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LITIGATION SUCCESS

LITIGATION SUCCESS

[1]         This Interim Decision is issued to address certain matters raised with the parties in my Case Assessment Direction (“CAD”) dated August 9, 2016 regarding the basis of this Tribunal’s jurisdiction to consider the outstanding “data collection question”, and to respond to the submissions filed by the parties in response to my CAD.

Background

[2]         In terms of a brief history of this matter, Chad Aiken filed a human rights complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) on July 5, 2005, alleging that he had been discriminated against by the Ottawa Police Service. He is a young African Canadian male who was driving a Mercedes when he was stopped by police on May 29, 2005. Mr. Aiken alleges that he was stopped for no valid reason, and claims that he was a “victim of discrimination, racial profiling and systemic anti-Black racism” within the Ottawa police force.

[3]         Ultimately, Mr. Aiken’s complaint was referred by the Commission to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for a hearing. The parties to the hearing were: Mr. Aiken; the Ottawa Police Services Board; and the Commission. The hearing was set to commence before the Tribunal in July 2010.

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[1]       The accused, O’Neil Harriott (Harriott), was acquitted by a jury on three counts of trafficking in cocaine (counts 1 -3), convicted of one count of trafficking in cocaine (count 5) and convicted of one count of weapons trafficking (count 4). The counts Harriott was acquitted of involved actual sales of cocaine to an undercover officer. The only possible defence was duress, which the jury accepted for those three counts.

[2]       The accused, Harriott, was convicted of trafficking in a handgun and one count of trafficking in cocaine. Both convictions involved offers to traffic, and there was no exchange of money, cocaine or weapons on the offences the accused was convicted of. The accused raised a defence of duress for those offences as well, but the jury rejected the duress defence for those two offences.

[3]       Ironically, even though no actual exchange of items took place, the most serious charge appears to be the weapons trafficking charge, which contains a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of three years.

[4]       The defence brings a constitutional challenge pursuant to section 52(1) of the Constitution Act 1982 that section 99 (2)(a) violates sections 15, 7 and 12 of the Charter, and cannot be saved by section 1 of the Charter.

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