Law Times

June 16, 2008

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 23

Law Times Earlug Ad 1/16/08 4:06 416-598-5899 1-800-410-1013 McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. 1-800-265-8381 $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 20 ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 1/8/08 3:03:02 PM Security certificate law under fire Advocates muzzled, says lawyer BY TIM NAUMETZ For Law Times OTTAWA — A special advocate in the new trial system for alleged terrorist risks threat- ened with deportation, says the measures were passed in such haste that secrecy pre- vents him from even informing his secretary when he attends an in-camera hearing. Ottawa lawyer Gordon Cameron is one of 19 special advocates the government named in response to a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling last year saying se- curity certificate deportation provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act violated the Charter of Rights. But, just as secret Federal Court hearings are being renewed for five refugee claimants with alleged terrorist links, Cameron has warned senators the act should be amended once more to correct failings that remain after the court-ordered amendments were rushed through Parliament last February. In fact — though Cameron did not say it explicitly when he testified at a recent Senate committee hearing — the govern- ment and Parliament may not have satis- fied the Supreme Court's chief concern that those named for deportation in security certificates were being denied the ability to mount a full defence in a fair trial. Cameron told the Senate special commit- tee on anti-terrorism he and other advocates have consulted with each other and "surpris- ingly, among a group of lawyers" agreed the faults must be corrected for the act to work as intended by the Supreme Court. The failings centre on restrictions that prevent about those alleged to have terrorist links. The advocates, contrary to what the Su- preme Court implied should be the case, are allowed only to view evidence and in- formation the government presents as evi- dence in court. They do not have access to all of the government's information about those facing deportation. Another failing is a requirement that the ad- Special advocate Gordon Cameron says new mea- sures are so secret he can't tell his secretary when he attends an in-camera hearing. the special advocates — introduced as a safeguard to screen evidence the government presents in closed Federal Court hearings — from seeing all the information the government has gathered vocates must obtain permission from a judge to be able to communicate with those named in the certificates. The advocates cannot even communicate with government lawyers. "I now have been involved in two of the security certificate cases as a nominated special advocate," Cameron told the com- mittee. "We are already working out the order we need from the judge to correct the errors in the legislation. "In other words, the first thing we do upon entering the courtroom is to request leave for the special advocate to talk to the government lawyers about the proceeding . . . I am prohibited from telling my secre- tary that I am going to a closed proceeding today. The special advocate and the gen- eral or outside counsel, the lawyer for the named person, cannot talk to each other. I cannot tell him that the hearing starts next week or there we were hearing evidence for five days this week." Cameron appears to have the most ex- perience with sensitive security information among the 19 special advocates; he told the senators he has completed 20 hearings as a special counsel doing similar legal work for the security and intelligence review committee. See Measures, page 2 Matlow asking Federal Court for review BY SHANNON KARI For Law Times dian Judicial Council disciplinary panel decision that recommended his removal from the bench. Paul Cavalluzzo, O counsel for Matlow, confirmed to Law Times that the judge will be asking the Federal Court of Canada to review the findings of the panel that were released on May 29. Cavalluzzo added he will request that the judicial council defer tak- ing further action in its disciplinary process while the Federal Court ac- tion is ongoing. The judicial coun- cil announced late last week it will hold a public meeting on July 21 in Toronto and Matlow is scheduled to make an oral statement. ntario Superior Court Jus- tice Ted Matlow will seek judicial review of a Cana- A spokesperson for the judicial council said at press time it would not be responding about whether it will put its process on hold before the application is filed in Federal Court. The conduct of Matlow, in his public and ongoing criticism of the City of Toronto legal depart- ment in approving a real estate development next to his home, was described as "manifestly and totally contrary to the impartial- ity, integrity and independence of the judiciary" by the inquiry com- mittee that presided over the dis- ciplinary hearing. The committee was chaired by former Newfound- land premier Clyde Wells, who is the chief justice of that province. The City of Toronto solicitor, Anna Kinastowski, filed the ini- tial complaint against Matlow in 2006, a few months after he was on a Divisional Court panel that ruled against the city. Unless it agrees to the request to put the disciplinary process on hold, the full judicial council will decide on a final recommendation to the federal justice minister. A confidential judicial council re- port obtained by Law Times, which paved the way for the disciplinary hearing, suggests the judicial body would not be favourable to Matlow. The February 2007 report con- tains the findings of a five-judge panel, which ordered a hearing after receiving written submissions. The report was obtained independently by Law Times and not from any party connected to the proceeding. The panel, chaired by Associate Chief Justice Jeffrey Oliphant of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, made criticisms of Matlow that were almost identical to that of the inquiry committee's findings last month. "Justice Matlow's actions were neither measured nor restrained and hardly such as would befit the judicial office," the report stated. The allegations against Matlow were compared by the panel to that of a judge who renders a deci- sion that is "impeccably reasoned and legally correct," yet it is clear in open court that the judge is im- paired by alcohol or drugs. Six of the judges who partici- pated in the February 2007 report and the advisory committee hear- ing are also members of the full Canadian Judicial Council. Matlow, who has served on the bench for 27 years, is only the sec- ond Superior Court judge that an advisory committee has concluded there are grounds for removal. A similar finding was made in 1996 against a Quebec judge who See Harshest, page 5 U of O President 9 Focus On Real Estate Law 15 Crisis Litigation Quote of the week "We're not saying stop using Facebook, although I think people should think very carefully every time they're about to post something, 'Do I want a potential employer to see this?'" — Philippa Lawson director, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic See Ottawa, page 2 Inside This Issue 4 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we make real estate real simple. June 16, 2008 Tel: 416.322.6111 Toll-free: 1.866.367.7648 Industry leader in legal software for real estate, corporate and estates for over a decade

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - June 16, 2008