Law Times

Oct 15, 2012

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

HIV PROSECUTIONS Guidelines unclear despite SCC ruling $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 32 ntitled-2 1 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM October 15, 2012 Project revamped with new goals as AG touts success Justice on Target relaunched 7/7/11 9:10:05 AM ntitled-4 1 D BY GLENN KAUTH Law Times timelines — based on the severity of the case. "I guess it was sort of a notional target, quite frank- ly," says Gerretsen in reference to the project's original espite failing to achieve its ambitious original goals, Attorney General John Gerretsen is giving the Justice on Target eff ort a makeover by extending the proj- ect with new benchmarks — but without goal of reducing the number of appearances and days to disposition in Ontario criminal cases by 30 per cent by 2012. But noting that both appearances and days to disposition have declined somewhat since 2007, Ger- retsen says Justice on Target remains worthwhile. "Th ere' erybody benefi ts in the long run." Earlier this year, Law Times documented some of s no reason not to continue it," he says. "Ev- the problems the program was having. An evaluation of Justice on Target obtained by Law Times noted the fi gures at some Toronto-area courthouses had actu- ally worsened or remained stagnant. It pointed to re- sistance from some players in the system, particularly Crown prosecutors, as a key factor in the lacklustre results. But the latest statistics dating up to June 2012 show the average number of appearances has declined to 8.5 from 9.2 in 2007. As for days to disposition, the average in June was 192, a decrease of about six per cent from the 2007 fi gure of 205 days. Some of the courthouses analyzed by the earlier are down to an average of 10.6 from 11.5 in 2007. But days to disposition still increased to 248 from 221. At Old City Hall, another courthouse where the statistics weren't looking good, both appearances and days to disposition showed modestly positive results. "We've got a momentum now that it' right way," says Gerretsen. s heading in the ect, Frank Addario of the Addario Law Group in Toronto says there have been some positive aspects. "It' see police, Crown lawyers, and defence working together," While some defence lawyers have criticized the proj- s good to he says. "Th e reductions are impressive in some cases." Gerretsen is now continuing the project with a revised approach. It will now set benchmarks based on the sever- ity of the matter. Th e goal is to resolve less complex cases within 90 days and fi ve appearances; more serious ones (until committal to trial) within 240 days and 10 appear- ances; and matters involving combined federal and pro- vincial charges within 180 days and nine appearances. "It became unacceptable to basically have the number of appearances double over the last 15 years on average," says Gerretsen in explaining the rationale for the project. Among the measures to improve effi ciency in the justice system is a focus on expanding court technol- ogy to allow more people in remand to appear via video link. "Th ey should not be hauled in for a simple remand and then taken back again," says Gerretsen. In addition, he notes police and Crowns are getting evaluation of the program have since shown some im- provement. At College Park, for example, appearances 'We still have too many people in remand in Ontario,' says Frank Addario. Photo: Laura Pedersen L AW TIMES P4 Negative number signals need for rule change P7 12-03-20 10:44 A DISCOUNT RATE FOCUS ON Insurance Law P9 much faster at providing disclosure to the defence. In some cases, the accused are getting disclosure around the time of a fi rst appearance, according to Gerretsen. "Even the people I've met from the defence bar generally speaking believe in CRA penalty against lawyer equals criminal sanction: court ties following an Ottawa lawyer's successful appeal of a more than $500,000 sanction of her actions in advising on a bogus charitable donation scheme. In Guindon v. Her Majesty the T Queen, the Tax Court of Canada al- lowed an appeal of the minister of national revenue' ing penalties of $546,747 against Ottawa lawyer Julie Guindon for statements made in the context of a donation program. Th e court found the penalties imposed un- s decision assess- BY SIOBHAN McCLELLAND For Law Times ax lawyers and advisers now have greater pro- tections Revenue Agency penal- from Canada der s. 163.2 of the Income Tax Act amount to criminal sanctions. Consequently, tax lawyers and advisers prosecuted under this sec- tion are able to rely on protections under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and must be prosecuted through the criminal courts rather than the Tax Court. Th e ruling by Justice Paul Bédard also makes it more diffi cult cases as the higher burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt applies. It comes as a number of prominent law fi rms have found themselves in hot water for their advice in ques- tionable charitable donation ar- rangements. Th e litigation so far has oſt en involved class actions against the fi rm that provided the advice. "I think this is actually quite a to prosecute these experience OSGOODE Untitled-1 1 favourable outcome for people who have backed abusive donation arrangements," says Adam Parachin, a professor at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law. "It' probably; a negative outcome for taxpayers at large; and, in some ways, a clinic on how not to legis- latively draſt . s a good outcome for them "It's such a negative decision for the tax regulator," he adds. " day because a decision along the way will be made that they just sim- ply don't have the evidence to meet that greater burden of proof. "Less cases will see the light of 163.2 imposes criminal sanctions, Adam Aptowitzer, who was coun- sel for Guindon, notes there are With the court's fi nding that s. " sion is primarily going to aff ect tax lawyers and accountants. It may also aff ect law fi rms that have participat- ed in providing tax opinions on vari- ous charitable donation tax shelters. Th e court noted that s. 163.2 now protections for people facing prosecution under that section. He says that while the CRA previously had tremendous investigatory powers that required individuals to produce documents, "now they are going to be stopped from doing that and they will have to compel those documents if necessary un- der warrant and do searches." Aptowitzer says the court' s deci- came about as "a reaction to cases in which individuals had made or been involved in making a false statement See Firms, page 5 See Crowns, page 5 Graduates who are confident. Committed. Ready. This is the Osgoode Experience. 12-09-25 10:13 AM PM #40762529

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - Oct 15, 2012