Friday, March 18, 2011

A Defense Of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal

...and a critique of Brad Wall's Bill C-160. My favorite bit is the defense of the HRT's looser rules of evidence:

A tribunal is also a much more relaxed and less expensive setting than the formality and complexity of a courtroom. Rules of evidence are not as stringent. Claimants are not faced with the intimidation that comes with such trappings as lawyers and judges wearing robes. Given that human rights complainants very often come from marginalized, low-income communities, this informality goes far in boosting both comfort and confidence.

But it's all good.


Blair said...

My admittedly weak understanding - as someone who is in SK right now, born and raised - is that our human rights tribunals are very open to abuse. Those qualities, such as less formal rules of evidence, have led to abuse. Also, the tribunals have been quite vindictive in their rulings.

Once again, this is largely through word of mouth. I don't know enough about it to REALLY argue it though.

Ian said...

It's good that you admit your ignorance on the issue Blair, but disappointing that you repeat the anti-HRT talking points. Just remember this simple rule of thumb: if you don't have any links or evidence, it's best to not make claims.

themusicgod1 said...

@Ian: Courts are meant to be fair, and to give the aura of importance and finality -- not to inspire confidence in one side.

They were not only abused but also caused a chilling effect on freedom of expression -- notice the lack of an indymedia in manitoba & saskatchewan? This is just one of the many voices have been silenced, one of the many parts of our society that could have been but isn't. We are all victims of insofar as the HRCs are allowed to exist/function beyond the boundaries of the rest of our laws.