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canadian prison law association


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  • 24 Jan 2023 2:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On January 14, 2023, the CPLA made submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy Regarding Bill 138 (“An Act to amend the Change of Name Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act”). 

    The CPLA opposes Bill 138. The Government of Ontario has an interest in protecting public safety, but it also has an obligation to do so in a manner that respects Charter rights. As the Supreme Court of Canada reiterated in a case striking down mandatory registration provisions of the Sex Offender Information Registration Act: “[e]ven when Parliament acts with a laudable purpose, it must still legislate in a constitutional manner and comply with the Charter.”

    The CPLA is concerned that the framework set out in Bill 138 is inconsistent with section 7 of the Charter, since prohibiting someone from changing their name is a violation of the right to liberty. Moreover, this restriction cannot be saved under the proportionality aspect of the Oakes test.

    Read the full document here

  • 8 Mar 2022 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On December 8, 2021 our own Fergus (Chip) O’Connor was honoured with the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award. The award was established in honour of Mr. Ed McIsaac, who served as Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator for 18 years, and recognizes the work and dedication of those who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving Canadian corrections and protecting the human rights of the incarcerated.

    The announcement was made by Dr. Ivan Zinger, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, who said: “Chip is a legend in Canadian correctional law circles. He has been involved in some of the leading prison law cases in this country. Today, Chip is being recognized for his impassioned and long-standing advocacy as a champion for access to justice and defender of prisoner rights.”

    Chip has practiced law in Kingston, Ontario since 1975. He was a founding member of the Canadian Prison Law Association and served as Director of the Correctional Law Project, now the Queen’s University Prison Law Clinic. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada a dozen times, arguing cases respecting the right to vote; search and seizure; habeas corpus and detention within the penitentiary; the right to apply to the Supreme Court; and extension of the application of Gladue principles for Indigenous offenders. In 1996 Chip also appeared before the Prison for Women Commission of Inquiry conducted by Madame Justice Louise Arbour.

    Congratulations again, Chip, and thanks for blazing the trail for the rest of us!

  • 30 Jan 2022 1:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2022 the CPLA appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in R v Bissonnette, a case that addressed the constitutionality of section 745.41 of the Criminal Code, which permitted people to be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years, 75 years, or longer. CPLA argued that the section constituted cruel and unusual punishment and was fundamentally irreconcilable with the purposes of the correctional and parole system – rehabilitation and reintegration.

    You can read CPLA’s full written submissions here.

  • 14 Oct 2021 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Veteran prison law lawyer John Conroy has been awarded a life membership in the Canadian Prison Law Association.  John has argued a number of leading cases in the field, and this award is not just a recognition of these achievements but, in a sense, is also a gift to the younger members of the Association, who stand to benefit from his wisdom and experience.  Congratulations John!

  • 7 Jul 2020 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Inmate advocates warn of COVID-19 spread in Canada’s correctional facilities

    By Daniela Germano The Canadian Press

    Posted March 26, 2020 2:28 pm, Updated March 26, 2020 2:36 pm

  • 1 Jun 2020 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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