In the news: Publication Ban and the Presumption of Innocence

by Michael A. Johnston Being accused of a criminal offence has many indelible and irreversible aspects. Often, a criminal defendant is tried and convicted in the courts of public opinion before he or she has even made a first appearance, let alone made full answer and defence. What is worse is that even if a […]
November 16, 2016

Release: Michael A. Johnston presents at 2016 DCAO / CCLA Conference

Michael A. Johnston presented his paper "Johnston on Juries for Junior Jurists" as part of the "Awaiting the Verdict: Are Trials by Jury Still a Thing?" panel at the 28th DCAO / CCLA Criminal Law Conference: "Younger members of the profession start their careers with very little, if any, understanding about trial by jury; the […]
October 29, 2016

Release: A Criminal Record in Ontario = Taxation Without Representation

Following the publication of his article in the Criminal Reports last week, Michael A. Johnston has been cited by the Toronto Star: "Ottawa lawyer Michael A. Johnston, in a paper published last week, argues that up 10 per cent of Canadians are being unfairly barred from jury duty because they have a criminal record. In Ontario, […]
May 30, 2015

Release: Michael A. Johnston publishes in Criminal Reports - "The Automatic Exclusion from Juries"

Michael A. Johnston's article "The Automatic Exclusion from Juries of Those with Criminal Record Should be Ruled Unconstitutional" has been published in the latest edition of the Criminal Reports (at (2015) 17(2) CR 335): "The civic act of serving as a juror gives a citizen the responsibility of determining another person's guilt or freedom, as well as […]
May 15, 2015

Release: Michael A. Johnston publishes in The Last Line - "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Code"

Michael A. Johnston publishes his paper "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Code - The Unconstitutional Actions of the Supreme Court of Canada in Canadian Foundations for Children, Youth and the Law v Canada (Attorney General)" in the latest edition of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa's magazine, The Last Line (at 3:2 (Dec 2015) 12): "By analyzing the […]
February 2, 2015

In the news: Aboriginal Youth Are More Likely To Face Pre-Trial Detention

by Michael A. Johnston Data from Statistics Canada shows that although the overall number of youth (including Aboriginal Youth) being held in pre-trial detention has decreased in the past few years, the percentage of aboriginal youth being held has increased dramatically.
November 12, 2014

Release: Matthew B. Day presents at 2014 DCAO / CCLA conference

Matthew B. Day presented his paper "Non-consensual distribution of intimate images" as part of the "10 Under 10" panel at the 26th DCAO/CCLA Criminal Law Conference. "The proposed offence seeks to criminalize conduct that exists at the intersection of sexual liberty, sexual privacy, freedom of speech, and the regulation of the Internet. In a review […]
October 30, 2014

Primer: Vetrovec warnings and sexual assault complainants

by Matthew B. Day Can a trial judge provide a Vetrovec warning for a sexual assault complainant? A series of appellate-level decisions confirms that section 274 of the Criminal Code does not prohibit trial judges from commenting on the evidence of sexual assault complainants and that trial judges have the discretion to provide a Vetrovec-like […]
October 20, 2014

In the news: The Rule of Law?

by Michael A. Johnston We have a system of justice that purports to treat all people equally; Lady Justice is most often blind-folded, for that reason. However, even as an ideal, the concept of equality can have differing effects on differing people. A philosopher once quipped: "the law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as […]
October 14, 2014

Release: Michael A. Johnston publishes in For the Defence - "the Queen and Her Counsel"

Michael A. Johnston published his article "Should All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men Put the Queen and Her Counsel Back Together Again" in the Criminal Lawyers' Association's magazine, For the Defence (at (2014) 35:3, 21): "In the Superior Court most of us wear wool robes in keeping with the wonderful tradition that if […]
July 28, 2014