The Purpose of the Committee

The Canadian Committee For Constitutional Courts is dedicated to the creation of an independent and competent justice system in Canada that meets the express and mandatory requirements of the Canadian Constitution, the United Nations Univeral Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Covenant on Political and Civil Rights.

Proposals For Reform

Scroll down to bottom of blog for Proposals For Reform by the Canadian Committee for Constitutional Courts that have been send to Prime Minister Harper and Justice Richard Wagner who recenlty expressed concerns about Canada's system of justice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Is Self Insurance A Threat To Judicial Independence

One of the great threats to an independent justice system in Canada is the legal monopoly which is self-insured and self-regulated and from from which all judges are chosen.   

For example, in British Columbia, the legal profession manages its own insurance scheme, while in some provinces with less population the respective legal professions have banded together to manage a similar system that covers their members in the provinces in question. 

So, when a person takes such a claim against his or her former lawyer, the court is no longer independent because the judge and both lawyers may have a sizable financial interest in the outcome.

In the notorious case of Cridge v Harper Grey Easton and others, (2004 BCSC 101 (CanLII)
the plaintiff was denied a jury trial because a judge ruled that a jury would be biased against the lawyers which is another way of saying that the judge will be biased in favour of the lawyer. The plaintiff had hired lawyer after lawyer to pursue her claim and they all delayed taking her case to court.

Eventually, she had to act for herself and proved that the Defendant, a major Canadian law firm, had engaged in a "straightforward case of inexcusable delay, procrastination and neglect of the plaintiff as a client, which did not meet the standard of care of the ordinary, prudent solicitor. A plaintiff’s claim cannot be allowed to languish for 18 years". 

Notwithstanding the obvious mis-conduct by the top drawer law firm, the judge protected her colleagues in the legal profession by refusing to grant aggravated and punitive damages that should have been awarded in such a case and, in convoluted, illogical, reasons, denied compensatory damages which should have been in the range of $1 million.  Instead, the plaintiff was awarded a insulting nominal sum of $100.00 and ordered to pay the costs of law firm. 

The plaintiff's appeal to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia was denied without proper reasons and the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear her appeal.

Having been denied the right to a trial before an independant trubunal and the opportunity for an appropriate appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada, the plaintiff filed a claim with the United Nations Human Rights Commission where her complaint was denied on the basis of representations by the Minister of Justice for Canada, Rob Nicholson, (shown in above photo) that the plaintiff had not exhausted her domestic remedies without identifying what those remedies were. 

To this day, the Minister of Justice for Canada continues to protect the legal profession, of which he is a member, and the judges his Department appointed to the bench by refusing to advise the plaintff what domestic remedies remain available to her.

This is a classic example of how Canada's justice system functions where all the players are part of the same self-insurance schemes and protect each other at the expense of innocent victims with genuine grievances.

The Canadian Committee for Constitutional Courts recommends the following

1. That all claims against lawyers or law firm, the plaintiff be guaranteed the right to a jury trial and that in such claims the plaintiff be entitled to employ lawyers from outside of Canada as her advocates.

Editors Note: The law firm of Harper Grey Easton played a prominent role in one of the greatest legal frauds in Canada that is more fully explained at   

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