Law Times

May 28, 2012

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EPIC BATTLE Legal fight from War of 1812 revisited Follow on $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 18 Untitled-3 1 P3 BILLS, BILLS, BILLS Liberals veer from nanny state stance with plethora of laws P7 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM tee responsible for processing applications to the province' O judicial appointments advisory committee, said while more people from visible minor- ity groups have become judges over the last two decades, political patronage and cul- tural stereotypes still create barriers. "We've made some progress compared Hanny Hassan, chairman of the Ontario s judiciary. to 20 years ago but we still aren't seeing a signifi cant number of minorities applying to become judges," said Hassan. "In fact, we haven't had a signifi cant change in the num- ber of visible minority and disabled appli- cants in the past fi ve years." Currently, more than half of Ontario' BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times Lack of applications among reasons for few minority judges Hassan, who made the comments dur- Diversity on bench 'long way' off 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM L AW TIMES ntario still has "a long way to go" if it hopes to create a more bench in the next decade, says the head of the commit- culturally diverse judges are white males, according to statis- tics provided by the Law Society of Upper Canada. By comparison, 11 per cent of all lawyers in Ontario come from racialized communities. Th e topic of judicial diversity also came up recently in media reports on appointments to the Federal Court. Crit- ics pointed to a lack of diversity as serious problems at the Federal Court. s ntitled-4 1 ing a panel discussion on judicial diversity at the law society on May 17, said that al- though the advisory committee encourages a broad range of applicants to apply to be- come judges, many lawyers who are from visible minority groups don't apply because they feel they have a duty to remain in their communities or worry they'll be unsuccess- ful because of their race or gender. "We've found many minorities play impor- tant roles in their community and likely feel obligated to stay in that role, nifi cant gap in the number of qualifi ed ap- plicants that could become members of the bench. Th at being said, we also need to make sure we aren't just creating a list of applicants from diff erent cultural backgrounds that the [attorney general] can play politics with." Sonia Lawrence, an associate professor at "It's important because it creates a sig- " said Hassan. FOCUS ON P9 Criminal law May 28, 2012 12-03-20 10:44 A 'We've found many minorities play important roles in their community and likely feel obligated to stay in that role,' says Hanny Hassan. Photo: Kendyl Sebesta Osgoode Hall Law School and a member of the panel, said the lack of diversity is a prob- lem. "When we think of judges currently, we probably have an image of a judge in our heads of a white man in a pinstripe suit, but should that be the image that we have? A lack of diff erent voices and perspectives on the bench creates an issue of legitimacy when it comes to those being judged. Th ey want to see their beliefs and cultures refl ected in the justice they receive. Th ey don't want shallow String of fires affecting Sault Ste. Marie legal community BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times A fi re that gutted criminal defence lawyer Stacy Tijerina' n Ontario fi re marshal investigator and the Ontario Provincial Po- lice are looking into a Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Th e fi re broke out at the Blue s law offi ce in Heron industrial complex at 485B Gran St. on Batchewana First Na- tion land at approximately 12:30 a.m. on May 14. Tijerina' fi ce was in the one-storey complex. Th e blaze follows a string of fi re incidents aff ecting the city' s law of- community in recent months. According to OPP Const. Mo- nique Baker, the fi re mainly aff ected s legal Tijerina's law offi ce and caused an s interior. estimated $150,000 in damages to the building' cious and the fi re marshal investi- gator has taken samples from the scene for examination. "Th e fi re marshal is currently Police consider the fi re suspi- conducting an investigation," says Baker. "No injuries were reported. Th e Batchewana First Nation " Police Service is also assisting in the investigation. Tijerina couldn't be reached for comment by press time last week. An Ontario fi re marshal investiga- tor has yet to determine the cause of the fi re. Th e fi re is the third to occur at a law or police offi ce in Sault Ste. Marie in the past year. believed to have set fi re to Sault Ste. Marie lawyer Ken Walker' fi ce on Wellington Street East. Ac- cording to an OPP press release, a man ran from the scene, but there have been no arrests. But a look at Sault Ste. Marie the course of one week in May, there were eight suspicious fi res in Sault Ste. Marie' s downtown last year. During In May 2011, an arsonist was s of- section of the basement level where police offi ces were located. According to the OPP, fi re ser- police reports shows the fi re was one of many that occurred in the city' Th e fi re to Walker's law fi rm was s downtown core. on that list. Th en in August 2011, the pro- vincial courthouse on Queen Street East closed down for seven months. A fi re caused signifi cant damage to an offi ce in the east vices responded to the 426 Queen St. E. location at 3:45 a.m. An in- vestigation by the fi re marshal put the cause of the fi re as "undeter- mined. area of the province to experi- ence suspicious fi res at law fi rms in recent months. Halton police, for example, investigated a fi re that caused extensive damage to Oakville, Ont., law fi rm Will Da- vidson LLP in March. Th e fi re broke out at 1464 Sault Ste. Marie isn't the only " Cornwall Rd. during the evening of March 19. It caused roughly $500,000 in damage to the building See Oakville, page 5 See Merit, page 5 KPI_LT_Mar26_12.indd 1 12-03-20 10:58 AM PM #40762529

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