Not that I am a big anarchist fan boy or anything. Quite the contrary I still blame them for Franco’s victory during the Spanish Civil War. That of course is a gross misrepresentation of history.
Of more germane and serious of matters is the detention and arrest of a political activist prior to the G20 summit and his re-arrest and new bail conditions following participation at a university conference: bail conditions which include a ban on Mr. Hundert’s right to express his political views in public including via the media. Mr. Hundert refused these conditions and remains behind bars.
I am pretty sure were Mr. Hundert to get access to a higher court, the court would strike down these bail conditions as fundamentally counter to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Hundert’s predicament is unfortunately not all that unique. While I lived in Toronto for ten years I watched as the lower courts increasingly engaged in tacit conclusion with the police in the criminalization of the democratic right to political dissent.
Basically the local police know that most (95% or more) of the political detentions they undertake won’t pass the Crowns’ smell test; and those complicit Crowns that do let bogus charges go forward I am pretty sure also know will not lead to a conviction; in the meantime, the local courts know that setting these bail conditions are bogus and would be rejected if reviewed by a higher court.
So why do local level administrators of justice bother? The reason it strikes me is quite straightforward. From the time of initial arrest the idea is not to get a criminal conviction but to use the administration of justice to systematically harass political activists depriving them of their liberty, time and money (on defence lawyers). What the police, Crowns and Courts are doing is abusing the the justice system in order to police political dissent.
I would humbly submit that the arbitrary abuse of the justice system in this manner constitutes a fundamental breach in the rule of law and thus brings the Canadian justice system into fundamental disrepute.
Here is what Section 2 of the Charter has to say:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
But given I think the initial arrests are often bogus as in they do not even result in charges being laid I also think Section 9 of the Charter is relevant:
9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.
Law is not my speciality but I wonder if there is not some way to get a ruling form the supreme court on both the detention issue and the bail conditions.
When did Canadian democracy get so weak? And why are not the same members of Canada’s academic and intellectual community showing the same degree of anxiety and anger as they have and continue to display over the Census? I have a hypothesis on that last point, but that is for another day.
Peace–order and good government–out.