Ottawa Criminal Lawyer Postings

In the news: The Supreme Court of Canada releases its reasons in R v Chouhan

On 25 June 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released its reasons for the decision in R v Chouhan. Michael A. Johnston represented the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa (DCAO), which intervened in the appeal. Writing in dissent, the Honourable Justice Côté would have found that the recent amendments to jury trial procedures, including the […]
June 28, 2021

In the news: Michael Johnston quoted in “Black in the Jury Box: Systemic Barriers”

On 2 June 2021, the West End Phoenix published an article by Eternity Martis entitled “Black in the Jury Box: Systemic Barriers,” part of a four-part investigative series that “explores racial disparities during the jury selection process and looks at how they contribute to a court system that is biased against Black defendants.” The article […]
June 15, 2021

In the news: Michael Johnston quoted in article on anti-lockdown protests

On 17 May 2021, New Canadian Media published an article by Farah Mustapha entitled "Anti-Lockdown Protests Grow as COVID-19 Spreads," describing the growing number of protests against Canadian lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article quotes Michael A. Johnston: Ottawa lawyer Michael Johnston suggests some people may be taking issue with hastily passed laws during […]
May 22, 2021

Release: Michael Johnston represented the DCAO at the Supreme Court of Canada

On 7 October 2020, the case of R v Chouhan was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada. This case dealt with the constitutionality of recent amendments to jury trial procedures, in particular, the elimination of “peremptory challenges” and the elimination of the “rotating triers” procedure. The Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa (DCAO) intervened in […]
October 8, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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