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July 25, 2016

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Page 16 July 25, 2016 • law Times www.lawtimesnews.com U OF OTTAWA LAW PROFESSOR LOOKS TO DEMYSTIFY CONSTITUTION Adam Dodek wants to debunk the myth that the Canadian Con- stitution is boring. The University of Ottawa law professor is releasing an ex- panded version of his book, The Canadian Constitution, which provides a primer on the corner- stone of Canada's legal framework. "It's going to make the Constitution accessible and understand- able to lawyers, experts and ordinary Canadians for the very first time," Dodek says. He says he felt the need to update the original book, which was re- leased in 2013, in order to ref lect legal changes and to expand on its explanations of the Constitution. In addition to including the complete text of the Constitution Acts of 1867 and 1982 with an index, the expanded book also looks at each section and explains what it means, Dodek says. "If you read our Constitution, you would think that the prime min- ister is a marginal figure and is essentially an event planner," he says. "So much of the way our Constitution works is sort of hidden be- neath the text." The book also uses stories that highlight Constitutional rulings, such as that of the groundbreaking 1929 Persons Case, to help under- stand how the Constitution is applicable to Canadians' lives. "It makes it understandable and translates it into ways that every- one can understand," Dodek says. FINALISTS ANNOUNCED IN CHALLENGE Six Ontario legal startups are through to the second stage of the Legal Innovation Zone's Access To Justice Challenge. Ryerson University's legal incubator announced the win- ners from a pool of 10 nominees that pitched their solutions to enhance access to justice. The startups that will get the chance to compete for $50,000 in seed money, including a $25,000 first-place prize, will be Codify Legal Publishing, JusticeTrans, Law Scout Inc., Legally Inc., Lex Cortex Ltd and ParDONE. The final win- ner will be announced Nov. 25. CRIME RATES UP IN CANADA Police-reported crime increased for the first time in 12 years in 2015, according to new infor- mation released by Statistics Canada. The federal agency uses the traditional crime rate and the Crime Severity Index to mea- sure police-reported crime. The CSI, which measures the volume and severity of crime, saw an up- tick of five per cent in 2015 from the previous year, but it was still at a level that was 31-per-cent lower than in 2005. Statistics Canada says the in- crease in the CSI was because of more incidents of fraud, break- ing and entering, robbery, and homicide. The traditional crime rate, which uses the volume of reported crime relative to an area's population, rose three per cent in 2015 from 2014. There were 22-per-cent more attempted murders reported and a 15-per-cent increase in homicide. The CSI for Ontario alone saw an increase of two per cent, which Statistics Canada says is due to an increase in re- ported fraud. Toronto has one of the lowest CSIs of 33 consensus metropolitan areas with a rate of just 45.7. LAW TIMES POLL Law Times reported recently that lawyers are criticizing the Provincial Offences Act, when it comes to the legal process follow- ing careless-driving incidents. Readers were asked if they think the POA needs overhaul- ing. One hundred per cent of respondents indicated yes, the POA lacks consistency and is confusing when it comes to sentencing. It definitely needs updating. There were no re- spondents that said no, the way the POA currently works is just fine. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story CHILLEST. KEBAB DUDE. EVER. An Egyptian kebab shop owner in New Zea- land has become an Internet hit after a video of him ignoring a would-be robber and con- tinuing to serve a customer went viral, drawing more than a quarter of a million views. Said Ahmed, owner of the Egyptian Ke- bab House in Christchurch, said it was simply a "lucky" reaction to ignore the masked man, who walked into his restaurant on May 28 and demanded cash while holding what appeared to be a gun. Ahmed, who has run his kebab shop for 15 years, continued to bag up an order and handed it to a customer before walking away to call the police, the video shows, leaving the attempted robber to exit empty-handed. Canterbury Police released CCTV footage of the incident on Facebook last week in a bid to identify the would-be robber. The 27-second clip has since drawn 255,000 views and has been shared more than 1,000 times. Ahmed, 55, who was quickly dubbed by social media as the "chillest chip shop operator," said he was only thinking of his family and thought walking away would avoid a more serious outcome. "I'm not a hero, but, you know, I controlled my reaction," he told New Zealand media. "Quite lucky because that reaction come to my head in that moment." THE MOST POPULAR PLACE TO WORK UNTIL . . . The mayor of a small town outside Naples had to shut down most municipal offices after po- lice arrested 23 of his staff on Tuesday in the latest revelations of absenteeism in Italy's pub- lic sector. Police arrested around half of all em- ployees in the town hall offices of Boscotrecase following a weeks-long investigation that they said revealed 200 cases of absenteeism involv- ing 30 people. Staff were filmed clocking in and then leaving to go about their personal business or using multiple swipe cards to register absent colleagues, in scenes that have become familiar after numerous similar scandals. A police video showed one man trying to tamper with a security camera and then putting a cardboard box over his head to hide his iden- tity before swiping two cards. "I'll probably have to shut down the town hall," Pietro Carotenuto, elected just a month ago as mayor of the town of 11,000 people, told Sky Italia. He said four major town hall departments had been closed on Tuesday due to a lack of staff. Those arrested, accused of fraud against the state, included the head of the local traffic police and the head of the town's accounting department. The workers, clearly undeterred by a recently announced government crack- down against absenteeism, have been suspend- ed from work for between six and 12 months and risk eventual dismissal. HARDEST JOB? UNDERGROUND JEWEL THIEVES The search for lucre was filthy indeed for six Italians jailed this week over a bid to burrow up from the sewers of Naples into luxury shops and make off with jewels worth hundreds of thou- sands of euros. Three were caught in the act last November and dragged out of the underground tunnels in handcuffs by agents who specialize in under- water operations, police said. The same three, together with three accomplices, were detained on Monday and have been jailed pending trial. They slipped into the sewers through man- holes in the city's Spanish Quarter, traversed the honeycomb of tunnels below ground, and dug judicious exit points under the shops. Police found the holes and intervened to foil six robberies in all, police captain Michele Cen- tola said, adding that five of the six thieves had already served jail time. LT Adam Dodek is releasing an expanded ver- sion of his book, The Canadian Constitution. • 40 issues a year covering Ontario's legal landscape • FREE digital edition and unlimited online access to past issues • FREE Canadian Legal Newswire, a weekly e-newsletter from the editors of Law Times and Canadian Lawyer Juror ruling prompts call to look at Criminal Code BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times ith the Ontario Court of Appeal having ruled on jurors' use of extrinsic informa- tion in a recent case, the president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association says it may be necessary to amend the Criminal Code in order to get a better handle on the issue. "You can't say if jurors are or are not doing this at any level that is ap- preciable because you only find out in the rare case where a juror hap- pens to mention something," says Anthony Moustacalis. "Maybe jurors really do obey the judge's instructions. In my experi- ence, it seems that they generally do. But do I really know? The an- swer is no. Maybe they're Googling stuff all the time." The only way to know for sure and assess the necessity of any changes to the jury system, accord- ing to Moustacalis, is to amend the Criminal Code to allow research- ers to interview jury members anonymously about their experi- ences. "The fact of the matter is that people are people and they might not always remember the limits of what they're allowed to do or they might stray," he says. The comments follow the ap- peal court's ruling in R. v. Farinacci, a case that demonstrated the ease with which jurors can now find information about the defendant outside of the evidence presented during the trial. In their ruling on June 3, a panel of three judges re- fused to overturn the convictions of two brothers for possession of the proceeds of crime and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. The brothers, Lucas Farinacci and Leonard Fari- nacci Jr., had argued their right to a fair trial had been compromised because jurors in the case, with the help of Google and other sources, had come across information about them that hadn't come up in court. The appeal came about as a result of a chance event at a coffee shop. Prior to sentencing but after the brothers' conviction, someone at the coffee shop overheard one of the ju- rors, in a conversation with a friend, mention that another me mber of Emond_LT_June15_15.indd 1 2015-06-10 2:47 PM Zero-tolerance conundrum Lawyers say pendulum has swung too far against accused in domestic violence cases BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times he justice system has taken the idea of zero toler- ance in domestic assault to such an extreme that it's unfair to defendants and no longer works in the best interests of Ontario families, says a 40- year veteran of criminal law. It's an opinion, however, vociferously opposed by at least one lawyer who helps victims of domestic violence. Leo Adler, of Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, says the issue of domestic assault has become "political football" over the last 25 to 30 years with largely undesirable results. While Adler emphasizes he doesn't want to diminish the tragedy of family violence, he says the situation has now reached a point where police called to family violence situa- tions are unduly afraid to release the defendant even in cases that don't appear serious. "Nobody wants to be the person who says, 'O.K., I'm going to release you,' because you might be the one in a million or whatever the statistic is who might end up killing your spouse," says Adler. "In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred. You simply have the word of the complainant. And the person gets arrested and I can tell you that again in the majority of cases, the police don't even bother to try to take a statement from the accused, usually the male. . . . They don't ask because it doesn't make a difference because they're going to arrest you no matter what." Bail hearings in domestic violence cases, he says, are "a l- ways run on the presumption of guilt" and, if the court does grant bail, it's generally under strict conditions with the de- fendant required to live with a surety. The result, according to Adler, is often a divided family with the added financial strain OBA LAUDED Association honoured for mental-health efforts P4 CAMPAIGN SPENDING Bencher candidate calls for expense limits P6 FOCUS ON Legal Innovation P8 'In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred,' says Leo Adler. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Silence, page 2 See Bail, page 2 There's no way to know if jurors are doing their own research on cases, says Anthony Moustacalis. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 20 June 15, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes L AW TIMES T W Juror ruling prompts call to look at Criminal Code BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times ith the Ontario Court of Appeal having ruled on jurors' use of extrinsic informa- tion in a recent case, the president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association says it may be necessary to amend the Criminal Code in order to get a better handle on the issue. "You can't say if jurors are or are not doing this at any level that is ap- preciable because you only find out in the rare case where a juror hap- pens to mention something," says Anthony Moustacalis. "Maybe jurors really do obey the judge's instructions. In my experi- ence, it seems that they generally do. But do I really know? The an- swer is no. Maybe they're Googling stuff all the time." The only way to know for sure and assess the necessity of any changes to the jury system, accord- ing to Moustacalis, is to amend the Criminal Code to allow research- ers to interview jury members anonymously about their experi- ences. "The fact of the matter is that people are people and they might not always remember the limits of what they're allowed to do or they might stray," he says. The comments follow the ap- peal court's ruling in R. v. Farinacci, a case that demonstrated the ease with which jurors can now find information about the defendant outside of the evidence presented during the trial. In their ruling on June 3, a panel of three judges re- fused to overturn the convictions of two brothers for possession of the proceeds of crime and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. The brothers, Lucas Farinacci and Leonard Fari- nacci Jr., had argued their right to a fair trial had been compromised because jurors in the case, with the help of Google and other sources, had come across information about them that hadn't come up in court. The appeal came about as a result of a chance event at a coffee shop. Prior to sentencing but after the brothers' conviction, someone at the coffee shop overheard one of the ju- rors, in a conversation with a friend, mention that another me mber of Emond_LT_June15_15.indd 1 2015-06-10 2:47 PM Zero-tolerance conundrum Lawyers say pendulum has swung too far against accused in domestic violence cases BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times he justice system has taken the idea of zero toler- ance in domestic assault to such an extreme that it's unfair to defendants and no longer works in the best interests of Ontario families, says a 40- year veteran of criminal law. It's an opinion, however, vociferously opposed by at least one lawyer who helps victims of domestic violence. Leo Adler, of Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, says the issue of domestic assault has become "political football" over the last 25 to 30 years with largely undesirable results. While Adler emphasizes he doesn't want to diminish the tragedy of family violence, he says the situation has now reached a point where police called to family violence situa- tions are unduly afraid to release the defendant even in cases that don't appear serious. "Nobody wants to be the person who says, 'O.K., I'm going to release you,' because you might be the one in a million or whatever the statistic is who might end up killing your spouse," says Adler. "In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred. You simply have the word of the complainant. And the person gets arrested and I can tell you that again in the majority of cases, the police don't even bother to try to take a statement from the accused, usually the male. . . . They don't ask because it doesn't make a difference because they're going to arrest you no matter what." Bail hearings in domestic violence cases, he says, are "a l- ways run on the presumption of guilt" and, if the court does grant bail, it's generally under strict conditions with the de- fendant required to live with a surety. The result, according to Adler, is often a divided family with the added financial strain OBA LAUDED Association honoured for mental-health efforts P4 CAMPAIGN SPENDING Bencher candidate calls for expense limits P6 FOCUS ON Legal Innovation P8 'In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred,' says Leo Adler. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Silence, page 2 See Bail, page 2 There's no way to know if jurors are doing their own research on cases, says Anthony Moustacalis. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 20 June 15, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes L AW TIMES T W Subscribe to Law Times today for $199* and receive: Canlawyer.lawtimes@thomsonreuters.com | 416.609.3800 | 1.800.387.5164 Access a free preview at: bitly.com/LawTimes-FreePreview Order online at: www.lawtimesnews.com/subscribe *Plus applicable taxes How the legal community in Ontario gets its news @lawtimes

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