In the news: More beds, more bodies - Induced demand and Ottawa's new jail

Earlier this week, University of Ottawa criminology professor Justin Piché published an article in the Ottawa Citizen arguing that the Government of Ontario should not build a new larger jail to replace the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC). According to the OCDC Task Force report, the current jail is meant to have a capacity of 496 inmates […]
May 9, 2017

Canadian criminal justice: Pre-charge diversion

In the Canadian criminal justice system, “diversion” (for adults) or “extrajudicial measures” (for young persons) is a process where police or prosecutors agree to take a course of action that either avoids charges altogether or avoids having charges lead to a finding of guilt. Pre-charge diversion (for adults) or “alternative measures” (for young persons) happens when […]
April 13, 2017

Canadian criminal justice: Investigation & arrest

The purpose of an investigation is to identify, gather, and preserve evidence of suspected offences, which may be used against a person in criminal proceedings. The investigation of an offence may be a matter of minutes or a matter of months. In simple impaired driving cases, the investigation may begin with a police officer’s observations […]
March 30, 2017

Canadian criminal justice: Funding your defence

If someone is charged with an offence and if they wish to retain a lawyer to represent them, then they are expected to make the necessary arrangements to pay for that lawyer. In Ontario, individuals can fund their legal counsel in one or more of the following ways: Individuals are normally expected to pay legal […]
March 16, 2017

Canadian criminal justice: Defending against charges

In Canada, the word “defence” can be used to refer to several different ideas in the criminal justice system. A person who is accused of an offence is sometimes called “the defendant” and their legal team can be referred to as “the defence.” The word “defence” is also used to refer to the legal strategy – “the defence” – […]
March 2, 2017

In the news: Three new judges appointed to the Ottawa Courthouse

The Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario announced today that three new judges have been appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa - the Honourable Justice Norman D. Boxall, a former defence lawyer, the Honourable Justice W. Vincent Clifford, a former defence lawyer, and the Honourable Justice Marlyse Dumel, a former prosecutor […]
February 17, 2017

Canadian criminal justice: Regulatory and criminal offences

An “offence” is a legal rule that imposes a penalty for doing something that is prohibited or for not doing something that is mandatory. In other words, it is a law that punishes someone for not following a rule. It is one of the many tools that governments use to regulate society and uphold values. […]
February 16, 2017

Release: Michael A. Johnston interviewed on 1310 News

Earlier today, Michael A. Johnston was interviewed on Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe at 1310 News. Michael discussed the Supreme Court of Canada's recent decision in R. v. Jordan, which changed the rules governing a defendant's right to a trial within a "reasonable time" under subsection 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Michael also discussed the Ontario […]
February 15, 2017

Canadian criminal justice: Constitutional rights

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms imposes limits and obligations on government authorities and grants rights and privileges to persons suspected or charged with offences. As part of our constitution, the rights and freedoms protected by the Charter supersede other legal rules, including the provisions of the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and […]
February 2, 2017

In the news: Marie Henein needs to be heard

by Aileen Furey Marie Henein is one of Canada's top criminal defence lawyers, and now a household name after she successfully defended Jian Ghomeshi in his criminal trial earlier this year. You don’t have to aspire to work in the criminal justice system to appreciate the perspective of Ms. Henein. Criminal law is just one […]
November 29, 2016