You may have arrived here via a direct link to a specific post. To see the most recent posts, click HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ontario’s SIU hires prominent lawyer to argue crucial case

May 14, 2010
National Post

TORONTO — The Ontario Special Investigations Unit has hired a prominent Toronto lawyer to argue its case at a crucial court hearing for the independent civilian agency.

Marlys Edwardh was retained just two days after Ontario Attorney-General Chris Bentley stopped government lawyers from working for the SIU in the high-profile case.

The hearing, before Superior Court Justice Wailan Low, is examining police practices when the SIU is called in to investigate. The agency probes any incident involving serious injury or death as a result of police force.

SIU director Ian Scott has formally complained about the practice of “witness officers” speaking to lawyers before writing their official police notes. As well, it is common for several officers to be represented by the same lawyer, leading to the potential for collusion. Mr. Scott has suggested this hampers the ability of the SIU to do its job effectively.

The Ontario Provincial Police and other police groups are asking Judge Low to decline to look at the practices, arguing it is not the role of the courts. The hearing resumes Tuesday.

No comments: