Two former judges have been appointed to lead consultations to establish an independent Criminal Case Review Commission, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti announced on Wednesday. The commission would independently review applications by potentially wrongfully convicted people.
The Honourable Harry LaForme, a former justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal, will lead public-facing consultations on the creation of an independent Criminal Case Review Commission, the Department of Justice Canada said in a news release. He will be joined in conducting the consultations by the Honourable Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré, a former judge of the Court of Quebec.
But although this is “a good first step, an even better step would be to review our laws, to make sure they are as fair, equitable and coherent as possible,” says Michael Spratt, a criminal law specialist and partner in Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP in Ottawa.
“A good step to go along with this announcement would be to revive the Law Reform Commission, that could look at laws to make sure that we don’t just correct mistakes after the damage is done, but we do everything we can to prevent mistakes from being made in the first place.”