Bull, Henry H. and Martin, G. Arthur
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A debate. Mr. Bull:
The vital importance to the social structure and the body politic of the preservation of human rights in the field of Criminal law. A dispassionate examination of some human rights. The speaker's function to prepare a general background against which "my learned friend" can then present his detailed analysis. The question of Justice, especially when someone sees trial by due process of law jeopardized by pre-trial in the press. A response to the question "What is Justice?" Why the Law is not Justice. A look at English Law and how it has developed throughout the world. The Criminal Code of Canada. The nature of crime as an offence against the public. The rights of the individual injured party prior to and after a prosecution is commenced. Who the State represents. How the principles of Right are preserved. Procedural rules. Rights of the victim. Finding answers in our legal system. The goal of Justice based on Truth.
The importance of our rules of Criminal Procedure. Securing civil liberties: an origin and history. Our fundamental rights under the Anglo Canadian Legal system and where they are to be found. The speaker's fear that any government could by a single act of legislation sweep aside or annul these basic rights. A fear of the fast developing increase in governmental authority with the prevailing emphasis at the present time on the rights of the State. A look at some of the rights of the accused and an indication of those in jeopardy: freedom from arrest except under conditions laid down by law; the right of an accused to know the specific transaction and the legal nature of the offence that he is called upon to meet; the presumption of innocence. Some examples. The right to be tried on an indictment or accusation found by a Grand Jury and to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of his peers. The abolishment in most provinces of the Grand Jury. The development of scientific aids and their use in crime detection. The right of the accused not to incriminate himself, and reasons for that rule. Changes in the right of the accused not to answer questions put by the Police. The right to make full answer in defence. The right to give evidence and the fact that it is considered by many eminent Canadian lawyers to be a doubtful privilege. How the right to counsel and to give evidence may be almost valueless. The need for "eternal vigilance" and the suggestion that the rights for which our ancestors struggled so long and hard are worth protecting. A suggestion that crime prevention and control is best achieved by an efficient law enforcement personnel within the existing legal system.