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Judicial Review

March 20, 2024

My question is for the Leader of the Government.

In the last few days, we’ve learned that the then justice minister, Mr. Lametti, ordered a new trial in Justice Delisle’s case, saying he had reason to believe that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. However, we also learned that Canada’s Criminal Conviction Review Group had reached the opposite conclusion, in other words, that there was no justification for ordering a new trial and the expert panel found no evidence that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. How could the minister have had reasonable grounds to conclude that a miscarriage of justice had occurred in this situation?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question. Based on the information I have, the then justice minister had access not only to the report you mentioned, but also to the opinions of two retired judges. Although I can’t disclose all the information, I have been advised that it was because of the opinions of the two retired judges, notwithstanding the report, that Minister Lametti made that decision.

This decision is both public and a matter of public interest. This is about trust in the justice system.

Will the government undertake to disclose these opinions from the two eminent legal experts? Before you claim solicitor-client privilege, given that the government is the holder of that privilege, will you waive the government’s privilege with respect to these legal opinions?

Senator Gold [ + ]

Thank you for the question. The decision is in the hands of the current minister and, according to my information, he does not intend to disclose or publicly share these two legal opinions, which were requested by his predecessor.

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