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Globe and Mail, Toronto Star: Stephen Harper urged to apologize for spat with Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

July 25, 2014 — 

U of M law professor Gerald Heckman spearheaded a campaign undertaken by a handful of Canadian law professors that requested the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists investigate on the spat between the Prime Minister and his Minister of Justice, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (Read the UM Today story here.)

The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, as well as others (Ottawa Citizen, for example), reported on the story.

As the Toronto Star’s story reads:


….The letter was the result of an examination undertaken in response to a May 9 letter written by Manitoba law professor Gerald Heckman, Saskatchewan professors Ken Norman and Brent Cotter, Lucie Lamarche of the Université du Québec à Montréal and the University of Ottawa, Toronto professor Audrey Macklin and Lorne Sossin dean of Osgoode Hall Law School.

In an interview Heckman said he agreed with what he called a “thoughtful and constructive” opinion that was “not a condemnation” but a review based on international principles.

“Mistakes were made by the prime minister and his justice minister that impacted the independence of the judiciary but they can be remedied” by a public retraction, said Heckman.

Heckman also welcomed the ICJ’s observation that some of the controversy might have been avoided if Canada had an independent body to select judicial candidates and clear procedures for consultation between the executive and the judiciary.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday declined to offer any comment on the report….


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