The Quebec College of Physicians argues that after several years of deliberations and research, they deemed that the public has come of age to accept euthanasia. They therefore proposed that the criminal code be amended to reflect this. The college however states that it is opposed to assisted suicides. The college secretary states that the option that they offer gives people the option of getting help from a physician to help one die in a dignified manner, and lessen the pain and suffering of some terminally ill patients. The college secretary insinuated that this is already happening, albeit, illegally.
This proposition has far reaching consequences since active euthanasia is illegal in Canada. As much it might not seem so different from passive euthanasia, which is legal, if effected, this amendment opens up a Pandora’s Box. This is because it would be hard to determine what level of need is allowable to administer such assistance to a patient. It would also expose vulnerable patients, who might not be mentally capable of making sound judgment. This amendment would lead to possible legal tussles.
Legal Aid in Canada
Article- ‘Legal aid awarded to woman fighting ex-husband's vacation plans’ By Jason Proctor, CBC News.
The article details the reversal of the decision by the court that had earlier denied legal aid to a woman from Lower Mainland. The reversal of this decision would mean that the woman would now receive the aid to enable her to start proceeding against her husband to bar him from taking their children to India with him. In the appeal, the trial lawyer stated that the legal aid program is largely underfunded.
- priority in legal aid is given to criminal cases
- Funding for legal aid was drastically reduced in 2002
- Trial lawyers are going slow on legal aid cases
- Most areas, like family law are not covered by legal aid.
The legal implication of denying people access to justice, which is their constitutional right, is that justice will only be available for those who can afford it. Limiting legal aid to criminal cases denies a majority of those who need help that chance to get assistance. Criminal cases only form a small portion of all court cases. Family laws, property dispute, custody and child support affect a wide range of the population. It is only fair and realistic to avail assistance to those who need it to access justice.
Underfunding of legal aid system can cripple it. The justice department should consider increasing the funding towards this to make the right to justice a reality. Lawyers should also be encouraged to do pro-bono work to assist the needy in the society.
The successful appeal also means their maybe several appeal cases filed to challenge previous denial of legal aid.
International Criminal Court.
Article- ‘Outrage as the International Criminal Court (ICC) Drops Case Against Israel for Deadly Attack On Humanitarian Flotilla.’ By Sarah Lazare, Global Research, November 07, 2014.
This article reports the decision by the International Criminal Courts that it will not prefer charges; neither will it continue investigating Israel for its attack on a ship carrying aid to Gaza from Turkey. The court acknowledges that Israel may have committed war crimes in this attack, which makes it alarming that the court has chosen not to investigate. The ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda stated that the investigation “would not be of ‘sufficient gravity’ to justify further action by the ICC.”
This decision might open up the ICC to a lot of criticism and might eventually bring the court to disrepute. The court’s acknowledgement that war crimes may have been committed only makes their decision not to prosecute more suspicious since it is within its capacity and jurisdiction to do so.
The ICC is supposed to be an impartial court of justice. However, its decision to choose which crimes to prosecute appears not to have a standard criterion. Should the court lose its credibility, member states may pull out, which may expose countries that are vulnerable to such crimes.
Protecting Endangered Species
Article- ‘Canada's process to protect endangered species is failing, study finds’ CBC NEWS
The article details a report by scientists that has found that the Canadian government has not taken up the responsibility to protect endangered species. Most of the plants and animals graded as endangered still face the same amount of risk and their population has reduced tremendously. The habitats are left unprotected, exposing the animals. The habitats have not been classified as endangered and remain exposed, making the species vulnerable.
The legal implication in this is that poachers can get away with such offences since there are no stringent measures put to deter them. The punishment for poaching should also be made to equal the crime otherwise it encourages the offence. Protection of species habitat by the law also makes it better since one can then be prosecuted for trespass or other applicable charges.