Law Times

May 5, 2008

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Law Times Earlug Ad 1/16/08 4:06 titleplus.ca 416-598-5899 1-800-410-1013 McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 www.mckellar.com ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 15 1/8/08 3:03:02 PM Inside This Issue 4 Audit Committee 6 Civic Responsibility 9 Focus On IT/Telecommunications Law Quote of the week "The decision clearly has significant impact for faith-based and other organizations that provide publicly funded services to the general public. The message is that these organizations have to ensure that their hiring policies and practices are not restrictive or exclusive when they are providing services to the broader public." — Raj Dhir, counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission see Evangelical, page 3 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we make real estate real simple. May 5, 2008 gave preliminary approval last week to a bid from Lakehead University. But, while the law society benchers voted orthern Ontario has inched closer to having its own law school after the Law Society of Upper Canada overwhelmingly in support of the initiative by the Thunder Bay school, some voiced concerns and voted against it. Bencher Bob Aaron said the law society should commission a study into the demand for lawyers in Ontario before moving ahead with the approval of any new law schools. "How many lawyers does the province of Ontario need?" asked Aaron. "Do you think we should be studying that?" Bencher Laurie Pawlitza, chairwoman of the professional development and compe- tence committee, said the law society likely doesn't want to fund such a study without knowing if the proposed school will get government approval. Bencher Vern Krishna — a member of the New law school a step closer to reality N Law society gives Lakehead preliminary approval BY ROBERT TODD Law Times The Law Society of Upper Canada has given preliminary approval to a proposal to launch a new law school at Lakehead University, shown here. National Committee on Accreditation, which must make a recommendation on the Lake- head proposal — said the motion passed by Con- vocation on April 24 was "unusual." The motion informed the NCA, which is a subcommittee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, that LSUC believes Lakehead's "proposal is an important initiative. The proposal appears to have sound and persuasive objectives. It is worthy of careful consideration." Krishna said it's uncommon for the law soci- ety to pass a proposal on to another governing body with a qualifier. The professional development and compe- tence committee also isn't convinced that the Lakehead law school would have access to enough articling and co-op positions. Noting that arti- cling positions have been sparse in northern On- tario and other rural parts of the province, the report states that the law society is concerned that "insufficient commitments have been obtained to date to implement a co-op program and be- tween 45-55 articling jobs." Lakehead sent surveys to 123 firms in north- western Ontario to see if they would accept co- op or articling students, the report stated. While one-third of the questionnaires were returned, indicating a total of 10 to 15 spots would be available, Lakehead estimates that 20 to 30 See Deans, page 2 SCC muzzles random police dog-sniff searches BY TIM NAUMETZ For Law Times OTTAWA — Two Supreme Court of Canada decisions saying police dog sniffing constitutes a search un- der Charter s. 8 are landmark rulings that separate Canadian and U.S. ju- risprudence and affirm constitution- al rights of high school students and travellers, say civil liberties lawyers. The first case involved a bus trav- eller convicted of cocaine possession, and all nine justices found a police- dog-sniff of his gym bag amounted to be a search under Charter s. 8. The court found the search uncon- stitutional because the dog was led to sniff the bag when police had no reasonable and probable grounds to believe the man was carrying drugs. In the other case, a Crown appeal of a unanimous Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, seven of the justices agreed that a dog-sniff of backpacks in a Sarnia high school also constitut- ed a search and violated the Charter. The majority agreed in both cases police nonetheless possess a common law power allowing canine searches, as long as the dog handlers and other officers comply with the Charter. "Because they [dogs] are so effec- trault LLP partner in Toronto. In the first case, R. v. Kang-Brown, tive, and they are intimidating and they are imposing, their use has to be subject to constitutional scrutiny," says Jonathan Lisus, counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as an intervener in both cases. "The police should be allowed to use dogs in a legitimate enforcement of law and legitimate investigation and legitimate furtherance of public health and safety, but random mass speculative investigations are not a legitimate exercise of police power and they are not a legitimate use of dogs," adds Lisus, a McCarthy Té- RCMP staked out the Calgary bus terminal as part of a program in- volving ongoing surveillance of civil society. The program, called Jetway, "monitors the travelling public in an effort to identify and arrest drug couriers and other individuals partic- ipating in criminal activities," wrote Justice Ian Binnie in his partially concurring reasons. An officer at the bus depot struck up a conversation with Gurmakh Kang-Brown, who had just arrived on a bus from Vancouver, got his permission to look into his bag, and then called over an officer handling a dog named Chevy after Kang- Brown jerked the bag away when the Mountie tried to grab it. The dog sat down as he had been trained to do when he sniffed narcotics, and the officer arrested Kang-Brown even before he opened the bag containing 17 ounces of cocaine. Brown had given were "elongated" stares and other quirks the Mounties had been trained in the Jetway pro- gram to recognize as suspicious. In the decision, Justice Louis LeB- el suggested there was a "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity, but said the existing threshold of The only unusual signals Kang- sonable and probable grounds" for the exercise of police powers should apply and any extension of police powers through the use of sniffer dogs should be left to Parliament. Binnie and the other justices not- "rea- ed privacy expectations are lower at airports and border crossings. The constitutional right to pri- vacy, even at a bus terminal, was cen- tral to Kang-Brown. Privacy was also crucial in the other, R. v. A.M. See U.S.-style, page 3 Value your time? Then you'll value our technology! 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