Donald Best receives 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award

Scandal, Cover-up by Federal Court of Canada Exposed.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

I’m surprised and deeply honoured to receive the 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award – announced this morning.

Today (and in my recorded acceptance speech – transcript here) I am calling upon the Law Society of Ontario and the law societies in every province to cease investigating complaints against their own members. This most serious conflict of interest undermines the profession’s credibility and the public’s trust in our legal system.

Self-investigation by the lawyers’ unions is a real conflict of interest that is unacceptable by any modern standard and cannot be resolved – except by the establishment of independent organizations in each province to receive complaints against lawyers, to perform professional unbiased investigations and to lay charges where appropriate. The retention of investigative functions by the law societies is indefensible.

Today, I also reveal details of an ongoing major scandal and active cover-up by the Courts Administration Service and the Federal Court of Canada that impacts every Canadian who has appeared before that court for any reason in the last few years.

This documented misconduct by Federal Court of Canada personnel throws into question every recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada. Dozens of lawyers and litigants have already contacted me about this revelation and I am aware of several lawsuits / legal motions that are imminent. At least one will be filed within days.

Regarding my personal legal battles, both the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (in their news media release) and University of Windsor law professor Julie Macfarlane in her introduction speech for my award – openly declare that I was unjustly convicted of contempt of court and imprisoned based upon false evidence fabricated by senior lawyers from some of Canada’s largest law firms. (Former OPP Commissioner of Police Julian Fantino said the same thing last year in a sworn affidavit and said that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have launched a criminal investigation against named Ontario Provincial Police officers and lawyers.)

To my friends and family who believed in me during the darkest times and gave me strength – thank you. This is your Ontario Civil Liberties Award as much as it is mine. To the legal profession and the courts… We want our justice system back.

Ontario Civil Liberties Association announcement…

http://ocla.ca/ocla-civil-liberties-award/

My acceptance speech…

https://youtu.be/AWUcVtnec9A

Professor Julie Macfarlane’s introduction…

https://youtu.be/trPU2uwUzOM

Donald Best Receives the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award

(Ottawa, December 4, 2018) – The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) presents its 2018 Civil Liberties Award to whistleblower and anti-corruption activist Donald Best.

Donald Best is a former Sergeant (Detective) with the Toronto Police responsible for investigating Canadian police, lawyers, and politicians involved in organized crime, and a leading Canadian anti-corruption whistleblower and activist.

In his ongoing legal cases and public advocacy, Mr. Best has exposed corruption in the Canadian legal profession including secret orders and investigations by judges, the submission of false evidence in court by lawyers, and the failure of disciplinary bodies such as the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Judicial Council to investigate complaints against judges and lawyers.

Mr. Best’s tireless efforts to create integrity and accountability in the Canadian legal system make him an exemplary leader in the fight for equality before and under the law of all Canadians, including self-represented litigants.

Embedded at the OCLA’s award website (link HERE) is a video of Donald Best’s acceptance speech for the 2018 OCLA Civil Liberties Award, following a video introduction of Mr. Best by law professor Julie Macfarlane, Director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, University of Windsor.

Background Articles available online

https://donaldbest.ca/faqs-about-best-v-ranking/

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/ex-federal-cabinet-minister-julian-fantino-takes-aim-at-judge-cops-lawyers

https://business.financialpost.com/legal-post/internet-research-by-jurors-and-judges-during-cases-challenged-julius-melnitzer

https://donaldbest.ca/broadcaster-jimmy-dore-interviews-donald-best-the-lawyers-lied-to-the-court-and-as-a-result-you-were-convicted/

Federal Court of Canada secretly uses internet to investigate people and cases appearing before judges

Dr. Eric Cole – former Commissioner on CyberSecurity to President Obama – confirms secret investigations by Federal Court of Canada

Financial Post article reports stunning new development in Canadian Judicial Council case.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

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 2.5mbwith 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 Justice Keith Boswell

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…

  1. admitted that court personnel conducted the investigations,
  2. indicated that she had knowledge of the people involved, but…
  3. 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy desperate to avoid public hearing into Canadian Judicial Council

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

Last Monday was a 20-hour day for yours truly and two friends as we printed, sorted and bound ten full sets of my legal response to tactical legal motions by Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada.

Justice Shaughnessy launched a tactical legal motion demanding that I pay a security deposit to continue with my public interest case bringing accountability and transparency to the Canadian Judicial Council.

The Attorney General of Canada, abandoning the public interest, also filed a tactical motion to end our campaign to bring public accountability to the CJC.

Unbelievably the Attorney General of Canada is supporting Justice Shaughnessy – whose misconduct is described by several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney as “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

And so two friends and I worked in a cold garage until 1am Tuesday morning to put our legal response together.

Here is what this latest filing meant in materials alone:

  • Appeal Book 4 volumes per set = 1487 pages x 10 sets = 14,870 pages
  • Responding Motion Record 3 volumes per set = 1441 pages x 10 sets = 14,410 pages
  • Factum = 34 pages x 10 copies = 340 pages

29,620 pages in 80 bound volumes that had to be created because Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada want to keep public attention from the Canadian Judicial Council.

After about five hours sleep I was up again at 7am and drove from Barrie to downtown Toronto where I personally served the Attorney General of Canada and Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer. (No professional document server hired as I did it myself.) Then I met with my lawyer Paul Slansky at the Federal Court building where we filed the materials on time.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Peter Wardle

Justice Shaughnessy’s legal costs fully covered with no limit.

The court costs of both Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General of Canada / CJC are paid by the Government. Not a penny of the judge’s legal costs comes from the his own pocket. The Attorney General and the judge’s lawyers snap their fingers and assistants draft their legal motions, and then print, bind, serve and file everything with not a thought about the costs.

Even the Executive Director of the Canadian Judicial Council, Norman Sabourin, confirmed in a Toronto Star news article that there is no limit on the publicly-paid legal costs when Federal Court justices are defending misconduct allegations. Judges sometimes run up over a million dollars in legal fees and there is not a thing that anyone can do about it.

This is what we are up against in this public interest case. The only way we can compete is by working harder and keeping costs to the absolute minimum. That’s why you’ll find my friends and me printing and binding court documents in a cold garage at 1am. 

Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society. Every lawyer I’ve spoken with is concerned that the Canadian Judicial Council dismissed my complaint against the judge without an investigation or even reading the court file. Background story here.

Public awareness is starting to grow. National Self-Represented Litigants Project director Dr. Julie Macfarlane just declared that our CJC challenge is necessary, and another five professors at major law schools also contacted me offering support. Several lawyers regularly send me case law references that they think might assist my lawyer.

Canadians just might make this happen!

Justice Shaughnessy and the Attorney General are also trying desperately to have the next court hearing held privately – not in public.  No wonder!

Coming Soon

I’m busy redacting Identity Information from my latest legal documents and will probably start to post them tonight.

I’ll also be posting breaking news on a strange turn of events. It is confirmed that Federal Court judges and / or court staff performed improper and unrevealed investigations of me, my lawyer and witnesses throughout the 18 months that the case was before that court. 

We have forensically proven, and the court administration has basically admitted in writing, that during the original judicial review hearings in the Federal Court of Canada, employees and/or judges of the FCC conducted extensive private online investigations of me, my witnesses and my lawyer. Even during the actual hearing as my lawyer was speaking to the judge, FCC staff or the judge himself were googling about the case and downloading evidence, information and exhibits from the internet. This is a huge deal in the legal community. 

More coming!

Please contribute $25, $100 or whatever you can to support our 2018 legal challenge to the Canadian Judicial Council. >>>

GoFundMe Donald Best CJC Public Interest Campaign

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in articles

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments on articles are moderated about once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

 

Dr Julie Macfarlane, NSRLP Director at Windsor Law: Donald Best’s CJC Challenge necessary

by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) of which I am the Director has been extremely concerned – and made this concern clear – for many years about the process for reviewing and adjudicating complaints brought against a member of the judiciary by a member of the public.

Many of the complaints brought to the CJC each year are now brought by self-represented litigants. The “mandate” of the CJC excludes most of these complaints as written.

In order to rebuild public confidence in the judicial system, a robust overhaul of the complaints process – including assistance for members of the public who wish to bring forward a complaint – is essential.

Mr Best’s judicial review claim is an example of the extraordinary lengths to which it is presently necessary to go to draw attention to this flawed system and the lack of public accountability that the CJC reflects.

Yours truly,

Dr Julie Macfarlane
Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law

(Editor’s note: Don’t forget to support the Donald Best CJC Challenge with a small donation at GoFundMe.)

More from Dr. Macfarlane…

Its out! The fully revised 2nd edition of The New Lawyer: How Clients are Transforming the Practice of Law (UBC Press).

https://www.amazon.com/New-Lawyer-Second-Transforming-Practice/dp/0774837071

Named one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/6513/The-Top-25-Most-Influential-2017.html

For information on my research and continuing work on self-represented litigants, including my Blog on Access to Justice and the SRL Phenomenon, go to https://representingyourselfcanada.com/

Follow me on Twitter @ProfJulieMac

Our podcast Jumping Off the Ivory Tower downloadable here https://representingyourselfcanada.com/podcast/

 

Help fund the public inquiry into the Canadian Judicial Council

As standard CJC practice, Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismisses complaints against judges without investigations or providing reasons.

To the benefit of all Canadians, we need your financial support to force modern standards of accountability, transparency and performance upon the Canadian Judicial Council – the organization mandated to investigate and discipline Canada’s federal judges.

The Canadian Judicial Council summarily dismisses the vast majority of complaints against judges without investigation or even talking with the complainants. Now Canadians have the one perfect case with which to challenge the CJC’s performance and arbitrary standards, but we need your help to cover court costs.

Donald Best, his legal team and their supporters are challenging the Canadian Judicial Council’s wholesale dismissal of misconduct complaints against judges. The CJC summarily disposes of the vast majority of complaints against judges without investigations, public accountability or transparency.

The Donald Best case is perfect for this challenge. That’s why Canada’s Attorney General and the Canadian Judicial Council are fighting tooth and nail to keep this from going to a public trial.

The person bringing this challenge, Donald Best, is acting in the public interest for all Canadians and gains nothing personally from bringing or winning this legal action which is currently before the courts.

Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Donald Best is a former Toronto Police Sergeant and business person who, while traveling in Asia, was found guilty of contempt of court in a civil business matter in Ontario, Canada. While Best was out of the country and unaware of the court hearing, corrupt lawyers placed provably fabricated evidence before a Federal Court judge – Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy – falsely claiming that Best had informed the lawyers during a phone call that he had received a certain court order.

In fact, during the phone call Best clearly stated over a dozen times to the lawyers that he had not received the court order and asked the lawyers to please send him a copy. After the call, the lawyers lied to the judge in writing and orally on the court record, falsely saying that Best had ‘confessed’ to receiving the court order. Based upon this false evidence, the judge convicted Best of contempt of court ‘in absentia’ (while Best was not present) and sentenced him to three months in prison.

Fortunately, Best had recorded the phone call and returned to Canada to place evidence before the court that proved the lawyers lied to the judge to obtain his conviction.

“In an obvious effort to protect the Bay Street lawyers, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy refused to listen to Best’s recordings, refused to consider the new evidence of his innocence and refused to allow him to cross-examine the very lawyers and witnesses that the judge relied upon to convict and sentence Best at the secret hearing.”

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Justice Shaughnessy upheld Best’s original conviction and three month prison sentence. Court ended, Justice Shaughnessy left the courtroom and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, secretly, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the court record, the Judge illegally created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s prison time by 50%. Mr. Best had no lawyer, wasn’t present and the backroom judge never told him what he had done.

This new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records. The prison warden informed Best about the increased sentence when he arrived at the prison – saying that he had never seen such a thing before in 30 years with the Correctional Service.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.” Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society.

Nonetheless, when Best complained to the Canadian Judicial Council about Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct, the CJC didn’t even investigate, saying that the judge’s actions were not ‘conduct’ under the CJC’s mandate.  

Without published standards and rules, the CJC arbitrarily defines what is and is not ‘judicial conduct’ in a self-serving manner on a case by case basis so they can reject any complaint. Donald Best is challenging this in court.

Outrageously, the Attorney General of Canada is defending and condoning the corrupt judge’s backroom misconduct – and is using every procedural trick in the book to delay and derail Mr. Best’s case.

Former Cabinet Minister Julian Fantino

Who Supports Donald Best?

In the past few years, hundreds of ordinary Canadians contacted Donald Best with messages of support. Lawyers volunteered to provide legal research in support of his lawsuit. Peter A. Allard Q.C., founder of the Allard Prize for International Integrity, praised Donald Best as “One of Canada’s most methodical and well documented whistleblowers.”

Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, former federal Cabinet Minister and current member of the Queen’s Privy Council, swore a comprehensive affidavit supporting Donald Best and documenting illegal conduct against Mr. Best by police, lawyers and a judge. Mr. Fantino launched his own ongoing court motion to gain Intervenor standing in Mr. Best’s CJC judicial review case.

Donald Best’s story has been told in the Toronto Star. Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper published his article ’Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there.’

The University of Windsor law school and the National Self-represented Litigants Project told Donald Best’s story on their website article ’The client most lawyer fear – and won’t represent at any price’. The NSRLP Director Dr. Julie Macfarlane recently commented on the necessity of the Donald Best CJC court challenge.

Please contribute $25, $100 or whatever you can to support our 2018 legal challenge to the Canadian Judicial Council.

Contribute anonymously to the Donald Best CJC Challenge GoFundMe campaign.

Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella speaks on Judicial Independence, Access to Justice and an angry Canadian public

Newly revealed off-the-record speech

On July 7, 2011, Justice Rosalie Abella gave a lengthy address at University College, London titled ‘Constitutions and Judges: Changing Roles, Rules and Expectations.”

According to the Supreme Court of Canada’s then Executive Legal Officer Owen Rees, the speech was never published and further – Justice Abella never shares her speaking notes with anyone.*

Well… despite Mr. Rees’ information, somehow Justice Abella’s speech was scanned and published online by University College and is still available for download at the University College website here. (pdf 4mb) I posted a copy on my website that has been OCR’d (optical character recognition) so the speech is now searchable. You can download that OCR’d copy here.

Justice Abella’s speech is a good read both for the public and the legal profession not only because of the insight into the thinking of one of our Supreme Court Justices but also because the judiciary is falling into a state that Justice Abella warned against in her talk.

The public’s trust in the judiciary is failing. A large part of that is due to the refusal of the judiciary as an institution to hold wayward judges accountable in any meaningful manner. Further, at the Federal level, the organization tasked with investigating and disciplining Federal judges, the Canadian Judicial Council, is so obviously nothing more than a whitewashing bureau with as little transparency as it has accountability.

Like every profession empowered to oversee itself, the judiciary ended up placing its own interests before the public trust. And transparency? What a joke…

Let’s talk Judicial Accountability and Transparency. The Canadian Judicial Council’s annual reports went from seventy-two pages in 1996 to TWO PAGES in 2016 – a clear message from both the judiciary and the CJC that the Canadian public can go to Hell for all they care.

You can access the CJC’s annual reports at their website here: CJC website annual reports.

Justice Abella on Judicial Independence… and on judges like Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

It is interesting that in her speech Justice Abella cautioned that judges should be vigilant that their judicial independence and impartiality are not cauterized by controversy. She also said that judges must keep the public confident that no matter what, rights and freedoms will be pursued and protected.

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

But what happens when, as in my case, a judge like Federal Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy so obviously abandons even the appearance of impartiality and adherence to rule of law? And further, what happens when the Canadian Judicial Council and Attorney General of Canada openly defend and side with a judge whose conduct some lawyers have called ‘reprehensible’?

I submit that it is not the rogue acts of a handful of judges that undermine our justice system – it is the cover-ups that do the most damage to the public’s trust and confidence in our courts.

On reading her speech, I think that Justice Abella probably gets that point.

“Justice may be blind, but the public is not.” Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella.

Access to Justice

Starting at the bottom of page 19 of her speech and continuing for some time, Justice Abella talks about how important it is that judges retain the trust and confidence of the public and that the public is becoming angry over the lack of access to justice and the fixation of the justice system on procedure instead of a focus upon justice.

“So what’s the noise our profession can’t ignore? The sound of a very angry public. And it’s a public that’s been mad at us for a long, long time. Like the character from the movie Network, I’m not sure they’re going to take it anymore. And frankly, I’m not sure they should.”Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella.

“I’m talking of course about access to justice. But I’m not talking about fees, or billings, or legal aid, or even pro bono. Those are our beloved old standards in the “access to justice” repertoire and I’m sure all of you know those tunes very well. I have a more fundamental concern: I cannot for the life of me understand why we still resolve civil disputes the way we did more than a century ago.”Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella.

“I think it’s finally time to think about designing a whole new way to deliver justice to ordinary people with ordinary disputes and ordinary bank accounts. That’s what real access to justice needs, that’s what the public is entitled to get, and that’s what our professionalism demands. Justice must be seen to be believed. And getting people to believe in justice is what the legal system is supposed to do.” Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella.

Photo of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella courtesy of the Supreme Court of Canada.

TEXT RECOGNIZED COPY BELOW – May have inaccuracies. Check against .pdf copies…

CONSTITUTIONS AND JUDGES: CHANGING ROLES, RULES, AND EXPECTATIONS.

University College London

The Constitution Unit The Supreme Court London, England

July, 7, 2011

Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella

Supreme Court of Canada

In 1929, overturning the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision that “Persons” in the constitution excluded women, Lord Sankey, on behalf of the Privy Council, directed the Court to interpret the Canadian constitution as a “living tree capable of growth and expansion”, and in a “large and liberal”, not a “narrow and technical” way. The Supreme Court of Canada has, in recent years, taken this direction very seriously in its interpretation of the Charter ofRights and Freedoms and has, as a result, reminded us of Isaiah Berlin’s aphorism that there is no pearl without some irritation in the oyster, since there is no doubt that this large and liberal interpretation has by now produced some large and liberal irritation.

Read more

Distinguished law professor Dr. Julie Macfarlane: Canadian Judicial Council “little credibility, lacks transparency, disconnected from the public…”

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismisses several hundred complaints each year without an investigation or inteviewing the complainant and without providing any reasons.

I couldn’t agree more with the Director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project Dr. Julie Macfarlane’s assessment in her End of the Year blog: The State of A2J in Canada

“The tortuous debate over the removal of Robin Camp highlights the disconnect between the Canadian Judicial Council – which has sole statutory responsibility for holding judges accountable – and the public. The CJC continues to operate a complaints system that has little credibility, and lacks transparency (the sum total of the 2016/17 Annual Report posted on its website is 3 pages long). NSRLP would be delighted to work on designing a fair, transparent, 21st century system to process and evaluate complaints against judges, one that protects both the interests of the public and the independence of the judiciary (especially if we received a fraction of the CJC’s annual $1.5 million budget).” Dr. Julie Macfarlane, NSRLP

Dr. Julie Macfarlane

Although the Canadian Judicial Council publishes recommendations for judges on how to deal with self-represented litigants, the CJC itself implements NONE of its own recommendations in dealing with unrepresented or self-represented Canadians who complain about judges.

The Canadian Judicial Council typically whitewashes and defuses complaints against judges in any way it can. Its process and outcomes are so corrupted and predictable that it serves little purpose for Canadians to complain about a judge – no matter how egregious the judicial misconduct.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

 

 

Why Ontario Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh should be sent to prison.

Ontario Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh

  • Another Ontario Judge goes rogue, ignores law, imprisons innocent man.
  • Suggested disipline includes “Training on Integrity”
  • Was previously convicted of Criminal Charge of Obstruct Justice in 2009

On December 5, 2017, the Ontario Justices of the Peace Review Council found that Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh committed judicial misconduct.

Terrible misconduct…

His Worship Justice of the Peace Welsh put an innocent man into prison:

On October 16, 2013, while presiding in criminal court, His Worship showed a wilful disregard for the law and for the rights of the accused by unilaterally changing the return date on a court matter without taking steps to notify the accused, counsel of record, or the Crown of the new return date. His Worship’s actions resulted in the issuance and execution of a bench warrant and deprived the accused of his liberty. (Ontario Judicial Council website)

His Worship’s lawyer, Mr. Eugene Bhattacharya, presented “31 letters from lawyers, two judges and a justice of the peace attesting to his (Welsh’s) character and contribution to the justice system” and suggested a “combination of dispositions would be appropriate including an apology, training on independence and integrity and a suspension with pay for a period between 14 and 30 days.”

The prosecution asked for little more than the defence: an apology to the wrongly imprisoned man, education on how to manage a busy courtroom and suspension for a few weeks without pay.

The proposed ‘dispositions’ are so far divorced from the expectations of ordinary Canadians that once again we are shown that the elites running our justice system either have zero realization about how lack of judicial accountability undermines public confidence in the courts – or they know and contemptuously don’t care.

Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh went rogue, willfully ignored the law and imprisoned an innocent man.

Previously in another case Welsh pleaded guilty to Criminal Obstruction of Justice, received an absolute discharge and was allowed to continue on the bench despite his corrupt actions.

To say that he should now have “training on integrity” is a sick joke. Welsh deserves to see the inside of a prison cell for putting an innocent man in jail.

What was his motivation for this latest misconduct? Was he angry at the litigant or his lawyer? Was he on drugs or drunk? Is he evil or powerdrunk? Did he do it for his own sick amusement?

What motivates a trained and experienced judge or justice of the peace to commit such egregious wrongdoing?

The exclusive club that is the self-regulating legal profession isn’t telling the Canadian public why Welsh did what he did – because the justice system exists for the benefit of the profession, not for ordinary Canadians. Judges at all levels are only accountable to fellow members of ‘the club’.

If this were an isolated incident by one judge, there might be an argument that simply firing Welsh would suffice. But talk to any lawyer or self-represented litigant and you’ll discover that all too often, and with increasing frequency, Ontario judges are ignoring the law and operating outside of the rules with impunity – because they can, and especially when it comes to self-represented persons.

Any disciplinary action against Welsh should take general deterence into consideration. The situation is that bad.

While the vast majority of rogue behaviour by judges involves lesser acts than imprisoning innocent people, a widespread court bias against unrepresented persons destroys lives, assets and families. Judges who ignore the rules and the rule of law should be held accountable.

Whatever Paul Welsh’s motivation for imprisoning an innocent man, there is no excuse for such a serious event. A precedent of requiring an apology and a short suspension does nothing more than licence this serious misconduct for the next rogue judge.

His Worship Paul Welsh should be fired, and should have to serve the same amount of time in prison as did the illegally jailed innocent man.

That goes for any judge who knowingly jails an innocent person. The fact that no imprisonment penalty for gross judicial misconduct exists in the disciplinary rules only underscores how the system is set up to prevent accountability of rogue judges.

As it is, the laughable penalty submissions of both Paul Welsh’s lawyer and the prosecution bring the administration of justice into disrepute and further undermine confidence in the Canadian justice system.

Canada’s new Supreme Court judge Sheilah Martin says courts should treat litigants with respect, be open, transparent. What does she think about Justice ‘Backroom Bryan’ Shaughnessy?

SCC Justice Sheilah Martin and ‘Canada’s Backroom Judge’ Bryan Shaughnessy (right)

Last Monday, Justice Sheilah Martin spent almost three hours meeting parliamentarians and generally laying out how she sees her role and the law. Of course she properly stayed away from specific issues that could come before the Supreme Court – but some of her words go straight to the heart of our justice system and the rule of law. Hopefully she will come down hard on courts that abuse their powers and authority.

Justice Martin’s Questionnaire for her appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada is a revealing document that shows her concern for the wrongly convicted and ordinary Canadians of many origins who are most often roadkill in our courts.

Overall, Martin stressed the need for judges to treat litigants with respect…

“You have to show respect in order to get respect,” she said.

She pushed back against the idea that judges’ rulings express their own views.

“The role of judges is a very different one than law professor or advocate. Judges decide based on proof, principle, precedent. We may call it a judicial opinion, but it’s not the personal preference of the judge. It has to be grounded in law, it has to be grounded in principle, there has to be an open, transparent, defensible reasoning, there has to be an explanation to the public, and it has to be clear and intelligible and has to meet the arguments that have been raised.” From the Star article New Supreme Court judge underscores need for judicial independence

How would Justice Martin view Bryan Shaughnessy’s disgusting misconduct?

Here is a sample from the September 28, 2017 sworn affidavit of Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, concerning Justice Shaughnessy’s conduct during the Donald Best civil contempt case:

  • “Court ended and the Judge (Shaughnessy) left the courtroom. The courtroom staff ended their duties and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, in Mr. Best’s absence, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the record, the Judge secretly created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s time to be served in prison by 50%… this new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records.”
  • “There is no justification for this which appears to be a vindictive and punitive act and it needs to be closely scrutinized.”

In other words, Bryan Shaughnessy, a Federally appointed Justice of the Ontario Superior Court, corruptly wielded his authority and power in secret, in a backroom, off the court record and with zero regard for the rule of law, transparency or accountability… just as one commonly sees in third-world backwaters where local despots misuse their authority for private purposes.

Further, Justice Shaughnessy was dealing with an unrepresented person who had already been taken away to prison. Justice Shaughnessy knew that he could get away with this abuse because the prisoner didn’t have a lawyer and was incapable of appealing the secretly increased sentence from prison. Further Best might not even be told by prison authorities about his increased sentence for weeks or months.

There is no doubt that our new Supreme Court Justice Sheilah Martin would slam Bryan Shaughnessy’s corrupt and secret backroom actions that undermined the public respect for the courts and brought the judicial system into disrepute.

Justice Shaughnessy should permanently resign from the bench as no lesser remedy is capable of repairing the damage he has done.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.” Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets. Photo of Justice Martin via Alberta Courts public handout.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Court staff deletes Justice Shaughnessy’s name from list of parties – public can’t locate courtroom

Open Courts Principle abused

At least three members of the public report that they attended at the Federal Court in Toronto but were unable to find the courtroom where my judicial review against the Canadian Judicial Council was being held. Even the front desk and security staff were unable to direct them to the courtroom – so they went home after being falsely informed that no such trial was taking place in the building that day.

This happened because Federal Court staff deleted the name of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy from the list of parties and cases used to direct persons to the various courtrooms.

Justice Shaughnessy’s name appeared as an involved party on the list at all prior motion dates – but disappeared from the list at the main event, the Judicial Review itself. Neither did the words ‘Canadian Judicial Council’ or ‘CJC’ appear on the public list. This action – whether deliberate or accidental – violated the ‘Open Courts Principle’. (see Wikipedia and CCLN)

Over the two days about a dozen members of the public, all strangers to me, did manage to find the courtroom on the 7th floor and attended to listen to the proceedings and/or to wish me well. Some of the persons attending on the first day, Monday November 20, 2017, found the courtroom by going to every floor in the building and asking each security guard about the case. They then posted the location on Facebook for others to find.

This is incredible: in a case that is ultimately focused upon the disgusting actions of Justice Shaughnessy violating the Open Courts Principle by his secret backroom actions, members of the public were prevented from attending at the Judicial Review because Federal Court staff deleted Justice Shaughnessy’s name from the daily courtroom listings.

Julian Fantino intervention blocked

Another interesting happening in relation to this Judicial Review is that Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, applied to intervene in the case – filing an application and supporting affidavit sworn September 28, 2017. On October 25, 2017, Prothonotary Mandy Aylen rejected Fantino’s application.

Fantino then filed an appeal of the rejection, to be heard on November 20, 2017 prior to the Judicial Review – however on Thursday afternoon, November 16, 2017, effectively one day prior to the court date, Justice Keith M. Boswell issued an order that Mr. Fantino’s appeal would not be heard and would be scheduled for General Sittings. But – the Judicial Review would go ahead anyway without Mr. Fantino’s intervention or waiting for another court to hear his appeal.

This is puzzling to an ordinary person like myself who always thought that when something is appealed by anyone, the main case is put on hold until the appeal is heard. Perhaps one of my readers with a legal background can explain this as Justice Boswell issued no reasons to accompany his decision.

Judicial Review finished – Decision to come

The Judicial Review was heard over two days, Monday – Tuesday November 20-21, 2017. My lawyer Paul Slansky took the first day to state my case that, among other issues, the court should send the Shaughnessy complaint back to the Canadian Judicial Council with instructions to do their job properly according to the laws that govern the CJC. On Tuesday, Mr. Peter Wardle (representing Justice Shaughnessy) and Mr. Victor Paolone (Attorney General of Canada) made their presentations trying to defend the indefensible actions of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

At the end of Paul Slansky’s reply comments on Tuesday, Justice Boswell said he will be issuing his decision later.

My sincere thanks to everyone who came out to show support and to monitor and report on the proceedings.

Donald Best
November 22, 2017
Barrie, Ontario

 

 

 

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