Prime Time Crime




Above the Law


By Joseph Pope Jr.


Canadian charter of rights and freedoms

ď(15) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.Ē   


If you have ever played hockey with a professional hockey player you understand that they have an advantage because it is their business.  If you have ever gone to court against a lawyer you soon learn that they have an advantage because it is their business.  When a professional meets an amateur the professional normally wins.


Everyday in Canada, amateur people are going up against professional lawyers to try and get a shot at justice and when they lose thatís just the way it goes.   If nothing else, the amateur ends up paying a fortune to another lawyer to keep them out of harmís way while the lawyer is able to write off their time at their own rates.


Just to make sure they are playing by the rules each province has its own law society, which of course is a self-governing body of lawyers that is supposed to protect the public interest in the administration of justice.   Kind of like the fox guarding the hen house but nevertheless, this society has as members everyone that is a lawyer in that province.


The Prime Ministers of Canada have all been lawyers, except for Joe Clark (1979-1980), Lester Pearson (1963-1968), Charles Tupper (1896-), Mackenzie Bowell (1894-1896), and Alexander MacKenzie (1873-1878).  So for about 14 years out of the 131 years there hasnít been a lawyer leading Canada. 


In the current Federal Parliament there are 124 members out of the 301 who are lawyers or have been involved in the legal arena.  Historically, over a 1000 members have been lawyers. 


Which might help to explain why paying lawyers does not fall under either the proceeds of crime or of money laundering laws.


Now I wouldnít want to suggest that this has created an uneven playing field as everyone understands taking on these people leads you into harmís way as does messing with a 240 pound professional hockey player.


The question would seem to me to be, if we are going to allow the lawyers to make the laws, then sit in judgment of those laws, and in fact allow them control over every stage of our lives, who is going to look out for the 98% of us that aren't lawyers and therefore don't have a vested interest?


The answer used to be the media, but as the media has become more of a business than the fourth estate, they are discovering that their own staff lawyers are so busy making sure the next article doesn't get them sued while fighting the current round of court cases, they don't have much money left over to pay for journalist to get the story in the first place.   Then of course there are those few journalists who are in court fighting the their own cases and in some cases fighting the police who are doing what the justice lawyers told them to do.  


However, the police are short staffed, also because they are either in court fighting to keep themselves out of harm's way or because the lawyers for the justice department or the lawyers for the defense have to have them ready in case they are called to get in front of the really senior lawyers, called judges.  Meanwhile the victims of the crime are having to get their own lawyers to prove that they were victims, that they should have some justice, that the short staffed police did or didn't do their job and that the laws themselves were fair and just laws and they shouldn't be sued by the person who did the crime against them.


So what are the solutions.   Here are some simple suggestions.


1. Make all lawyers government employee's for the next 5 years. They get paid the average income of low-income working Canadians ($10,341 in 2000).  This will have the added bonus of getting the low- income average up really fast.


2. The various law society's create boards filled with non-lawyers who sit in judgment of the members.  Members found guilty of acting against society by these boards fall under the proceeds of crime type of laws and lose everything they have.  (Personally if I weren't non-violent I would go for public hangings for the people that write the contracts and laws that no one can understand except maybe another lawyer.)


3. No one who has ever passed the bar is allowed to work for the government in any other job except that of being a government paid lawyer and can not run for office for the 5 years even if they haven't worked as a lawyer.


4. Any lawyer fighting these suggestions either in the government or in court, spends the next 5 years in the penalty box while we are waiting to see how much better Canada is for the rest of us.  


Remember "ignorance of the law is no excuse,"  it is just normal for everyone that isn't a lawyer. 


Income of Canadian families 2001 Census .pdf






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