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Monday, May 14, 2012

SETTLEMENT IN RACIAL PROFILING MATTER

The Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ontario Human Rights Commission have reached a settlement that will require police in the nation’s capital to begin collecting race-based data on traffic stops.

The settlement requires Ottawa police to begin collecting data for a minimum of two years. At the end of that two-year period, Ottawa police will share the information with the commission.

The commission will study the data and make recommendations to Ottawa police if necessary.

“This is another exciting step forward in our work with Ontario’s police services and is truly groundbreaking,” said Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the commission.

“Data collection allows organizations to measure what they do and then manage appropriately. People in every community need to feel confident in their police services. And collecting data can help police operate with transparency so that they can maintain trust in the communities they serve.”

The settlement stems from a human rights complaint launched by Ottawa resident Chad Aiken. Officers pulled him over in 2005 while he was driving his mother’s Mercedes-Benz. Aiken alleged they stopped him because of his race.

THE LAWYER SHOW  NEXT MONTH

Lawyers are getting ready to take to the stage at the Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs next month.

This year’s instalment of the The Lawyer Show takes place June 7-9. It will feature 35 Toronto-area lawyers and legal professionals performing William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Tickets are $55 and include a partial tax receipt. For more information, see nightwoodtheatre.net.

GEORGE DOLHAI NAMED TO DEPUTY JOB

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has named George Dolhai deputy director of public prosecutions.

Dolhai had been acting deputy director of public prosecutions since December 2006. He began working with the Department of Justice in 1992 after an earlier posting with McCarthy Tétrault LLP.

Nicholson appointed Dolhai to the post last week.

PARALEGAL HONOURED BY LSUC

The Law Society of Upper Canada has named Toronto paralegal Brian Lawrie the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Paralegal Award.

The award recognizes paralegals who have contributed to the development of the profession, have a history of community service, and excel professionally.

Lawrie will receive the award on May 23 along with other honourees of the Law Society Medal, Laura Legge Award, and Lincoln Alexander Award.

FREE LSAT PREPARATION COURSE

The University of Toronto Faculty of Law has created a free LSAT preparation course for low-income people.

The course, which runs once a week from June to October, includes workshops on the admission process and offers a breakdown of what law students can expect from their degree.

“Law schools need to be more sensitive to certain demographics; we need to proactively identify these groups and find out why they are not applying to law school,” said Alexis Archbold, assistant dean of students at the faculty.

“We know that students who don’t have familial support or any familiarity with second-degree programs find the application process daunting. That’s why some don’t bother applying or don’t seem to do so successfully.”

The program is part of the school’s efforts to level the playing field, says Archbold.

For more information, see law.utoronto.ca.

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