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Canada's new Prostitution Laws: Ending the World's Oldest Profession

December 6 is the day that Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act comes into force. On that day, new Criminal Code sections aimed at combating prostitution in Canada come into effect. The new laws were passed in Parliament earlier this year. They were passed in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Canada (Attorney General) vs. Bedford case. In Bedford, the court held that " it is not a crime in Canada to sell sex for money".

Therapy Dogs: new participants in the courtroom

On December 2, 2014, a judge in an Alberta courtroom allowed a specially trained type of therapy dog, known as a trauma dog, to assist a young girl while she gave evidence at a sexual assault trial. This was a first in Canada. Later that week it is expected that her brother will take the stand to give evidence at the trial and the dog will be sitting next to him for comfort as well.The prosecutor in the case made the application to allow the dog to assist the child witnesses, and the accused’s lawyer did not oppose it.

Ghomeshi: Proper Venue is Criminal Court

After a month of speculation, former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi appeared in a Toronto courtroom today, charged with four counts of Sexual Assault and one count of Overcoming Resistance by Choking. These charges are extremely serious, carrying a potential life sentence. His lawyer, Marie Henein, indicated that Mr. Ghomeshi will be pleading not guilty. He was released on $100,000 bail and ordered to remain within Ontario. His next court appearance is January 8th.

Wading into the Jian Ghomeshi Fiasco

This whole Jian Ghomeshi debacle has been a cultural and media firestorm. There are countless articles, commentaries, conversations and opinions swirling throughout Canada. There has certainly been a positive outcome, that being, that the issue of unreported violence against women is at the forefront of public discourse, and we are seeing that it is a problem more widespread than most of us realized. 

Restorative Justice: An Alternative to Court

Restorative Justice (“RJ”), or what is also sometimes referred to as Transformative Justice, is a contrast to the traditional adversarial justice system. In the adversarial justice system an accused person is represented by a criminal defence lawyer, the public (or the state or the Crown) is represented by a government prosecutor known as Crown Counsel, and those two lawyers are pitted against each other in the court system. The court system is ruled by judges.

Taking a Look at Cycling Laws

Sadly, a 71 year old pedestrian has died after being struck by a cyclist in Stanley Park on October 3 near the totem poles at Brockton Point.
Apparently the man was crossing the roadway when a 57 year old rider collided with him. Reportedly, the cyclist remained at the scene and cooperated fully with police. The pedestrian suffered a fatal head injury when his head hit the pavement.

http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2014/10/stanley-park-pedestrian-dies-injuries...

Be Nice to Your Dog or Cat! - Animal Cruelty Allegations could lead to Search Warrant

Two recent cases that have hit the media shine light on the BC SPCA’s newer powers regarding search warrants in relation to animals in distress (stories attached). In one case the owner of a dog who had ingested drugs and been taken to the veterinarian was reported to the SPCA. In the other case the owner of a dog who had abused his dog while being filmed by a security camera in an elevator was reported. In both instances BC SPCA officers attended at private residences, armed with search warrants, made entry and seized the animals.

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