On 1 September 2018, Michael A. Johnston submitted a memorandum to Parliament about Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, in particular on the proposed changes to jury selection procedures:
Representativeness is, therefore, a shield for an accused person, not a sword for the prosecution or for political gain. In that vein, the Supreme Court speaks about representativeness informing trial fairness, both in reality and in appearance.
One of the major justifications for peremptory challenges is that they inform trial fairness, from an accused’s perspective, at the very least in appearances. Justice must not only be done, it must appear to be done. An accused, has very little control over the trial process; peremptory challenges give an accused some sense of fairness or control in selecting the citizens who will decide his fate.
Michael is scheduled to testify at the House of Commons' committee on 19 September 2018.