CRIMINAL LAW

LEGAL COUNSEL 3-WAY CALL DETECT ACCEPTANCE

The Ministry of Solicitor General (SolGen) ‘3-Way Call Detection’ security feature prevents 3-way calling activity while using offender telephones. The OTMS system will detect and terminate unthorized 3-way calls, conference calls, chain-dialing and attempts to access a secondary dial tone. This feature is utilized in order to support public safety and ministry security.

BILL C-75

Overview

**UPDATE REGARDING C-75**

The Law Society Benchers, at the September 2019 Convocation, passed a motion that to preserve (as closely as possible) the range of services currently provided by regulated agents, in response to the enactment of Bill C-75:

a) with respect to paralegal scope of activities, the following two-stage approach:

i. amending By-Law 4, in principle, to establish a scope for criminal matters

comprised of the following:

1) all offences that were punishable by a maximum penalty of six months’  imprisonment when proceeding by summary conviction at the time that Bill C-75 was enacted; and

2) four offences that had been within agent scope since the onset of regulation but were amended by Bill C-46, and as a result of which were no longer within scope as of December 17, 2018: specifically, sections 320.13(1), 320.16(1), 320.17, 320.18(1) of the Criminal Code; and

ii. continue to review and develop the scope of activities for paralegals in criminal law matters, taking into account education and training standards and competency development in this field before Bill C-75 comes into force.


These were the recommendations as laid out in the Paralegal Standing Committee Report for September 11, 2019 Convocation


READ: FOLA's position regarding the LSO's Paralegal Standing Committee Report.


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On September 19, 2019, Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, came into force. The resulting amendments to the Criminal Code have altered the landscape for legal advocates in the area of criminal law. Among other changes, the default maximum penalty for summary conviction offences has been raised from six months’ imprisonment to two years less a day. An overview of Bill C-75 can be found here.


FOLA's Concerns with C-75

Nonwithstanding some improvements, FOLA shared the concerns of the Criminal Bar Association and focused our submission on three key areas:

1.  Restricting Preliminary Inquiries;

2.  Eliminating jury peremptory challenges; and

3.  Allowing routine evidence to be admitted by affidavit 


FOLA believes that access to justice in the criminal sphere includes access to both procedural fairness and a strong presumption of innocence. While work needs to be done to modernize the system and allow for alternative methods of discovering witnesses and minimizing the adversarial process in certain types of cases, engagement of the practicing bar will be key in ensuring the greatest gains are made in reforming the system.   


Our submission can be found here.