Mike Little and the Conservatives have created an attack website against NDP candidates Carol Baird-Ellan’s record as a Provincial Court Judge. Huffington Post Article
It is interesting that by launching the attack website, Mike Little is clearly following the lead of Stephen Harper in attacking the Judiciary (Harper attacked Canada’s Chief Justice after Harper attempted to make an unconstitutional appointment of Justice Nadon to the Supreme Court bench). The Conservatives have a history of knowingly (and against the advice of their own lawyers) passing unconstitutional laws for strictly ideological reasons, only to then waste millions of taxpayers’ dollars unsuccessfully fighting about those laws in the Courts and then blame the Judiciary.
The website lists one line summaries of three of the former judge’s sentencing cases then invites the viewer to push a button that says “that’s unfair”. The website does not give the viewer the option of agreeing with the sentence imposed
The website does not provide any context of the decisions; such as the prosecutor’s sentencing position, the amount of time the accused had already spent in custody prior to sentencing nor any legal precedents the judge was required to follow. The website also mistakenly states that Carol Baird-Ellan was a judge for only five years when in fact she was a provincial court judge for 19 years (during five of which she was the first female chief judge of the provincial court in BC).
Furthermore, Judges, even retired Judges are prohibited from talking about their cases (which I am sure the Conservative campaign team would be well aware of).
I have been a criminal lawyer for 30 years, and have appeared before the former Judge on many occasions. During her career on the bench she had a reputation with both the Crown and the Defence as being a fair judge with a common sense approach to the law. This is no doubt why she was appointed Chief Judge in 2000.
The attack by Mike Little is completely ill informed and “small” minded. It is the kind of knee jerk response to the justice system that people, who have never set foot in a courtroom and watched what judges do, often flout. We should expect more from someone wanting to be a member of parliament.