injusticebusters logo

The Federal government released the Report on the Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice. This should be required reading for every prosecutor, cop, and criminal defence lawyer in the country. Federal prosecutor's report 2005

Minister of Justice appoints Special Advisor
to oversee Criminal Conviction Reviews

OTTAWA, November 20, 2003 - The Honourable Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the appointment Mr. Bernard Grenier as Special Advisor on the criminal conviction-review process.

"Criminal conviction review is an important safeguard to protect those Canadians who may have experienced potential miscarriages of justice," said Minister Cauchon. "The Special Advisor will help ensure the process is both fair and transparent."

Section 696.1 (formerly s. 690) of the Criminal Code provides that a person who has been convicted of an offence and who has exhausted all appeals may apply to the Minister of Justice for a review of his or her conviction.

696.1 - PART XXI.1 - APPLICATIONS FOR MINISTERIAL REVIEW - MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE

Mr. Grenier will oversee the review of applications and advise the Minister of Justice directly on matters related to the criminal conviction-review process.

Mr. Grenier is a retired judge of the Court of Quebec, where he served from 1980 to 2002. He received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Montreal in 1966 and was admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1967.

Since 2002, Mr. Grenier has been a partner and counsel at a law firm in Montreal. During his career, he has also served as Assistant and Acting Director General of the National Judicial Institute, President of the Quebec Society of Criminology and has taught law at the University of Montreal, McGill University and the Quebec Bar Association Admission School. He has provided his assistance to various organizations, including the Law Reform Commission of Canada, the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges, the Canadian Section of International Commission of Jurists and the Tribunal des professions in Quebec.

"Mr. Grenier has a wealth of experience in criminal law," added Minister Cauchon. "I am pleased to announce he will be the first to assume this important position."

Prior to the Special Advisor appointment, several other steps were taken by the Government of Canada to enhance the conviction review process. As a result of November 2002 amendments to the Criminal Code , Department of Justice investigators can now compel witnesses to provide information during a conviction review. Equally important are new regulations that outline for applicants exactly what is required for a review, helping to ensure that a file is complete as soon as possible and allowing investigators to begin their work earlier.

The Criminal Code amendments also created a legal requirement for the Minister to submit an annual report to Parliament. The first report was tabled in September 2003 and covers the period starting from when the amendments came into force, November 25, 2002, through to March 31, 2003. A new Department of Justice Web site offers an online versions of these reports. 2004-2014