Increased Education Needed for a More Inclusive Jury System

February 26, 2018

Torys senior counsel and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada The Hon. Frank Iacobucci has told TVO increased education is one way in which Ontario could see a more inclusive jury system.

Frank’s remarks come five years after the February 2013 release of his report “First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries” where he was commissioned by the Ontario government to investigate the issue.

“One thing we haven’t done sufficiently well is educating them about our legal system,” Frank told Nam Kiwanuka of TVO’s The Agenda.

“That’s a challenge for us… we should try to get across the importance of what we believe the jury system to be all about."

“We should try and have that dialogue and a conversation about our system.”

Frank also said there was an could be opportunity for elements of how Indigenous peoples’ approach  to misconduct to be incorporated into the mainstream legal system.

“There may be features of what they have done, their approach to misconduct that we could think about incorporating,” Frank said.

“One of the judges up north, a very conscientious judge, has an elder from one of the communities sitting with him to sort of give that judge an appreciation of the community in which the alleged misconduct took place.”

You can learn more about Torys’ Indigenous work by heading to its practice page. Frank and a team of Torys lawyers have written extensively on relationships with Indigenous people, including the article “Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Canada: Towards a New Relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” and “Relationship Building with Indigenous Peoples – a Beneficial Strategy for Project Proponents and Operators.”

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