Articles on Legal system

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False beliefs about language and speech underlie legal precedents that allow jurors to be “assisted” by unreliable transcripts of forensic audio. The Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Legal precedent based on false beliefs proves hard to overturn

Not all false beliefs arise from malicious misinformation. Some legal precedents rest on the status of everyday 'common knowledge', since shown to be false, but embedded in our law nonetheless.
Debbie Baptiste, the mother of Colten Boushie, enters the Court of Queen’s Bench as the jury is in deliberation in the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer accused of killing her 22-year-old son, in Battleford, Sask., Friday, February 9, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards)

How racial bias likely impacted the Stanley verdict

Racial bias likely played a role in the Gerald Stanley case. This article explains how racial dynamics and process failures enabled systemic racism to play a part in Stanley’s acquittal.
In a case last year, the Supreme Court of Canada grappled with trial delays. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Dealing with trial delays without ending prosecutions

The idea that courts should routinely grant stays of proceedings in the event of trial delays is largely unique to Canada. There are ways to address trial delays without terminating prosecutions.
Independence Square in Accra, Ghana. The country is indeed free but must improve at delivering justice. Shutterstock

The verdict is out: Ghana’s jury system needs urgent reform

A key argument in support of the jury system is that it is a valued form of citizen participation in democracies. But the system has led to human rights abuses in Ghana.
The Birmingham Six, from left, top; Patrick Hill, Hugh Callaghan and John Walker. Bottom; Richard McIlkenny, Gerard Hunter and William Power. PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Would the Birmingham Six be victims of miscarriage of justice today?

The Birmingham Six were released after spending 17 years in prison for crimes they did not commit – there's still work to do to stop it happening again.

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