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…


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

Retired RCMP Inspector William Majcher swears affidavit about corrupt Canadian lawyers and judges

Retired RCMP Inspector William Majcher

Affidavit reveals deep-rooted corruption of lawyers and judges in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario

In 2002, it was revealed that William Majcher was a deep-cover RCMP police officer working against the dangerous Medellin Drug Cartel by targeting money-laundering operations in Canada.

“The Medellin Cartel, naturally, put out a contract to murder RCMP undercover officer William Majcher.”

For three years Majcher had worked undercover as a Futures and Options Commodity Trader primarily based on the floor of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange. He took down disgraced Ontario lawyer Simon Rosenfeld and others for drug cartel money laundering, including Mark Valentine of the now-defunct Toronto-based brokerage firm Thomson Kernaghan & Co. Ltd..

Then in 2005, the RCMP removed Inspector Majcher from command of the Vancouver-based Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) – apparently because he sought nomination as a future candidate for the Conservative party. And because – much worse – in the news media Majcher alleged that the Crown prosecutors would not proceed with criminal charges against several high-profile individuals, and he hoped he could be more effective in politics than he had been in policing.

In other words – in 2005, RCMP Inspector William Majcher alleged corruption in the legal system and the system turned on him like a pack of wolves. What a surprise!

Flash forward to July 19, 2017 and William Majcher swore an affidavit in the Supreme Court of Canada civil case: Angleland Holdings Inc., Nederland Holdings Inc., John English, Paradise Beach Resorts Inc. and Pacific Rim resort vs Gergory N. Harney Law Corporation et al.

Every Canadian should read William Majcher’s affidavit and carefully consider the implications of what happens when the legal profession and justice system are allowed to police themselves with zero independent oversight and zero external accountability.

“During the course of my employment with the RCMP while working undercover or in handling criminal informants, I became tasked with knowlege and evidence of payoffs, bribery and case fixing that included judges, lawyers and court registry staff in various parts of Canada.”

If you read nothing else today, download and read William Majcher’s affidavit (720kb pdf)

UPDATED: July 21, 2023William Majcher Affidavit OCRd Optical Character Recognition

Then read the case of the John English family – that Majcher swore his affidavit in support of.

Former OPP boss Julian Fantino

Another Senior Canadian Police Officer alleges corruption by judge, lawyers & police.

Former Cabinet Minister and Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police Julian Fantino recently swore an affidavit containing bombshell allegations of corruption by an Ontario Federal Court Justice, several lawyers and an OPP Detective Sergeant under his command at the time.

Toronto Star Article: Ex-federal cabinet minister Julian Fantino takes aim at judge, cops, lawyers. 

Fantino Affidavit Summary and Court Exhibits.

“Our justice system is self-destructing before our eyes because too many lawyers, judges and elected / appointed government officials place their profession, friends, cartels and profits before the rule of law.”

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 [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left 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

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 [email protected] 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

Supreme Court of Canada makes first Tweet; 13 Canadians Tweet back, including me

SCC Supreme Court Canada Twitter Donald Best sml-private

Three hours after the Supreme Court of Canada tweeted its first on Twitter, only thirteen people had tweeted to @SCC_eng

But those who tweeted weren’t shy. Besides sending congratulations and expressing approval at the SCC’s move to improve access to justice, Canadians commented their views about Muslims wearing nicab for citizenship ceremony, that the SCC should move decision announcements from Fridays, charging Harper officials and provide a job for a friend. (I liked that last one.)

Chief Justice McLachlin commended the Court’s presence on Twitter: “Communicating on Twitter forms part of the Court’s commitment to open and accessible justice.  Sharing information about the Court’s work is crucial to its mandate, and Twitter is a useful tool in achieving this objective.”     Read more

Why did Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking not submit costs to the Supreme Court of Canada?

More evidence that Toronto lawyer Gerald ‘Gerry’ Ranking committed fraud upon the Supreme Court of Canada & Ontario courts

Money laundering question: Where did the million dollars go?

Faskens lawyer Gerald L Ranking

On September 4, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed my application for leave to appeal a judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. I am informed that this doesn’t mean that the SCC thought that my appeal would not succeed or that it was without merit; it simply means that the SCC selects a very few cases out of hundreds of applicants. Apparently the SCC attempts to highlight cases that it believes have national implications, and for its own reasons the court did not choose to consider my case.

That’s life. As an aside, it also means that in some twenty appearances before the courts, no court, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada, ever listened to or chose to listen to, the voice recordings that prove big law firm lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver fabricated evidence and lied to the Superior Court of Ontario to convict me in absentia of Contempt of Civil Court, and to put me in jail.

Again, that’s life. It is my hope that someday a jury of my fellow Canadians will listen to the voice recordings during the Best vs. Ranking civil case.

I can assure my readers that unlike the legal profession, ordinary Canadians have no reluctance at all to listen to the November 17, 2009 voice recordings of my telephone call with lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Sliver, and to compare those recordings with the false evidence the lawyers provided to the courts to convict and jail me.

(Readers can listen to the recording and examine documents here.)

Why did Gerald Ranking / Fasken Martineau not submit costs?

The rules and case law of civil procedure in Ontario are fairly simple; under normal circumstances it is usual that those litigants who bring actions or motions that are denied by the court might have some liability to pay the opposition for their legal costs.

Thus, when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to consider my appeal, the court awarded $20,364.79 costs payable by me to defendant Kingsland Estates Limited.

But the court awarded no costs payable to Gerald Ranking’s purported client ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’.

As the Supreme Court of Canada said in its reasons: “The respondent, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, has not submitted a bill of costs..” (SCC Costs decision here PDF 949kb)

A fraud upon the courts explained

Toronto lawyer Gerald L Ranking

Why would Gerald Ranking and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm not submit a costs claim to the Surpreme Court of Canada as is normal? Why would Faskens and Ranking not attempt to recover costs for their purported ‘client’?

The answer is simple enough: Faskens senior lawyer Gerald Lancaster Ranking and his partners at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP knew that their purported client, ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ does not, and did not, exist at any time. Ranking and his law firm did not want to double-down on their fraud upon the Supreme Court of Canada and have the SCC issue another cost order to what the lawyers know is a false, phoney, criminally fraudulent, non-existent ‘client’.   Read more