Thursday, September 06, 2012

Hate Speech Charges Stayed Against Tremaine

One of the justifications given by the Conservative government for the repeal of Se. 13 of the Human Rights Act was that it was, in effect, redundant. Hate speech law were already found in the criminal code, thus the criminal code should be used to fight hate speech.

We here and many elsewhere have discussed the flaws with this argument, most of which we need not repeat, but one of the reasons that we and others support Sec. 13 is because it is a much more efficient, and quite honestly fair, process (it's also a hell of a lot cheaper for all parties). The Crown is often hesitant to bring file charges for even the most egregious hate propaganda and when charges are filed, it seems to take forever as the defence engage in delaying tactics.

So guess what happened?
The justification for staying the charges is based primarily on the length of time it has taken for the case to go to trial. The judge assigned the blame for this delay to the Crown, however if one looks at the motions filed by the defence, the Crown can hardly be assigned sole blame for the snail's pace this case has proceeded.

So far most of the usual suspects have yet to comment on this turn of events, however our friends at Free Dominion have noticed. Connie suggest that this is a loss for Richard Warman and seems to take some pleasure in this belief.

We have to say though that it is an odd reaction from someone who claims to be a, "friend of Israel" to be cheering for a man who has openly advocated for the extermination of Jews and who associated with people who are violent and willing to do their part in that effort (two of whom are currently in prison on murder charges). Then again, we've really never expected consistency from the good folks at Free Dominion.

But Connie's claim that this is a loss for Richard Warman also doesn't seem to pass the smell test for another reason. Warman did file a Sec. 13 complaint against Tremaine, which Warman won. Later, for violating the terms of the CHRT decision, Tremaine was found guilty of contempt of court for which he will face sentencing on October 9. The criminal case against Tremaine was filed by the Crown in Saskatchewan. The failure of the case has been (in our opinion unjustifiably) assigned to the Crown for delays that prevent a timely trial taking place. That ain't Warman's fault, Connie.

However, the success of the CHRT and the failure of the criminal process does highlight how useful a tool Sec. 13 was in the fight against hate speech.

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