Friday, February 16, 2007

Canadian Law For Dummies or Why Police Should Not Pick Judges

I've now seen another voice trying to assure me that police picking judges is okay. In this case it's from the right-wing hacks who pass as the editors of Macleans:
Nor do we have a problem with Mr. Harper's inclusion of a police representative on the JACs. It is only natural that lawyers and judges would want to monopolize the process, but the community is better served by a multiplicity of informed viewpoints.
Is the view of one group - cops now a "multiplicity?" What they - and everyone who supports this stupid plan - fail to see is that Canada's courts (like those in most industrialized nations) are adversarial in nature. The police are typically on the side of the prosecution. This manner of selecting judges is tantamount to letting the crown put a finger on the scales of justice. It doesn't matter whether we trust cops or think that they are nice or good people or whatever, in criminal law they are not a disinterested party. Watch one episode of Law & Order and you can figure whether or not the cops want to convict the accused. They are, for better or worse, part of an adversarial system.

Picture: Craig Bromell, do you want this man picking your judges?
Video: The Clash - "Police On My Back"

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