Mar. 12, 2020

Our multiple layers of "justice" a recipe for mayhem

Our justice system has been in disarray for quite some time, in reality being little more more than a legal industry. Justice is not being served by the courts, all you have to do is look around you.

Many people are seeking alternatives. Until most recently, Canada operated under two sets of laws. British Common law, the Criminal Code, is used throughout Canada except in Quebec which operates under a civil code, based on the French Napoleonic Code. 

Additional codes or levels of law based on cultures and religions are now becoming part of our system. 

Most recently, the provincial government has taken a new approach to First Nations justice.

While Muslims around the world have been preaching Sharia law, more and more countries are adopting that system. And they are active in Canada as well where Sharia has been recognized by Canadian courts.

Just last week, Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth were in Nanaimo to sign the new First Nations justice strategy, with the B.C. First Nations Justice Council.

The province is establishing three indigenous justice centres – in Prince Rupert, Prince George and Merritt. Three more are planned each year until there are 15. The centres are intended to be “safe and welcoming places that provide legal help and early resolution programs,” and will be tailored to regional needs.

Another strategy will be addressing over-representation of indigenous people in jails.

Doug White III, chairman of the justice council, said we’ve reached a breaking point where we must create something different. “This is about fundamentally re-imagining the criminal justice system in a new, modern, mature way that reflects the realities that we’re faced with and that reflects the future that we want to build together,” he added.

He said the justice system hasn’t always been about justice, but rather expressions of power and control.

Sharia law is already here. Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith ruled in 2017 that a Muslim man was not guilty of sexually assaulting his wife because the government failed to prove that he knowingly violated the criminal code, when he had sex with his wife without her consent “as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so. The man was found not guilty because it was his honest belief that he had that right whenever he wanted.

Submission to Sharia Law is also accepted by the Toronto District School Board. It implemented the Islamic Resource Guidebook for Educators 2017 by Taha Ghayyur, advocating gradual implement of Islamic Law in North America. Ghayyur is the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of North America.

Also in October 2017, Mufti Aasim A. Rashid, Al-Ihsan Educational Foundation in Vancouver, spoke at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. 

He told his audience: “I’ll tell you who wants to bring in Sharia Law. The Canadian government wants to bring Sharia Law and this is not a joke. Why? Because Sharia Law is simply the way Muslims are doing things.”

It is not an issue of arguing or judging the various forms of justice, but the trend toward multiple systems has to be a concern when we have many different levels of justice reliant on individual choices rooted in culture and/or religion. 

It’s not going to go away by pretending it doesn’t exist. The aim of justice for all is noble, but if multiple, competing, perhaps contradictory, "justice systems" are in effect and empowered, then there is no equality before the law. 

That may be even more than the wisdom of King Solomon could render.

Links
First Nations Justice
Sharia Law