Annual Report 2012/2013

  • July 16, 2013

Submitted by Section Co-Chair, Paul Pearson

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 9

September 26, 2012
Guest Speaker: Ray Baker, Victoria Community Corrections, Richard de Boer, Director of Policy and Legislation, Criminal Justice Branch, and Samantha Hulme, Crown Counsel, Criminal Justice Branch
Synopsis: Diversion policy and practice.

October 24, 2012
Guest Speaker: Gillian Lindquist (Restorative Justice Victoria), Kim Fagerlund (John Howard Society), and Jeremy Carr (Defence Counsel)
Synopsis: Restorative Justice Options in Victoria: building on last meeting’s discussion of Alternative Measures (“diversion” via Probation), exploring what Victoria’s two community based Restorative Justice programs have to offer. IRP program: “unjust enrichment?”—Jeremy Carr’s take on B.C.’s IRP legislation.

November 28, 2012
Guest Speaker: Marnie Mayhew, Director, Programs and Strategic Services, Corrections Branch, Pete Coulson , Provincial Director, Adult Custody, Corrections Branch, and Shauna Morgan, Warden, VIRCC
Synopsis: Truth in Sentencing: Legal Update and Myths and Realities of Conditions of Custody.

December 12, 2012
Guest Speaker: Carmen Rogers, Mike Munro, and the Honourable Judge Brooks
Synopsis: Advocacy: Practical Tips and Ethical Dilemmas.

February 13, 2013
Guest Speaker: Julia Herzog, Jim Turner, and Cristin Peel
Synopsis: “So You Want to Cross the Border?” & “What You and Your Client Need to Know”

April 11, 2013
Guest Speaker: Mr. Richard Rosenthal, Chief Civilian Director, Independent Investigations Office of B.C.
Synopsis: The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

May 15, 2013
Guest Speaker: Rolfe Horne, Legal Services Society, Stephanie Lightfoot, Legal Services Society, and Malcolm Jeffcock, Q.C., Legal Services Society
Synopsis: Current developments at the Legal Services Society (LSS) in Criminal Case Management: a 2 hour professional ethics and practice management seminar for criminal law tariff practitioners.

May 29, 2013
Guest Speaker: Debbie Granger, Crown Counsel, Crystal Buchan, Carr Buchan & Co, Jeff Johnston, and Wendy Bernt, Pearlman Lindholm
Synopsis: The New Protection Order Scheme.

June 26, 2013
Guest Speaker: N/A
Synopsis: AGM - 2013/2014 Executive Elections.

Reports and Resolutions

WHEREAS the closure by the Government of British Columbia of the youth custody units in Victoria and Prince George for female youths in custody will result in hardships to said youths and their families; and

WHEREAS there remains a shortage of sheriffs to facilitate transport of said youths to and from the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre; and

WHEREAS female youths in custody will as a result be held in police cells for unconscionable periods of time before transport; and

WHEREAS removing female youths in custody from their communities and creating barriers to contact with their families will have an adverse impact on their psychological and social wellbeing, and be contrary to the rehabilitative goals of the Youth Criminal Justice Act; and

WHEREAS this action will impede access to and communication with legal counsel; and

WHEREAS the closure of the Victoria and Prince George units will have a disproportionately negative impact on First Nations families; and

WHEREAS the Government has taken this step, after years of cutbacks to youth programs and the elimination of innumerable youth support worker positions, without first creating and maintaining programs sufficient to assist and support young offenders and their families in British Columbia; and

WHEREAS the Government failed to consult with any stakeholder groups prior to making this decision;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Criminal Justice - Victoria Section of the Canadian Bar Association denounces the closures of the female youth custody units in Victoria and Prince George and calls upon the Government of British Columbia to reverse the decision on the closures.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

The Criminal Justice - Victoria Section had an extremely active year, holding very informative sessions on legislative changes, policy and practical considerations for members of the bar.

We held meetings almost monthly, which were attended by members of the bar, articled students, as well as law students.

We were lucky to have members of the judiciary, high-ranking policy officials, and top counsel present to our Section on a variety of topics.