Does Canada’s justice system hold any hope for common citizens?

A reader asks: With so many elements of Canada’s legal infrastructures failing its citizens, do you think there is hope for any real recourse for common citizens?

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Dear ‘S’,

Thank you for your kind and supportive email.

At the moment there is no real access to justice for ordinary Canadians. It can be fairly said that never before in Canadian history have the people and the justice system been so far apart.

It could also be fairly said that the elites who crafted and run the system – both the lawyers and ex-lawyers now known as ‘judges’ – are completely divorced from the people.

The only question is what form the rebellion will take when it comes.

Increasingly I see a section of the population completely dismissing the justice system as irrelevant in any decision making process where they believe they have been wronged. There is also a realization that we have a class-based justice system where rule of law is scarcely remembered by the courts and not at all by the legal profession.

This is producing a dangerous undermining of the very foundations of Canadian society – and if not stopped will produce a society like many around the world, where the justice system is known as nothing but a corrupt and owned weapon of the upper-class elites.

When the Toronto Star can report without contradiction that the Law Society of Upper Canada covered up hundreds of cases where Ontario lawyers committed criminal offenses against their clients, little more need be said.

Yours truly,

Donald Best

Time for Independent Oversight of Canada’s legal profession

“It is time to bring Canada’s legal profession into compliance with modern standards of independent oversight and external accountability.”

In a previous article, I told how Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada licensed a known pedophile to practice Child Protection Law – with predictable results. (You can read that article right here.)

What were the Law Society’s senior benchers thinking to do such a thing? Have they lost touch with reality? How did they suppose ordinary Canadians would perceive this? Did they not consider the welfare of the children who would be exposed to this pedophile lawyer?

Or… was the Law Society of Upper Canada so completely embraced with a sense of entitlement and superiority that duty to the public trust simply never entered the equation? I suspect that was the case – and remains so today.

I’ve expanded upon that theme in my first ‘op-ed’ video production to call for independent oversight of Canada’s legal profession. In the video I contrast how Canadians impose independent oversight and external accountability upon the police (with good reason) – yet we continue to allow our legal profession to regulate itself in the face of mounting evidence that this arrangement is not working out – to put it mildly.

Now don’t get me wrong here… the vast majority of Canada’s lawyers and judges do their best every day to deliver the best justice they can within the rules, laws and system that we have. And thank g*d that they do, because we have all the examples we need in some other countries to see what an entirely corrupt system does to individuals.

To borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill… Canada’s justice system is the worst – except for all the others.

And yet; increasingly, ordinary Canadians see that the power and authority (two entirely different concepts) conferred upon our lawyers and judges is too often abused or in the least, misapplied for reasons that range from overwhelmed, under-resourced courts to disturbing incidents of corruption and coverups at all levels.

Among the the rank and file of Canada’s legal profession, there has developed a distinct lack of courage to do the right thing.

Ordinary Canadians see a legal profession that once was the champion of Rule of Law now reduced to padding time dockets to meet Bay Street rents.

Canadian lawyers acknowledge that Ontario has a special problem

In the last two years as I expanded my advocacy for Self-Represented Litigants, I’ve spoken to many lawyers, Crown Attorneys and even a few judges/retired judges across Canada – right from Newfoundland through the Maritimes, into Quebec, onto the prairies and to our West Coast.

It is a fair comment to say that the general reputation of Ontario’s lawyers and the Law Society of Upper Canada is not exactly stellar in the eyes of many legal professionals outside of the province. In a phrase, the major Toronto law firms’ culture of ‘big money and big politics’ is viewed with disdain even in small Ontario communities.

But the systemic faults of the legal profession that are magnified in Big Law Ontario are not absent from other provinces.

Throughout Canada, lawyers are regulated, investigated and disciplined by the same people they went to law school with, the same people they work with and the same people they attend office parties and BBQs with.

Across Canada, when it comes to the legal profession, there is…

  • No independent oversight.
  • No independent investigations of lawyer misconduct.
  • No external accountability.
  • No transparency.

A growing legacy of scandals, cover-ups and whitewash means that it is time for independent investigations of lawyer misconduct in the short term – with the long term goal of bringing modern concepts of independent oversight to legal professionals who, like the police, have tremendous individual and group authority and power, with the attendant potential for abuse.

It is time to bring Canada’s legal profession into compliance with modern standards of independent oversight and external accountability.

Another massive brute-force login attack against DonaldBest.CA website

WordPress Attacks-private

August 29, 2016 attack included over 2,500 attempts in a few hours.

Somebody is paying professional hackers to destroy DonaldBest.CA.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Every day there are always a few attempts to guess the administrator password to log into DonaldBest.CA and take over the website. But about once a month the same professional hacker(s) launches an all-out brute-force attack using hundreds of compromised ‘zombie’ computers.

It is obvious that the ‘blackhat’ hacker(s) are professionals because each attack consists of thousands of pre-programmed attempts made over the course of a few hours using hundreds of different IP numbers and computers from every part of the globe. This shows the attacker(s) maintains an asset base of compromised machines worldwide to effect strategic vulnerability scans and brute-force login attempts.

Further, the attacks are not random because the selection of user names includes words specifically related to me, that I might personally choose if I wanted something easy to remember. This shows that the attacker probably has access to investigative reports about me, including my Identity Information and similar information upon which to create a list of likely words, rather than basing the attack on a standard common passwords dictionary.

Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP involved?

There is sworn evidence* before the Ontario courts indicating that during a previous brute-force attack on March 28, 2015, a website visitor from Barbados and a website visitor from the Toronto law office of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (IP Number 72.0.220.68) knew of the attack beforehand, and checked on the results during the attack.

Before you start to say that it would be impossible that anyone from a large and respected law firm like Cassels would be involved in initiating an illegal attack to take this website down, you might want to consider sworn evidence indicating that lawyers from large Canadian law firms are proven to have:

That’s not even mentioning the Toronto Star newspaper’s Broken Trust series that documented how the Law Society of Upper Canada covered up hundreds of incidents where lawyers committed criminal offences against their clients.

For over two years I’ve been publishing solid evidence on this website that certain Ontario lawyers committed criminal and other offences, and that the Law Society of Upper Canada and some courts knew of this and covered-up to protect privileged senior members of the Bay Street Boys Club.

No one has sued me, or taken advantage of my offers to publish responses or refutations of the evidence.

As a police detective investigating crimes, I always asked myself “To whom the benefit?”

And so my readers should ask themselves about the continuing professional attacks on DonaldBest.CA… To whom the benefit if the attacks succeed?

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

* See paragraphs 198-207 of my 20150331 Injunction Motion with Exhibits (PDF 17mb – large file!)

Karin Litzcke on Canadian Judicial Council’s judicial independence public relations campaign

Karin Litzcke

“So, judicial independence. The core idea is that judges cannot be pushed around by governments, even back in the days when governments were kings. This was a great idea, I’m sure, until – in Canada at least – the print dried on the Charter. It’s my belief that that was when institutional power soared, and relative individual power shrank to the point where individuals have become comparatively invisible to the law.

And that is when the problem with judicial independence began. Not problems with independence from government – judges have always been on top of protecting themselves from governments. No, the problems with judicial independence now are about whether judges can keep themselves independent from other powerful agencies in the economic, social, and, above all, legal superstructure.”

by Karin Litzcke

Read the whole thing at Karin’s Court Jester blog. Well worth your time: The doomed campaign to promote the perception of judicial independence

Photo of Karin Litzcke courtesy CBC

Affidavit filed in action against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

In the next few days I’ll be establishing a separate page devoted to my current Application for a Federal Court Judicial Review of the decision of the Canadian Judicial Council regarding my complaint about the misconduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013.

(Whew! Sometimes it takes a run-on sentence to accurately describe a lawsuit.)

Meanwhile, my lawyer Paul Slansky has filed on my behalf a supporting affidavit sworn by me on April 27, 2016.

You can download the affidavit in two PDF files: Vol 1 (10.4mb) and Vol 2 (11.7mb)

A senior Ontario lawyer examined the complaint and the evidence, and stated…

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.” 

Senior Ontario lawyer writes to Donald Best after examining the evidence against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Background

March 31, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council refuses investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy. CJC says “No misconduct”

Feb. 9, 2016: Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

Dec. 2, 2015: Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy secretly increased prisoner’s jail sentence; in a backroom meeting, off the court record, without informing the prisoner.

March 9, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council remains silent on investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

 

Federal Court proceeding commenced against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Court asked to rule on foundational issues concerning the Canadian Judicial Council and a Federal Judge.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

On April 14, 2016, my lawyer, Paul Slansky, filed on my behalf a Notice of Application in the Federal Court of Canada; seeking a Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision regarding my complaint against the Honourable Mr. Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy for his actions on May 3, 2013.

The relief I am asking for is outlined in the Notice of Application, which is published here both as a .pdf file and in text below. Where the text and the .pdf file differ, the .pdf file is the accurate copy of the legal papers filed with the court.

It is my understanding that the issues before the court are far larger than just my personal case, and are of importance to all Canadians.

Legal professionals, lawyers and judges who read this Notice of Application will certainly recognize the serious implications of the issues brought forward in this court action.

This is a legal document and reads that way, so you might want to start with some of the articles previously published on DonaldBest.CA…

March 31, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council refuses investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy. CJC says “No misconduct”

Feb. 9, 2016: Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

Dec. 2, 2015: Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy secretly increased prisoner’s jail sentence; in a backroom meeting, off the court record, without informing the prisoner.

March 9, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council remains silent on investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

A copy of the Notice of Application as filed before the court can be download here in .pdf format: Notice of Application Best v CJC, Shaughnessy pdf – 900kb

As well, I publish the Notice of Application in text format below. (NOTE: The text below may contain formatting and other errors, and is provided only for online convenience. The .pdf file above is the only accurate copy of the papers filed with the court.)

As always, I remind my readers that this is still before the courts. If any person disagrees with anything I’ve published or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence.

Court File No.: T-604-16

IN THE FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA

B E T W E E N:

DONALD BEST

Applicant

– and –

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA

and

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J. BRYAN SHAUGHNESSY

Respondents

NOTICE OF APPLICATION

(Pursuant to ss. 18-18.1 Federal Courts Act,

and ss. 24, 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982)

TO THE RESPONDENT:

A PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST YOU by the applicant. The relief claimed by the applicant appears on the following page.   Read more

Ontario lawyer despairs that the legal profession places Privilege over Public Interest

Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

As usual, Julie Macfarlane doesn’t hesitate to speak the truths that many in the legal profession find so difficult to acknowledge in public, or even admit to themselves.

Her latest piece is superb and well worth your time, especially if you are a lawyer or a judge. The article should be required reading in every law school in the country.

For me, the one issue in Julie’s article that stands out above everything is how the legal profession, including the Law Society of Upper Canada, usually places privilege over public interest. Lawyers and former lawyers (called ‘judges’) most often choose to protect their own even at the expense of the public interest and the public trust.

Notwithstanding that the vast majority of lawyers and judges are hard-working, ethical, and decent people, the current culture of the legal profession punishes members who dare to report or even acknowledge specific professional misconduct by other lawyers. The standard in the profession is that it is permissible to talk about ethics and misconduct generally, but woe unto the lawyer or judge who points a finger. In many ways this is very similar to the protectionist culture found in policing organizations.

Those in the legal profession who won’t circle the wagons and stand with ‘the Club’ soon find themselves standing alone, with no referrals and few lunch invitations at best. At worst, they are squeezed out of their firms, find their careers diminished and themselves under attack.

As Julie Macfarlane says,

“It’s not the people in the legal profession who are the problem.

It’s what the profession has become.”

Julie Macfarlane: Why I Sometimes feel Despair about the Profession I Love

Canadians are well aware of what the legal profession has become, just as they are well aware of the legal profession’s pretensions of public interest. Ordinary Canadians get it – they just lack the power and capability to do anything about a profession that is entirely self-regulating and accountable only unto itself.   Read more

Canadian Judicial Council refuses investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy. CJC says “No misconduct”

Norman Sabourin, CJC Executive Director & General Counsel

Norman Sabourin, CJC Executive Director (photo courtesy of The Lawyers Weekly)

“I have carefully considered your complaint and concluded that it does not involve misconduct. Accordingly, I will be taking no further action.”

Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
Canadian Judicial Council

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

I have just received the below letter from Canadian Judicial Council Director Norman Sabourin, in response to my January 5, 2016 complaint about the actions of Ontario Superior Court Justice the Honourable J. Bryan Shaughnessy. (CJC 2016 Response Sabourin PDF 906kb download)

The letter is dated January 28, 2016. The envelope has an office postage meter date of February 3, 2016. Assuming that the CJC mailed the letter at Canada Post shortly after running it through the CJC’s office postage meter (and that it didn’t sit on someone’s desk) it took Canada Post almost eight weeks to deliver an ordinary mail letter from Ottawa to Barrie, Ontario.

That seems to be abysmal performance on the part of Canada Post. On the other hand, Mr. Sabourin messed up the postal code. So for whatever the reasons, I have just received the CJC’s decision about my complaint. Contrary to the indication on the letter, the CJC did not send the letter to me via email.

I invite my readers, and especially those involved in Canada’s Justice System who love the Rule of Law, to carefully consider the evidence of Justice Shaughnessy’s actions as reported in my articles here at DonaldBest.ca.

Feb. 9, 2016: Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

Dec. 2, 2015: Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy secretly increased prisoner’s jail sentence; in a backroom meeting, off the court record, without informing the prisoner.

March 9, 2016: Canadian Judicial Council remains silent on investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Then, I invite you to have a carefully considered read of Mr. Sabourin’s letter, and repeat after Mr. Sabourin: “…it does not involve misconduct…it does not involve misconduct…it does not involve misconduct.”

That any judge would do what Justice Shaughnessy did; illegally, vindictively, in secret, in a backroom and off the court record, is immensely disturbing to every lawyer I have spoken with.

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.” 

Senior Ontario lawyer writes to Donald Best after examining the evidence against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

I’ll be writing further about this subject in a while.

Photo of Norman Sabourin courtesy of The Lawyers Weekly.

Canadian Judicial Council remains silent on investigation of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy – Under CJC investigation.

“In the private sector, any business that failed to answer multiple letters over a 63 day period would soon be out of business. The CJC doesn’t have to worry about maintaining reasonable levels of service because it is effectively unaccountable to any outside person or organization.”

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Neither the Canadian Judicial Council nor CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin have replied to written requests as to the status of the CJC investigation of Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

The first request was simply acknowledged as ‘received’ by the CJC on January 7, 2016. Further requests were made on January 21, 2016 and February 4, 2016, but other than automatic confirmation of the receipt of the emails, there has been no reply from the CJC in 63 days.

In the private sector, any business that failed to answer multiple letters over a 63 day period would soon be out of business. The Canadian Judicial Council doesn’t have to worry about maintaining reasonable levels of service though; because the CJC is totally funded by tax dollars, operates without oversight and is effectively unaccountable to any outside person or organization.

The allegations, evidence and actual exhibits against Justice Shaughnessy, as well as copies of my letters to the CJC and Director Sabourin, can be read in my February 9, 2016 article:

Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

I made a formal complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council, the organization mandated to investigate misconduct by federally appointed judges, however it appears that the organization is ‘going slow’ in its investigation of Justice Shaughnessy in an obvious strategy to enable a subject judge to wind down his caseload and retire without a completed investigation and resolution.

This is not in the public interest and I therefore decided to publish the complaint, all supporting evidence and my communications with the CJC so that Canadians can have transparency and be able to discuss this and similar incidents of serious judicial misconduct.

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.” (Senior Ontario lawyer writes to Donald Best after examining the evidence filed against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.)

Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy under investigation by Canadian Judicial Council

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

“In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.” (Senior Ontario lawyer writes to Donald Best after examining the evidence filed against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.)

It is obvious that, as previously documented by the news media in other cases, the Canadian Judicial Council is delaying and drawing out the process to enable a subject judge to wind down their caseload and retire without an investigation and resolution.

This CJC cover-up strategy is not in the public interest. Therefore, I have decided to ‘go public’ with the details of the complaint about Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct, and will do so on February 9, 2016.” (Donald Best in a February 4, 2016 letter to Mr. Norman Sabourin, Executive Director, Canadian Judicial Council)

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

The Canadian Judicial Council is investigating Ontario Superior Court Judge J. Bryan Shaughnessy for serious misconduct involving the illegal and secret substitution of a court order; made in secret and off the court record in a deliberate, vindictive and premeditated extra-judicial abuse of his position and authority.

On May 3, 2013 after court had finished and I had been sentenced and taken into custody, Justice Shaughnessy then went to a backroom where he secretly increased my prison sentence, without a hearing, without informing me as a self-represented litigant, and arranged everything so I would not discover the increased sentence until told by the prison staff at some unknown time in the future.

It is a given that Justice Shaughnessy would not have committed this misconduct had I been represented by a lawyer, but as a self-represented litigant I was vulnerable and defenseless against his abuse of power.

I wrote about Justice Shaughnessy’s actions in a December 2, 2015 article published on my website, and included copies of Justice Shaughnessy’s original January 15, 2010 Warrant of Committal and his secretly substituted May 3, 2013 order that increased my jail sentence by a month without informing me.

20100115 Warrant Justice Shaughnessy SAN

20130503 Warrant Justice Shaughnessy SAN

(click photos to see full size*)

I made a formal complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council, the organization mandated to investigate misconduct by federally appointed judges, however it appears that the organization is ‘going slow’ in its investigation of Justice Shaughnessy in an obvious strategy to enable a subject judge to wind down their caseload and retire without an investigation and resolution.

This is not in the public interest and I have therefore decided to publish the complaint, all supporting evidence and my communications with the CJC so that Canadians can have transparency and be able to discuss this and similar incidents of serious judicial misconduct.

February 4, 2016 letter to CJC Director Norman Sabourin    Read more

1 3 4 5 6