The Lynch List, 28-Oct-2011

First: The Supreme Court of Canada has ascertained that the enabling legislation does not empower the federal human rights tribunal to assess and award legal costs. I’m mixed about this decision; on the one hand, the ability of a tribunal to award legal costs might allow a respondent to apply for costs from a vexatious complainant. But, we all know that a double standard would exist, as it does in some provincial tribunals).

Second: It seems to be oxymoronic that “civil liberties” groups support a human rights system that is all about infringing upon civil liberties. Nevertheless, Brian Seaman of the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre provides some discussion on Danielle Smith’s proposals to reform the Alberta human rights apparatus.

Third: An editorial in the Globe by historical writer Erna Paris argues that Canada needs its hate speech laws. Amid all sorts of historical revisionism, she claims:

Both these authors [Levant and Steyn]  have tried to shift the Canadian consensus by normalizing previously unacceptable levels of speech.

“Previously unacceptable?” Ms. Paris, can you point me towards any evidence that printing Mohammed cartoons was previously unacceptable? Can you show me that stringing together true facts about Muslims into a narrative was “previously unacceptable”?

And of course, she concludes with the predictable fear-mongering that free speech will lead to Anders Breivak, as if restrictions of speech don’t lead to Muammar Gaddafi…

Fourth: Heh. The judge couldn’t overturn the decision given the narrow scope of a judicial review. Federal Court judge David Near was reviewing the preposterous CHRT decision that granted a convicted cop-killer nearly $10,000 for being forced to stand up during head count, and used the power at his disposal to mitigate the damage that the Tribunal had done. He reduced the award to a symbolic $500, disagreeing with the Tribunal on many aspects of the case.

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