Canadians for Accountability has filed a complaint with the Canadian Bar Association, arguing that the federal government is requiring its lawyers to violate their moral and ethical obligations and requesting that it conduct an investigation into this matter.
The complaint arises from the suspension of Justice Canada lawyer Edgar Schmidt, who argued that the department was failing to provide Parliament with a full and proper assessment when proposed laws might breach the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He alleges that internal departmental guidance stipulates that such warnings do not need to be given if there is even a 5% chance that it would survive a legal challenge.
“The Minister of Justice has a duty to report to the House of Commons’ said Allan Cutler, President of Canadians for Accountability. “If they are prevented from doing so, we’re in danger of losing fundamental rights to overreaching legislation. The ordinary citizen doesn’t have the resources to launch a Charter challenge against the government – which has infinite resources.”
Schmidt has brought his case before Justice Simon Noël of the Federal Court. Justice Noël, while he has not yet ruled on the case, blasted Justice Canada for its heavy-handed response to Schmidt’s whistleblowing.… Read the rest