Beverley McLachlin, P.C.,Chief Justice of Canada: Please don't allow the use of legal tactics
This petition had 172 supporters
We ask you to publicly instruct judges to make decisions that are just according to the merits of each case rather than upon the basis of legal tactics and procedures. This especially applied to cases in which the well-being of a child is the issue. We also ask you to urge similar action upon your counterparts in other national juriisdictions.
This petition is important because the use of legal tactics and procedures disrupts our respect for society as well as imposing soul-destroying devastation up victims.
An orderly society in which people show respect and consideration for each other depends upon people believing their society is based on justice and fairness for all. Lawyers use legal tactics so they can win an unjust case in spite of the merits of the case. They use them because they want the judge to make an unjust ruling. Every time a judge makes a decision which breaks his trust with society he or she earns contempt and disrespect for the judicial system. Enough of this and our society will break down.
As a result of my experiences as a non custodial parent I have no faith in the ability of any judge, lawyer or police officer to do justice.
It can be devastating to lose a court case because of a legal tactic. When that case involves family matters it can be soul destroying. How would you feel if a judge were to rule you couldn't see your child just because an opposing lawyer used one of the tactics below?
Here are three examples from my own experience.
An injunction is a very powerful tool to defeat an unfavorable decision especially where that decision involves access. If a judge grants a non-custodial parent generous access all the lawyer has to do is appeal that decision and seek an injunction against its implication until the appeal is heard. Of course the appeal can't be heard in time so the access is overruled. This tactic is simple and very effective and soul-destroying.
The most fundamental principle of justice is the right to defend oneself against charges. Unfortunately this doesn't always apply in Canada. The order in which participants state their case is well-defined - the person initiating the action goes first and the other person follows up. But sometimes in family cases the second person can make charges against the other parent who does not get to answer those charges unless the second lawyer agrees to reverse the order. What lawyer wants to risk his case by allowing a fair hearing?
Canadian judges and lawyers have a strong commitment to an unwritten law that men should not have emotions. None of us, male or female, can live without experiencing emotions and this unwritten law shows how ignorant judges are about people and life. A family breakup and the loss of one's children is a highly emotional experience and every one of us is guilty on this charge. No doubt lawyers know which judges have the strongest commitment to this law and take full advantage of it.
People who go to family court have been through a horrendous experience just to get there. They deserve compassion and understanding. In stead the become the ball in a legal game in which the players gain points and enhance their careers by kicking the ball. We also get punished for being human.
We sometimes talk about "smart lawyers" winning a case for somebody. The tactics are so well-known that all it takes is a person who is ethically and morally challenged.
Requiring judges to make decisions based on merits rather than tactics may make their jobs a little more difficult. But then they are paid big wages because they are supposed to be clever people. In most cases the tactics are so obvious a stupid persons could recognize them.
When legal tactics are used guilty people get off and innocent people are punished. Both situations are unjust and in both somebody gets hurt. And both create contempt and disrespect for the judicial system and contribute to the breakdown of society.
For the sake of the country as a whole and for the sake of the individuals and for the sake of the children this petition asks the Canadian Chief Justice to publicly instruct judges that in their decisions they must fully evaluate the justice of each case and not make decisions based on legal tactics and procedures.
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