Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:52 PM
shockedcanadian (642 posts)
Please support this man! The courageous story of Justice lawyer Edgar Schmidt
If anyone can get contact information on how to contact him I would appreciate it. This man needs to be commended and defended by anyone who cares about democracy and justice. In my opinion it is very important that he is supported in any way possible.
I experienced the ease in which the courts can suppress and destroy my ability to receive justice within the system. I dealt with it first hand when the courts allowed a lawyer for the Justice Department to put forward his own motion to have my motion thrown out. my motion was simple, to gain access to disclosure of information which the state has on me (in the form of a dossier in the hands of the RCMP and CSIS). They not only refused to plead to the charges, but simply had them thrown out...an absolute travesty of process. I was appalled and further thrown into an even darker place when I realized just how easily the system can circumvent and outright deny accountability to anyone working in the system.
Justice department whistleblower on a crusade to sustain the rule of law
“As a fairly senior person toward the end of his career, it fell to me,” said Mr. Schmidt, who launched a legal action last month accusing his department of short-circuiting a legal requirement that new laws be vetted to see whether they comply with guarantees in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Since launching his crusade to force the department to live up to its obligations, Mr. Schmidt has been suspended without pay and barred from his office.
However, in a major victory for the 60-year-old lawyer, the department on Friday backed off its legal strategy of asking a judge to throw out the case.
2 replies, 1173 views
Please support this man! The courageous story of Justice lawyer Edgar Schmidt (Original post)
|Joe Shlabotnik||Feb 2013||#1|
Response to shockedcanadian (Original post)
Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:51 PM
Joe Shlabotnik (4,168 posts)
1. Very interesting.
I wish him and others luck in trying to hold the government accountable. With the exception of the Liberals panicked Bill C-36 in 2001, I can't think of any other government in my lifetime, that has so nonchalantly passed suspect legislation, hoping that it flies under the radar.
We are dabbling our toes into many uncharted waters now, and I have less faith than ever, that an increasingly Harper-appointed supreme court will have our backs, or that the shear volume of unconstitutional infractions will even be recognized by lower courts against individuals who lack the financial resources.
Last week the Cons brushed off the opposition's proposed study into their systemic dereliction of legal due diligence.
Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #1)
Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:18 AM
shockedcanadian (642 posts)
2. This has been going on for far more than the last few years...
I know this is a Democratic site (U.S based), but I have seen failings and abuses from the Liberal government which have been at least on par with the things currently going on. The political abuses of the Liberal party; both at the federal and provincial level (at least in Ontario), have put Canada at a global disadvantage. Judicially these failings have been going on as long as I remember, and I am in my late thirties.
There are a few things to consider here. This list would become expansive if I listed how I feel it all intertwines and relates to one another. Enacting new laws is one consideration but abuses of current laws is quite another, and I think his stance addresses this at least peripherally.
As you suggest the post 9/11 laws were pushed forward quickly but the vast and sweeping powers that the Security Establishment has had in this country is not new. These new laws made what was already illegally going on now legal (wiretaping without a warrant and such). If CSIS or the CSE (Canadian equivalent of the NSA) can't get something done legally, they simply ask their partners in England or America to do the work for them without interference. What is new in the last few decades is that the courts are sleeping with the establishment to ensure that our guaranteed rights can be trampled without challenge, even if these challenges are legitimate. Any challenge is simply struck down without seeing the light of day, these challenges should be heard if we are a society based on the rule of law and principles which are at the very core of democracy. Furthermore, the establishment is so powerful and abused for political purposes that even the courts have little to no control; or, as this man is suggesting, they simply disregard their own duty in the process, which is supposed to be based on Canadian law. Consider how CSIS reacted to the files of Tommy Douglas which were collected by the RCMP, they were ordered to release the files in their entirety, instead, dozens of files went missing and the files remain closed from the public.
These few paragraphs in the article are telling:
“I have no personal interest in this,” he said. “In a sense, I am asking the courts to sustain the rule of law. Most of us have certain times in our lives where we just say: ‘This is something I have to do if I want to live with myself.’”
Mr. Schmidt asked in his court application for a finding that his department has spent the past 20 years violating its duty to ensure that proposed laws comply with the Charter.
The dispute concerns a legal requirement that Parliament be informed when a proposed law is likely to be found inconsistent with rights guaranteed in the Charter. Mr. Schmidt says federal lawyers were consistently instructed not to red-flag a law if there were any possibility of mustering a “credible” argument that it did not breach the Charter.
Laws themselves are the macrocosm, but I can attest that this behavior has definitely found it's way into the microcosm; in specific court cases. When dealing with CSIS and the RCMP as an example, I put forward my motion for disclosure, based on violation of my Chartered Rights and basic principles of democracy that we espouse...the Justice Department played the same game they play over and over...they simply had my case thrown out. This is how powerful this man's case may be, it affects everything from laws being considered to actions about laws already in place. Is it the justice departments role to strike down challenges because it might undermine the abuses of the establishment? Consider that sentence. Which side of democracy are we going to be on? Their response to his case speaks volumes. He is suspended without pay....how dare he look out for the Rights (God ordained I might argue) of Canadians!