Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nova Scotia Crowns Demand Better Security in Courthouses

According to an article in today's Canadian Occupational Safety, Crown attorneys in Nova Scotia want the provincial government to investigate security at the Halifax and Dartmouth courthouses.

They complain of incidents of violence against lawyers, witnesses and other people.

Court house security committees composed of lawyers, Crown attorneys, judges, Department of Justice officials and sheriffs made recommendations to the government in the spring of 2009 on how to improve courthouse safety.

Saying that the government has done nothing, the Crown Attorneys Association has decided to file an official complaint with the Department of Labour.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:
  • Newspaper Series on Threats to Montreal Crown Prosecutors (December 13, 2006): "The Montreal daily La Presse has a series of articles today about the security (or lack of security) for Crown prosecutors in Montreal and elsewhere in the province of Quebec. The intimidation tactics include being photographed inside the Courthouse by criminal gang members and their supporters, being followed in parking lots, and bomb threats." [note: links to La Presse articles no longer work but my post summarizes the series]
  • How Much Courthouse Security Is Enough? (August 28, 2007): "The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly (August 31, 2007 issue) has a feature article on the ongoing debate about security in Canadian courthouses, in particular those in the province of Quebec (...) at the bustling Palais de Justice [in Old Montreal], combative family law litigants and people accused of serious crimes face no security checks whatsoever when they show up for their trials. That irony sparked comment in Calgary following a panel discussion Aug. 13 at the Canadian Bar Association’s conference which highlighted abysmal security in courtrooms across Canada, including at all of Quebec’s 42 trial courthouses. Montreal’s Palais de Justice, home to 93 courtrooms and the second largest courthouse in North America (after Chicago), does not even have a metal detector to screen the 6,000 people who flock through its five doors each working day. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:37 pm

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