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Past High Profile Matters

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·  Supreme Court of Canada:  intervention in Ted Opitz v. Borys Wrzesnewskyj

   

This appeal marked the first time that the Supreme Court of Canada opined on an election result in a federal riding concerning modern Canada Elections law.  The appeal arose following a heated dispute over the elections results where one candidate had won by very few votes and there were allegations of irregularities at the polls.  The Supreme Court of Canada's historic decision addressed various policy issues and urged vigilance by Elections Canada.  It is an important decision regarding protections in our democracy.  Our Founder was part of the legal team that represented the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in support of vigilance to avoid voting irregularities.

   

   

·  Intervention in The Ashley Smith Inquest         

   

Ashley Smith was a young woman (only 19 years old) who died in a federal prison under inhumane conditions.  Our Founder participated as a member of the legal team that represented the Canadian Civil Liberties Association who intervened in support of the Smith Family's case, alongside other interveners.  The Smith Family ultimately achieved a verdict of homicide, plus 104 recommendations by the jury at the inquest.  This was a welcome development in support of human dignity and protections in Canada.

   

·  Supreme Court of Canada:  intervention in Miazga v. Kvello Estate

   

In this appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada determined what legal test shall apply to lawsuits for malicious prosecution.  The underlying action was brought by two foster families regarding sexual assault prosecutions against them that were founded on bizarre allegations that the media styled the "Scandal of the Century".  The charges had been dropped and the complainants had recanted their allegations.  However, the financial, emotional and reputational harm caused to the foster families by the criminal prosecution was widely acknowledged.  One of them committed suicide.  Our Founder was part of the legal team that represented the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in advocating for a test that would uphold appropriate standards of accountability.

   


·  Supreme Court of Canada:  intervention in Hill v. Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services

   

In this historic appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that innocent people harmed by a negligent investigation can sue for damages.  The appeal arose from the wrongful conviction of an aboriginal man, Jason George Hill, who had been acquitted after a new trial.  Mr. Hill raised issues of witness contamination, improper interviewing and recording techniques, structural bias in the photo line-up and failure to re-investigate after receiving potentially exculpatory evidence.  Our Founder was part of the legal team that represented the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in support of appropriate police accountability - promoting the development of the common law in a manner that preserves civil liberties, and protects individual freedom and dignity.

   


·  Supreme Court of Canada:  intervention in R. v. A.M.

   

This appeal dealt with the rights of high school students to be free from unreasonable search or seizure.  The appeal was brought by a student who had been arrested at school following a sniffer-dog search.  The search was pursuant to a standing invitation to conduct police searches.  The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that students have the right to privacy in a school environment and that the police cannot conduct searches as they did.  Our Founder was part of the legal team that represented Justice For Children & Youth in support of protecting youths' dignity.

   


·  International human rights effort on behalf of Stephen Lewis' organization


Our Founder was one of three lawyers in Canada who, as part of Blakes' pro bono affairs, partnered with Stephen Lewis’ organization AIDS Free World and DLA Piper in an unprecedented global effort towards building an international human rights case against Robert Mugabe.  This was in connection with atrocities committed during Zimbabwe’s elections, including sexual terror against women.  Our Founder journeyed with the team to southern Africa to help obtain evidence from victims of gang rape and torture.  From these efforts, AIDS Free World brought global awareness that promoted the protection of human life, liberty and dignity.

   

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