calgary defence blog
A Defence lawyer's perspective on issues in criminal law
Should Calgary be Concerned by a Conservative Justice?
August 26, 2015
If you're a frequent visitor, you know that I'm a big proponent of free speech. The right to say and think what we want is fundamental to a functioning democracy; without this freedom, established ideas cannot be challenged and society cannot progress.
Are there certain government officials and other persons of special power that should be curtailed in their speech, though? Or perhaps more to the point, should the ideas one utters be grounds for barring them from certain offices and positions of power?
Incoming Supreme Court Justice Russell Brown has in the past voiced some stunachly conservative opinions, including deriding more liberal-minded cancdidates for political office. While this is hardly surprising of a Harper-appointee, it has raised questions as to whether or not Brown will be a fair Justice, or if he will be swayed due to political cronyism.
Much as I disagree with many of Brown's previous opinions, and much as I am certain I will disagree with many of his opinions on the Supreme Court, I could not call myself a true champion of free speech if I thought Brown should be denied this appointment based on the fact that he has controversial ideas. I think we must assume, unless and until there is indisputable evidence to the contrary, that Brown is as committed to his principles and his legal interpretations as I am to mine.
Whether Brown's convictions will be to Canada's benefit or detriment, however, remains to be seen.
This entry was posted on August 26, 2015
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