December 4, 2018

Professor quoted in debate on Bill C-75

Professor Lisa Silver was quoted in the House of Commons on November 28, 2018, in the debate on Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

This past September, Professor Lisa Silver appeared before the Standing Committee on Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. On November 28, 2018, some of Lisa's presentation was quoted by NDP MP Murray Rankin in the House of Commons, during the third reading of the Bill.

Rankin stated:

I had a dozen quotes to give on this, but I think my favourite witness was Professor Lisa Silver of the University of Calgary's faculty of law. She said that we have to protect people from having a trial where none is necessary and that the “preliminary inquiry, at its core, exists as the legislative 'shield' between the accused and the Crown.”

She gave an example, a story which members may well remember, that of Susan Nelles, a nurse at the cardiac ward at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, who was accused of murdering children. During the preliminary inquiry, they found a complete lack of evidence. The result was the charges were dropped. The result, in Professor Silver's view, was that preliminary inquiries are a vital step in ensuring due process and fair trials.”

Read the full record of the sitting.