Annual Report 2015/2016

  • August 16, 2016

Submitted by Section Co-Chair, Andrew Tam

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 8

October 5, 2015
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Judge Rogers Cristin Peel Peter Firestone
Meeting Title/Topic: Statements and Section 10
Synopsis: Cristin Peel •The basics: intro to voluntariness, Charter and voluntariness burdens of proof, voir dire stuff •Update on cases •Crown considerations for introducing statements Peter Firestone •Sections 7 and 10 on serious case interrogations of accused •Self-serving statements and 'the right' of the accused to introduce their statements for the truth in a criminal trial Judge Rogers •A view from the bench: effective and ineffective approaches and techniques, by crown and defence, in relation to voluntariness and s. 10 issues at trial •Considerations on s. 24(2) where a s. 10 breach has been made out

November 3, 2015
Guest Speaker: Sean Finn Shelley Quinte Jennifer Barrett
Meeting Title/Topic: The Price of Silence - What "keeping your mouth shut" may mean for your client
Synopsis: Your client phones you for advice after being charged with an offence. You tell your client to remain silent and not speak to anyone about what happened. That is sound advice when defending the criminal charge. But what will that mean for your client when other issues may be involved? Will your client lose his insurance coverage in the case of a car accident? Will your client lose her job if the allegation is related to her employment? Will your client lose custody or access to her child if the allegation is related to domestic violence? Come listen to what our experienced panel has to say when these scenarios overlap a criminal investigation.

November 25, 2015
Guest Speaker: Catherine Charlton, Judith Wright, Wendy Walsh, Sgt. Kristi Ross, Kim Gramlich
Meeting Title/Topic: Support Resources Available to Victims of Crime
Synopsis: Come hear from our guest speakers on who they are, what their education and background is, and what they do “behind the scenes” to assist victims throughout the court process. There will also be some exciting news in respect of the opening of the Child Advocacy Centre (finally!) here in Victoria. Sgt. Kristi Ross and Judith Wright will tell you more about what is to come (including whether we'll be getting our own courthouse dog at some point)!

February 17, 2016
Guest Speaker: Cst. Jim Henly Cst. Devon Fountain
Meeting Title/Topic: Police Show & Tell
Synopsis: Cst. Jim Henly demonstrated some of the tests conducted in the preparation of a Firearms report. Cst. Devon Fountain presented some of the new equipment being rolled out to aid in the detection of imparied drivers. Cst. Bob Isles presented some of the new street drugs and discussed the issues they raise for policing.

February 24, 2016
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Judge Lowe, Tamara Hodge Michael Munro
Meeting Title/Topic: Lawyer/Judge Relations
Synopsis: Many of us have had experiences as lawyers where the judge seems upset with us, is interrupting us frequently, or seems clearly to not be paying attention to what we're saying. It’s difficult to know sometimes why the judge is behaving in this way or how best to handle it. Come hear experienced members of the Bar and Judiciary discuss their thoughts on how to handle difficult situations with counsel and judges.

March 30, 2016
Guest Speaker: Blair Spencer, Steve Evans, Karen Wickham
Meeting Title/Topic: New Services for Witnesses and Offenders
Synopsis: Blair Spencer discussed developments in electronic monitoring devices for accused persons released on bail. Steve Evans presented on new technology available to victims and witnesses at the Victoria courthouse. Karen Wickham spoke about the brand new Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, providing services to victims of sexual assault.

April 27, 2016
Guest Speaker: Pinder Cheema QC, Kimberly Henders Miller, Tybring Hemphill
Meeting Title/Topic: Non-traditional Career Options within Criminal Law
Synopsis: Our speakers told us about other career options that are somewhat related to criminal law: sitting on boards, teaching, and a solicitor's practice, for example.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

We had another great year with a number of meetings that were very well-attended. We were able to bring a variety of topics to our members, from substantive to procedural, to practical. A special thanks to members of the judiciary who attended our meetings and engaged us in an out-of-court setting. This was appreciated by all, but even more so by the more junior members of the bar. We will miss our out-going secretary (Laura Wheeler), but equally excited to have a new member on the executive (Michelle Daneliuk). The rest of the executive will remain in 2016/2017 to organize another fun-filled and educational season.