TheRedline.ca – Group of young(ish) Toronto Lawyers set out to reform their profession

A group of young(ish) Toronto lawyers are telling some inconvenient truths on their new TheRedline.ca blog. Hopefully they will retain their mission when members of the Bay Street Boys Club start refusing to shake their hands in court. DB

Some excerpts from Allison Hines’ article ‘Thou Shalt Not Bring the Justice System into Disrepute’

Allison Hines, Toronto lawyer

Allison Hines, Toronto lawyer

I’m talking about the people who do not equate the words “justice system” with “justice”, for which I am one. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am proud to work in the justice system as a lawyer. I’m proud to have the opportunity to help marginalized people maneuver through the system, and to be someone who understands what it’s like to have distrust for the very thing that you’re hoping will allow you to access your rights…this time. I also acknowledge that even though the justice system isn’t perfect, it does provide protection and dignity to many.

However, I see too many flaws and too often. I see that our current system was born from and still imitates feudalism, where inequality and unchecked intergenerational privilege make a mockery of our constitutional rights. These flaws truncate individual rights proving the system to be illegitimate in the eyes of many.  Put simply, the system betrays many of its own people. It disrespects the rights and dignity of those who have no meaningful say in how the law is created, maintained, or carried out.

(snip)

So, I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that instead of telling law students and lawyers not to bring the justice system into disrepute, I think we should be teaching them to question how we can bring the justice system into good standing, for all people, period. I know that what I have written here may seem very negative and critical. Hell, I’d even agree with that. However, I am saying these things because I am optimistic that things can change, but not without a critical view of how the system is working, or not working.

Read Allison’s full article at The Redline: Thou Shalt Not Bring the Justice System into Disrepute’

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