol, mais je me suis débrouillé. Bien que cela ne soit a priori pas « juridique », cela a permis au CNDH du Maroc d’adéquatement réagir aux violations des droits humains perpétrées à l’endroit de personnes marocaines dans un pays étranger.

3- J’ai organisé plusieurs évènements d’envergure internationale. J’ai géré la logistique ainsi que rédigé les lettres d’invitation et les communiqués de presse. Bien que cela ne soit a priori pas « juridique », cela a permis à plusieurs INDH africaines de se rencontrer, d’échanger sur leurs bonnes pratiques et de mutuellement renforcer leurs capacités. J’ose espérer que le renforcement des compétences des acteurs locaux issus de plusieurs pays africains améliorera le sort des droits humains dans ces pays. J’aurai été celui qui aura facilité – voire permis – cette rencontre.

4- J’ai écrit plusieurs notes conceptuelles, rapports et synthèses de documents. Bien que cela ne soit a priori pas « juridique », cela a facilité – et surtout accéléré – le travail de mes supérieurs.

Ces quatre exemples démontrent que le travail en droits humains est pluraliste et multidisciplinaire. Il est parfois directement « juridique », mais parfois indirectement « juridique » aussi (c’est-à-dire en support à ce qui sera ultérieurement juridique).

Il y a tellement à faire au Maroc – comme partout ailleurs – que j’ai la ferme conviction d’avoir apporté un changement positif pour les droits humains au Maroc. J’ai augmenté la productivité de notre département et j’ai facilité les tâches de mes supérieurs grâce à mon travail. Le « backstage » est tout aussi important, voire bien plus, que le « front stage ».

Benslimane, Maroc

Certaines personnes s’imaginent peut-être qu’elles travailleront véritablement en droits humains que lorsqu’elles plaideront devant la Cour international de justice ; qu’elles prosécuteront des généraux ayant perpétré des crimes contre l’humanité ; qu’elles seront engagées au OHCHR ; et qu’elles révolutionneront le droit positif d’un pays en voie de développement. En réalité, ce n’est qu’une toute petite partie du travail dans les droits humains.

Essaouira, Maroc

En fin de compte, j’ai compris que le travail « juridique » et « a priori non-juridique » passe au second plan dans le domaine des droits humains. Au premier plan, il y a ce qui prime : les personnes que nous aidons. Human rights are about people. « Juridiquement » ou non, ce sont pour ces personnes que nous œuvrons. Nous devons veiller à leur bien-être, à leur confort, à l’amélioration de leur situation, à leur compréhension de ce qui leur arrive, à leur stabilité ainsi qu’au rétablissement des inégalités qu’elles subissent quotidiennement. Des qualités comme l’empathie et la sensibilité sont essentielles pour œuvrer dans le domaine des droits humains. Merci beaucoup de m’avoir lu et bien à vous.

Félix-Antoine Pelletier

The Politics and Uncertainties of Gladue

By Christopher Little

In 1998, Parliament added section 718.2(e) to the Criminal Code. This provision stated, quite simply, that at sentencing, judges consider:

all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances and consistent with the harm done to victims or to the community should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders.[1]

In requiring that judges consider alternatives to incarceration, Parliament was taking aim at the disproportionately high incarceration rate of aboriginal offenders. As then Minister of Justice Allan Rock noted before the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs:

The reason we referred specifically there to aboriginal persons is that they are sadly overrepresented in the prison populations of Canada… Nationally aboriginal persons represent about 2% of Canada’s population, but they represent 10.6% of persons in prison.  Obviously there’s a problem here… What we’re trying to do, particularly having regard to the initiatives in the aboriginal communities to achieve community justice, is to encourage the courts to look at alternatives where it’s consistent with the protection of the public—alternatives to jail—and not simply resort to the easy answer in every case.[2]

While the legislative objectives seemed simple enough, their implementation would be more complex. Indeed, Parliament did not articulate what alternatives ought to be considered and how this information was to be made available to judges. Instead, interpretation fell partially to the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Gladue (1999), in which the court considered the case of Jamie Gladue, a young aboriginal woman living off reserve who appealed her sentence for manslaughter because the judge did not consider s. 718.2(e). In their decision, the Court held that 718.2(e) was both remedial in nature, designed to rectify the overrepresentation of aboriginals in prison, and that it therefore applied broadly to all aboriginal persons.

Following the case, the information that was to be brought to the Court came to be referred to as “Gladue factors” and the vehicle that presented this information came to be known as a “Gladue report.” Gladue reports are thus a form of pre-sentencing report discussing an offender’s life and community history, as well as alternative sentencing options other than imprisonment that a judge may consider.

Conflicts and Confusion over Gladue

Before and during my placement as a Gladue Writer with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government, I had the opportunity to complete Gladue training and speak with many people who write Gladue reports. What became clear to me was that there is still little consensus surrounding Gladue reports.

For example, Gladue information may be presented to a court in various forms. In Quebec, Gladue reports are standalone documents that may exceed 10,000 words and are prepared by specialist “Gladue writers” who spent many hours conducting interviews and historical research. In contrast, in the Northwest Territories, as an example, Gladue reports are not even written. Instead, regular pre-sentencing reports that are written by probation officers—whose primary concern is risk assessment—contain a brief “Gladue paragraph” that is supposed to discuss an offender’s life history and community information.

Likewise, while there is a consensus that Gladue factors are to be considered at sentencing, uncertainty surrounds whether these principals apply at other occasions when aboriginal offenders are faced with the deprivation of their liberty. For instance, in Ontario, courts have held that Gladue principals apply at bail hearings, while a more recent decision from Nunavut has held that Gladue does not apply at such hearings.[3]

Finally, there is much divergence between writers themselves. For example, while some Gladue writers see themselves as “neutral” or at least impartial and disinterested parties who merely compile information for the courts, others understand themselves as working on behalf of the offender to “help” them. Likewise, among writers there are many disputes concerning how Gladue reports should be compiled and by whom. Some writers, for instance, insist upon the use of recording devices to better convey the offender’s story to a court, while others believe that the use of recorders creates a barrier that will prevent the offender from speaking openly. Likewise, while some give offenders the chance to review their reports before they are sent off, others insist that this is counter-productive and may not feasible given tight deadlines. Finally, some suggest that the perspective of victims should, when possible, be included in the report while others suggest that sentencing is entirely about the offender and victims can bring their own information to the Court through a victim impact statement.

The confusion surrounding Gladue is also evident in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The report makes many recommendations, some of which pertain to Gladue. For instance, the commissioners appear to recognize the importance of Gladue reports when they call for governments to adequately fund Gladue and to create national standards for what is to be included in the reports. However, commissioners also call for the government to evaluate sentencing equity as it relates to violence against Indigenous women and girls, reflecting the view that, in the words of commissioner Qajaq Robinson, that Gladue reports offer a “get out of jail free card” and release potentially dangerous offenders back into the community.[4]

Toward Standarization?

These differences reflect the fact that despite having been in existence for some 20-years, there are no guidelines for writing Gladue reports. Instead, over the years, various practitioners began writing Gladue reports, learning largely through trial and error, and have now created Gladue courses to train other writers, who take their version of what a Gladue report should be, across the country. Such an approach has, in effect, institutionalized discrepancies in reports across the country. In turn, this has led to disputes about “best practices” and battles over standardization, between practitioners who have honed their practice in different contexts: some in aboriginal communities, others in urban environments, some coming from academic backgrounds, other from practice-oriented fields such as mediation.

The ambiguity surrounding Gladue, however, is likely to be the subject of increasing attention over the next several years. Aboriginal overrepresentation in prisons has continued to increase, the various inconsistencies in Gladue are receiving attention across, and the MMIWG report has brought Gladue into the mainstream.

 

[1] R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46.

[2] House of Commons, Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Minutes of

Proceedings and Evidence, no. 62 (November 17, 1994), at page 62.

[3]  R v Robinson, 2009 ONCA 205; R v Jaypoody, 2018 NUCJ 36.

[4] Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at page 185; Kim Beaudoin. Fair Access to Justice Must be for all Indigenous People. The Globe and Mail, 3 July, 2019.

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