It was recently reported in the Law Times that the isolation experienced during the pandemic is worsening lawyers’ mental health. Similarly, the American Bar Association released a study (conducted pre-pandemic) showing that judges are experiencing severe stress. The National Judicial Stress and Resiliency Survey showed that: almost 4 out of 10 judges reported stress from fatigue and low energy. 1 in … Continue reading Taking Mental Health Seriously: A Review of the American National Judicial Stress and Resiliency Survey
Jury duty is an obligation dreaded by some and evaded by others. Medical reasons, familial obligations, travel plans, and the loss of an income are some of excuses used to avoid jury duty. Recently, Justice Robert Goldstein of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto wrote to Canadian Tire about their policy on paying … Continue reading Should Judges Confront Big Companies for Failing to Pay Jurors for Time Off Work?
“Society has been scrambling to catch up to this problem [the publication of intimate photos or videos online without consent] and the law is beginning to respond to protect victims.” – Justice Stinson in Jane Doe 464533 v N.D., 2017 ONSC 127 Gradually courts have been awarding damages for the tort of public disclosure of … Continue reading Privacy Rights in the Internet Age and The New Tort of Public Disclosure of Private Facts
In the Macleans’ article “Talk to my former Supreme Court judge“, the arms race to have a retired Supreme Court of Canada judge bless your position is discussed. Shannon Proudfoot of Maclean’s writes: [I]t emerged that retired Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci was acting as legal counsel for the Quebec engineering giant as it sought … Continue reading Retired Judges: When Does Advocacy Begin?
The appointment process for judges is somewhat opaque. We may know how many judges there are in Canada, but why some lawyers are chosen over other lawyers remains a bit of a mystery. Can statistics help us identify who would make a good judge? Can it help us answer a very difficult question? Over the … Continue reading Appointing Judges: Can Statistics Help
Do we have free will? The law presupposes that we have free will. It is an implicit premise of our legal system. But, what if science shows otherwise? Can we maintain a legal system based on the illusion of free will? In The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity Professor Bruce Hood questions free … Continue reading Do we have free will: What does this mean for the law?
In Medieval Europe, deciding guilt or innocence was sometimes decided by trial by ordeal. It was believed that the holy water would reject a liar. So they would tie up an accused person and throw him in the water. If you floated, you were guilty. If you drowned, you were innocent. Has the law evolved much … Continue reading Saaditi v Moorhead: Case Comment
Recently the TV show This Hour has 22 Minutes did a piece on Canadian judges. It’s a riveting piece on the public’s perception of judges. The skit called “Judges: a Danger to Canadian Women” can be viewed here: http://www.cbc.ca/22minutes/videos/clips-season-24/judges-a-danger-to-canadian-women. At first viewers think the show is commenting on xenophobia, then it turns out to be about judges. The judiciary … Continue reading Do Judges have a Public Relations Problem?
Justice is blind or so they say. It is supposed to pay “no heed to the social status or personal characteristics of the litigants”. But this simply is not true. Race, gender, religion, socio-economic background, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, education, family upbringing, all play a role in the way judges assess the cases before them. But … Continue reading Is Justice Blind?
“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.”- Virginia Woolf Clothing defines us. It marks us. It deceives us. In “January: A Woman Judge’s Season of Disillusion” by the Honourable Marie Corbett, she … Continue reading Dressing for the Law