Since our website was launched in June, 1998, we have provided court advice and advised Saskatchewan citizens that they are better off representing themselves than getting any lawyer in Saskatchewan. We also published the Saskatchewan Appeal Court Response to the accused in the Foster Parent trials gaining access to the Crown's case against them -- material which we are still finding. The deeper we dig, the more we find. Only in September, 2001 did we learn, for instance, that a Corporal Shindell (equal rank to Dueck at the time) had investigated the defendants and found a case against only one person, Peter Klassen. Yet 16 people were charged. This is the kind of information the Crown is trying to keep secret.
Now we are learning that in the Foster Parent case, where four people were convicted and one spent four years in prison, the Crown had at least 4,000 pages of disclosure material which was never given to the defence.
Now, when you go to get your disclosure material, you will receive it under cover of the following letter. It is designed to scare you. It is designed for no other reason but to scare you. We remind you that getting almost any lawyer in Saskatchewan will prove to be far more dangerous to you than sharing your disclosure material with your friends. Your life still belongs to you, even though they would like to convince you otherwise. (See what Greg Walen sent to Ed Holgate accompanying discovery material in a civil claim!)
Police are no longer allowed to hide their illegal investigative techniques behind non-publication orders.
INFORMATION # :
O R D E R
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
________________________ OF Saskatoon, Saskatchewan having confirmed his/her intention to represent him/herself:
1. Maintain all disclosure material provided by the Crown in his/her sole possession and not release any of the said material to any member of the public or press;
2. To use the said material solely for the purposes of preparing for his/her trial and to immediately return it to the Crown upon completion of the trial;
3. To not reproduce of store the said material in a retrieval system of transmit it in any form.
DATED THIS __________________ DAY OF _________________ A.D. 2001
A Judge of the Provincial Court
I, ________________ AGREE TO ABIDE BY THE CONDITIONS OF THIS ORDER
Signature of Accused
(First seen by injusticebusters Feb. 4, 2002)
September, 2001 (We don't know how long they have been handing out this particular cover-letter.)
Attention: Your Name
RE: Disclosure Material:
This disclosure is provided for the sole purpose of assisting the accused to make full answer and defence. Disclosure materials are not public documents. They contain private information. Unfortunately, we have experienced difficulties when lawyers have lost the ability to control access to private disclosure materials. On occasion, disclosure materials have been copied and provided to the client and then circulated in the community.
Consequently, we remind you of your obligations as an officer of the court in so far as the control and utilization of these and future disclosure materials is concerned. In R.v. Lucas (1996) 104 C.C.C. (3d) 550 (Sask. C.A.) The Court set out what those obligations are:
There are many interests which require protection in a criminal trial, not only the interests of the accused person but also the privacy interests of the victims, witnesses and the need to protect the integrity of the administration of justice. There is a need to ensure that the various interests be balanced and accommodated. This issue was examined at length in the report of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of Ontario Disclosure and Resolutions Discussions (The Martin Report) submitted to the Attorney General of Ontario in 1994. The Committee examined, among other things, the improper dissemination of disclosed information. It recommended:
The committee is of the opinion that it is inappropriate for any counsel to give disclosure materials to the public. Counsel would not be acting responsibly as an officer of the Court if he or she did so. The Committee is of the opinion that defence counsel should maintain custody or control over disclosure materials, so that copies of such materials are not improperly disseminated: Special arrangements may be made between defence and Crown counsel, with respect to maintaining control over disclosure materials where an accused is in custody, and the volume of material disclosed makes it impractical for defence counsel to be present while the material is reviewed.
If you are unable to comply with those obligations, please return the material immediately. Also, the attached disclosure and all future disclosure provided on this file, is sent to you on the trust condition that if for any reason you cease to act for the accused the disclosure material will be delivered to any other counsel retained by the accused in the matter with this same trust condition attached to it, or on the request of a prosecutor of this office, returned to us.
In the event that the attached disclosure contains a Motor Vehicle Accident Report Form, we would remind you of the provisions of S.84(1) of the Highway Traffic Act which provides that these documents are not open to public inspection.
We would also request that you provide the Crown with disclosure regarding any expert or alibi witnesses you intend to call including their names, addresses, telephone numbers and the nature of their evidence. This may avoid requests by the Crown for adjournments during the course of the trial. In addition, if you are going to make any Charter applications, please advise.
Finally, we would request that you assess the file with a view to making any admissions of fact that may shorten the length of the preliminary inquiry or trial.
Should you have any concerns, please feel free to contact our office.
. . .and if you contact their office? Expect to be treated badly. But stand your ground and demand fair treatment.
Hatchen and Munsen trial coverage (Might they have fared better without counsel?)
The Crown feels obligated to go beyond advising defendants of their right to counsel and downright scares them with horrific notions of what might happen to them if they choose to run their own case. We have run several small cases successfully -- getting fair dispositions and, on occasion, expressions of gratitude from judges. We are certainly able to assist ourselves and others in conducting a case. The case is in the disclosure.