A law passed by the liberal government to counter racism in the justice system and to diversify juries, is thus challenged before the highest judicial body in the country, as groups claim that the changes undermine the rights of the accused .
Former Liberal Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould introduced the changes amid public outrage over the trial of Gerald Stanley, a white Saskatchewan farmer, in 2018.
The man was acquitted of the second degree murder of Colten Boushie, a 22 year old native.
During the jury selection process, all visibly Indigenous candidates were excluded by defense counsel for the accused through peremptory challenges.
Guarantee diversity within the jury
Mr. Chouhan tries
to obtain the power to have a word on the composition of its jury, says Jessica Magonet, a lawyer with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. The organization is one of the interveners in the file.
The organization considers that the Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other laws and to make consequential amendments to certain laws, which was passed in 2018, prevents some defendants from getting a fair trial.
Lawyer Jessica Magonet explains that this law abolished the peremptory challenge of jurors. This allowed Crown and defense lawyers to refuse on a number of occasions and without justification that a person was on the jury.
If the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is involved in this file, it is because it finds
primordial maintain the peremptory challenge and ensure diversity among jurors.
The organization defends two arguments.
Diversity in the jury ensures that racial prejudice can be limited in jury deliberations and also promotes the impartiality of juries, is the first.
Impartiality of a tribunal is a constitutional right under section 11 (d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ajoute Jessica Magonet.
We know that by abolishing peremptory challenges there can be negative effects on the diversity of juries. It can make our juries even less diverse than they are now.
The second argument is the fact that
peremptory challenge is a right for the accused, but not necessarily for the Crown, as the Constitution stipulates.
According to Mr. Chouhan’s lawyers, the changes undermine an accused’s right to a fair trial.
Those accused are often marginalized or racialized people, and there are often people in society who do not want to give them the same opportunities as others., says defense lawyer Dirk Derstine.
I am of course sensitive to the evidence [de discrimination] against indigenous peoples, but this is not a situation for Mr. Chouhan, he adds.
While the law has sought to make its courts and tribunals more representative, Jessica Magonet says, however, that there are very few protections to ensure that a jury is representative in Canada.
When it comes to people who are racialized, native people, black people, we know they are overrepresented among accused people, and peremptory challenges give them more power over the composition of the jury., says the lawyer.
According to information gathered by Saïda Ouchaou and Olivia Stefanovich
*The article has been translated based on the content of Source link by https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1739305/affaire-chouhan-recusation-peremptoire-jury-colten-boushie-cour-supreme-canada
. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!