Annual Report 2017/2018

  • July 05, 2018

Summary of Meetings: Criminal Justice - Vancouver

Number of Meetings Held: 8

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Judge Reginald Harris - Provincial Court
VPD Officer
Meeting Title/Topic: Essential Tips On Policing and Police Witnesses For Crown Counsel and Defence
Synopsis: Every criminal case starts with a police investigation. Officers are by far the most common and frequently most important witnesses in criminal trials. But what do most of us know about what it’s actually like out there? This panel will discuss issues from training, to note taking and report writing, to descriptions and identification, to use of force and decision making, to testifying – this panel will tell us how it really is. Most importantly, we learned things to make us better in court, whether examining in chief or cross.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Guest Speaker: Michelle Booker, Crown Counsel, Ministry of Justice, and Emmet Duncan, Emmet J. Duncan Law Office
Meeting Title/Topic:Litigating Sexual Assault Cases
Synopsis: Members joined our panellists while they conducted a review of the law and canvass some of the practical challenges associated with prosecuting and defending these cases. Michelle Booker provided a perspective from the Crown’s office and Emmett Duncan explored the challenges of defending these cases. The panel provided practice information valuable to any current and aspiring Crown's and defence lawyers and promises to be a great refresher for more seasoned practitioners.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Guest Speaker: Greg DelBigio, QC - Gregory P. DelBigio QC Law Office
David Layton, QC - Crown Counsel - Ministry of Attorney General
Meeting Title/Topic: Criminal Law Ethics Panel
Synopsis: This talk focussed on common ethical issues in criminal practice, with a particular focus on providing younger counsel with information, strategies and resources to better equip them to respond to these issues as they arise. Topics covered included dealing with guilty pleas, defence evidence and reluctant witnesses, as well as many more.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Guest Speaker: Madam Justice Martha Devlin, Supreme Court of British Columbia
Marilyn Sandford Q.C., Ritchie Sandford McGowan Barristers
Chris Greenwood C.C., Public Prosecution Service of Canada
Meeting Title/Topic:
Synopsis: Madam Justice Martha Devlin, Supreme Court of British Columbia, defence counsel Marilyn Sandford Q.C. and Chris Greenwood from the PPSC spoke on the issue of challenging and defending ITOs. Topics included the stages of the application, from Vukelich to cross-examination of the affiant to Garofoli; as well as recent developments and tips for success.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Guest Speaker: Eric Gottardi, Senior Partner, Peck and Company Barristers
Rod Garson, Crown Counsel, Crown Law Division Victoria
Mila Shah, Peck and Company Barristers
Meeting Title/Topic: Challenging the Constitutionality of Legislation: From Litigant to Intervenor. Tips and Tricks of the Trade?
Synopsis: The Vancouver Criminal subsection held a joint meeting with the constitutional subsection on a fantastic topic with experienced presenters. Rod Garson, the deputy director of the prosecutor support unit, and Eric Gottardi and Mila Shah, from Peck & Company, have all been involved in constitutional cases that have gone to the SCC.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Guest Speaker: Kevin Westell, Partner, Pender Litigation
Tony Paisana, Counsel, Peck and Company Barristers
Crown Counsel Guest, TBA
Meeting Title/Topic: Bill C-75: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Synopsis: Bill C-75 introduced and amended several Criminal Code provisions touching upon many areas of the criminal justice system. These changes include the creation of diversionary regime for administration of justice offences, the abolition of peremptory challenges, and the near abolition of preliminary inquiries. This panel explored these various changes and provided members with a preview of what to expect should Bill C-75 have come into force.

Monday, May 28, 2018
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Donna Martinson Q.C., Former BC Supreme Court Justice
Mary Ainslie Q.C., Crown Counsel, BC Prosecution Service,
Sarah Rauch, Rauch Darby & Company
Meeting Title/Topic: Children's Participation as Witnesses in Criminal Justice Proceedings
Synopsis: Former BC Supreme Court Justice, the Honourable Donna Martinson Q.C., Mary Ainslie Q.C., Crown counsel with the BC Prosecution Service, and Sarah Rauch, who practices criminal defense, prisoner advocacy, family, child protection, and Indigenous and children’s rights law, presented on children's participation as witnesses in criminal justice proceedings. The panel explored practical and legal issues which will be of interest for those who practice as both Crown and Defense counsel, or for those involved in cases where a young person or child's evidence is heard and considered, whether the child is called as a witness, or not.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Guest Speaker: Dennis Edney, QC
Synopsis: Our Guest of Honour this year is Dennis Edney, QC. Mr. Edney, QC is widely known for his commitment to the Omar Khadr case, and the fight for access to justice and human rights.

Comments and Observations of the Chair