Monday, July 8, 2013

Criminal defence lawyer and civil rights advocate John Norris is the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights litigator-in-residence for the fall of 2013.

As part of the arrangement, Norris will teach constitutional advocacy at the centre’s clinic at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

During his time there, the Toronto-based criminal lawyer will draw from his “extensive experience advocating for the Charter rights of his clients,” the university said. In addition to mentoring students in their clinic work, Norris will also give a public lecture at the law school.

“I have a long-standing affiliation with the U of T law school,” Norris said.

“I am a graduate of the school and I’ve been teaching there for more than 15 years. One thing I’ve found personally rewarding about my work at the law school is that it allows me to bring my practice into the academic environment. This opportunity is another great chance to do that.”

Norris has provided services to the centre on pro bono basis in the past, said executive director Cheryl Milne.

“We are very pleased to work with him again and to give the students more time to learn from his extensive experience.”

Lawyers who are members of the Barreau du Québec and any other jurisdiction in Canada will have to have liability insurance coverage in both provinces in order to practise in Ontario, according to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Convocation approved the insurance requirement as part of the national mobility agreement on June 27. The requirement will mean additional costs for Quebec lawyers who are also members of another law society under the agreement.

The additional coverage is necessary because the barreau’s insurance plan for lawyers doesn’t cover them for complaints they receive while acting in their role as members of another law society. Ontario lawyers working in Quebec will also have to carry liability insurance in both jurisdictions.

“While the committee recognizes that this approach imposes additional costs on the lawyers and would require a different approach to the insurance issue for mobility to and from the barreau than exists for mobility between and among the other jurisdictions, it agrees that the public interest benefits of this approach are the paramount consideration,” the law society’s interjurisdictional mobility committee wrote in a report.

Former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci will represent the Ontario government as lead negotiator in discussions with the chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council on the mineral exploration project known as the Ring of Fire.

The Ring of Fire, located 540 kilometers northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., is a mineral-rich region with the largest deposit of chromite in North America. Chromite is a key component of stainless steel.

Former Liberal MP Bob Rae will also participate in the discussions as lead negotiator for the chief of the Matawa Tribal Council. Environmental protection, resource revenue sharing, and infrastructure planning will be some of the topics raised in the talks.

Iacobucci will report directly to Michael Gravelle, minister of northern development and mines.

“The province is taking a smart, sustainable, and collaborative approach to resource development in the Ring of Fire. We want development to deliver social and economic benefits for all Ontarians while collaborating with First Nations and ensuring environmental responsibility,” said Gravelle.

“I am confident that Mr. Iacobucci will help ensure that everyone benefits from the economic and social opportunities of this unprecedented natural resource.”

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