Federal Court of Canada secretly uses internet to investigate people and cases appearing before judges
Financial Post article reports stunning new development in Canadian Judicial Council case.
Judges and/or employees of the Federal Court of Canada (‘FCC’) conducted extensive secret online investigations into my case, my witnesses, my lawyer and me during the over a year and a half that my CJC Judicial Review case was before that court.
Even during the November 20, 2017 final hearing as my lawyer was in court speaking to Justice Boswell – the FCC staff and/or Justice Boswell himself were googling about the case and downloading evidence, information and exhibits from the internet.
As reported by Julias Melnitzer in the Financial Post, the above has been forensically confirmed by US computer networking expert (and former commissioner on cybersecurity for President Obama) Dr. Eric Cole in a sworn affidavit filed in Ontario courts. (Available here as a .pdf: without exhibits 2.5mb – with exhibits 33mb)
Secret evidence is prohibited in our courts.
So what’s the problem with judges and their staff secretly collecting information online about the cases, litigants, accused persons, witnesses and lawyers appearing before the judge?
That’s easy – this secret and unlawful court activity strikes right to the heart of our standards for a fair and open trial process.
Persons before the court have a right to see, examine and challenge all evidence considered by the court and to do so in public. This standard goes back over eight hundred years to the Magna Carta and is what differentiates English-based judicial practice from so many other countries and cultures.
Thus in the British, American and Canadian courts, jury members and judges are not supposed to do independent research into the cases they are considering. This is to ensure that all the evidence the court or jury members consider is on the record and in public so the prosecution and defence are aware of the evidence, can test it for accuracy and make submissions as to its value and interpretation in the case.
If the judge or jury members consider evidence that nobody else is aware of, they are conducting a portion of the trial in secret.
The issue of no secret evidence in the courts is so important to justice and fair trials that in the United States and Britain jury members are regularly jailed for violating this prohibition. Recently in Canada two lengthy criminal proceedings were declared mistrial when jurors were caught independently researching the case.
Jurors are usually caught when another member of the jury finds out and alerts the court staff. As one can imagine though, catching judges secretly investigating cases is exponentially more difficult although there have been a few recent instances in the USA and Canada.
Federal Court of Canada in full cover-up mode
It is apparent in the sworn affidavit of Dr. Eric Cole that the Federal Court of Canada was caught red-handed using the internet and google searches to secretly gather information about my case and the involved parties and witnesses for over a year and a half.
Further, Dr. Cole confirms that the Courts Administration Service that operates the computer network for the Federal Court of Canada knows exactly which judges and court staff are involved.
In a series of letters between Chantal Carbonneau, Deputy Chief Administrator of Judicial and Registry Services and my lawyer Paul Slansky, Ms. Carbonneau…
- admitted that court personnel conducted the investigations,
- indicated that she had knowledge of the people involved, but…
- refused to identify the judges and/or court staff who conducted the secret investigations into my case, and my lawyers and witnesses – and me.
There is much more to come regarding this story. The main takeaways are the following…
- For over a year and a half, Federal Court of Canada judges and/or their staff used the internet to conduct secret investigations and to gather information and evidence about the Donald Best – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy case before the court.
- Expert witness Dr. Eric Cole, former Commissioner on CyberSecurity to President Obama, confirms the misconduct of the Federal Court of Canada personnel, and that the Courts Administration Service and the FCC know everything about which FCC judges and court personnel secretly researched the Donald Best – Justice Bryan Shaughnessy case before the court.
- The Courts Administration Service and the Federal Court of Canada refuse to release information about which judges and court personnel secretly researched the Donald Best – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy case and the involved persons.
How many other cases did Federal Court of Canada judges secretly research on the Internet? Did the judge consider secret evidence in YOUR case before the Federal Court of Canada?