There is a courtdate for former student and teacher at Cornwall Classical College and Viatorian priest Father Ron Leger csv tomorrow in Winnipeg, Manitoba:
20 April 2015: 1 pm, courtroom #301, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (408 York Avenue)
I encourage anyone who can do so to attend. It will probably be a short hearing but there can be surprises.
Please keep the complainants in your prayers, and please, as always, pass along links to any media coverage regarding the outcome.
The Australian Royal Commission hearings into abuse at the Neerkol orphanage in Queensland Australia is live streaming right now (10:12 pm EST). Bishop Emeritus of Australia’s Rockhamton Diocese Brian Heenan is back testifying.
I have been having trouble accessing the Royal Commission website this evening, but did discover a way around it to get to the livestream. Those who wish to follow parts or all of the coverage can click here to access the site.
Check the St. Mary’s International School Labor Dispute website…
The recent blog: “Busllshit Investigations: St. Mary’s and ASIJ admin fail” is a well worthwhile read. Of particular note for me personally right now is the fact that it seems that legally that draft Agreement which I discussed had no legal teeth.
Those who operate the website asked a Yokohama judge ‘if it is possible to make another person renounce their right to seek justice?’
The judge’s response was as follows:
“The constitution and the penal code take precedent over any agreement to waive the rights of an individual to seek justice or redress in criminal or civil court. Such an agreement would be dismissed as a defence.”
Initially I construed that as meaning that it is illegal. I re-read and am not sure that that is the case. As I read it now I can certainly see that the Agreement would not be binding should the victim chose to pursue criminal or civil action, but, I don’t see anything which says or implies that it is a criminal act to oblige a victim to sign such an agreement. Am I wrong?
Those who followed the Cornwall Public Inquiry will recall that the now infamous Full Release and Undertaking Not to Disclose signed by David Silmser contained an illegal clause. The clause related solely to criminal action.
There were three lawyers involved in some fashion in ‘brokering’ that agreement, one representing the diocese, one representing the accused priest, and one representing the accuser. Two of the three layers later claimed – successfully – that they didn’t see the illegal clause in the document! One of the three, Malcolm MacDonald, a former Crown attorney, was eventually charged with obstruction of justice, entered a guilty plea, and was given – would you believe, an absolute discharge!!! But, the thing is that he was charged, and in truth, had he been left with a criminal record, he could have and probably would have been disbarred.
It’s serious business to attempt to obstruct justice, and rightly so!
As a disturbing aside, Malcolm MacDonald was. it turns out, a child molester himself. He was later charged for sex abuse of young boys – he died before standing trial, some say by suicide but I truly do not know if that is the case.
And, believe it or not, Jacques Leduc, the lawyer for the diocese, also faced sex charges. To make a very long story short, Leduc eventually ‘walked’ on a technicality. There have been out of court settlements with three of his victims. (Ditto in essence for the priest at the heart of the agreement, Father Charlie MacDonald : ‘walked’ on a technicality, and many out of court settlements)
I must make perfectly clear here that the third lawyer has never faced any sex abuse charges.
Anyway. all this to show that not only does an agreement preventing a victim from pursuing criminal action have no teeth here in Canada, it is illegal.
Is it illegal in Japan? i.e., can those who try to so gag/silence a victim be charged criminally?
A family birthday today – first BBQ of the season 🙂 A little nippy in the shade, but oh my how nice to be sitting outdoors for a few hours. We did move in to eat – just a biut too cool by then, but – Spring is finally here!
Enough for now,