Thursday, March 20, 2008

LEVANT: Hammers CHRC latest demands for Secret Hearings

"A great deal of anger has been expressed"

Last week, Maclean's magazine filed its legal application to open the doors of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's secret trial, scheduled for March 25th. It was a thoughtful application, with references to court cases and arguments about the importance of a transparent legal system. It was the kind of legal brief you'd expect from a top lawyer hired by one of Canada's top media companies.

Now the Canadian Human Rights Commission has responded; you can read their slap-dash reply here (I'm impressed that they even managed to spell one of their own staff's names wrong).

The CHRC didn't cite any case law in their reply. They made no legal arguments. Their response was just a paranoid, self-absorbed conspiracy theory that someone, somewhere on the Internet named "Edward Kennedy" wrote that he really hates HRC investigator Dean Steacy, one of the CHRC investigators who will be cross-examined next week.

These days, whenever I hear of bigoted or hateful comments by someone with a name like "Edward Kennedy" on a website that the CHRC just happens to be targetting -- comments that just happen to be legally useful to the CHRC -- my first thoughts are of, well, Dean Steacy himself. Like his friend Richard Warman, Steacy has confessed under oath to posting provocative or downright bigoted comments on websites he was hunting, using fake names.

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