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Monday, October 29, 2012

FORMER CRTC CHAIR JOINS JAMS

Konrad von Finckenstein, former chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, has joined the Toronto office of JAMS.

Von Finckenstein’s move to the global alternative dispute resolution provider follows a five-year term at the CRTC that ended this year and a previous position on the Federal Court bench.

“Justice von Finckenstein has an excellent reputation for being fair and efficient,” said Chris Poole, president and CEO of JAMS.

For his part, von Finckenstein said he’s looking forward to working at JAMS. “I have always believed that ADR helps parties solve their problems and resolve their disputes in an expeditious manner,” he said.

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HRTO AWARD CUT DUE TO FACEBOOK POST[/span]

An employee who breached a confidentiality provision of a human rights settlement by posting information on her Facebook page has paid the price for her actions.

According to Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario member Ian Mackenzie’s Oct. 15 ruling in Tremblay v. 1168531 Ontario Inc., the employee posted the following message after the parties signed the minutes of settlement: “Well court is done didn’t get what I wanted but I still walked away with some.”

After the employer took issue with the postings at the HRTO, the employee countered that there was no proof they were about the settlement. She also argued Facebook was private, Mackenzie noted.

Mackenzie however, rejected those defences in the Oct. 15 ruling. “There have been no cases before the HRTO where a breach of confidentiality has been found,” he wrote in a ruling that emphasized the importance of adhering to such provisions.

As a result, Mackenzie reduced the amount owing to the employee under the settlement by $1,000. He also ordered the employer to pay interest on the outstanding amounts owed under the settlement.

LEGAL CHANGES FOR YOUNG OFFENDERS

New provisions related to young offenders contained in the Safe Streets and Communities Act came into force last week.

“These changes to the youth criminal justice system are needed, balanced, and responsible,” said Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, who touted the protecting Canadians from violent and repeat young offenders segment of the act last week.

Among other things, the provisions related to young offenders will remove barriers to sentencing youth to custody; require the Crown to consider seeking adult sentences for youth who commit serious violent offences such as murder, manslaughter, and aggravated sexual assault; and require the courts to look at lifting publication bans on the names of youth found guilty of violent crimes.

“All too often, the justice system was powerless to keep violent or repeat young offenders in custody even when they posed a danger to society,” said Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

POLL RESULTS

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

The poll asked readers whether the province’s Justice on Target project is worth continuing given its failure to reach its ambitious original goals. It appears readers are in favour of it as nearly 70 per cent of respondents said it should continue. The poll follows the government’s release of statistics showing that while the project failed to cut appearances and the number of days to disposition in criminal cases by 30 per cent, the courts have nevertheless made modest progress on both fronts. The province is now continuing the project with new goals based on the severity of the case but no timelines for reaching them.

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Law Times Poll


A Law Times column argues it’s time for provincial laws dedicated to stopping defamatory publications on the Internet. Do you think that new legislation will help counter defamatory statements online?
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