Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Reverse Onus Laws

twodogsandacat
January 3rd, 2006, 06:57 AM
There is an article in today's Star regarding the refusal of bail using 'reverse onus' laws. It pretty much sounds that only the scum of society would have reverse onus laws used against them.

Following this statement to it's conclusion it would seem that piit bull owners are right up there with terrorists, drug dealers, bikers and gun criminals. I can't wait to hear how Bryant defends 'reverse onus' laws against dog owners.

"reverse onus is also used in cases involving terrorism, membership in criminal organizations and offences allegedly committed while a person is already out on bail."

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1136242214838&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154

********************************************

Lawyers doubt tougher bail rules
`Reverse-onus' plan a short-term solution: Expert
New criminals will `step into shoes' of those jailed
Jan. 3, 2006. 05:01 AM
HAROLD LEVY
STAFF REPORTER

Prime Minister Paul Martin's proposal to keep individuals charged with gun offences locked up under so-called "reverse onus" bail rules has sparked a sharp debate among lawyers and civil libertarians.

Martin's promise — made during weekend phone calls to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor David Miller — would see those charged with gun offences imprisoned without bail unless they show why they should be released.

Instead of the Crown arguing the suspect should be kept in jail, reverse onus asks the suspect to prove to a judge that bail is warranted.

"We're very much in favour of the reverse onus in terms of gun crimes," Martin said, noting the approach was effectively used to combat Quebec's notorious biker gangs "and has withstood the test of time."

But the proposal is at best "a short-term solution," said Alan Young, a criminal law professor and passionate defender of civil rights who teaches at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School.

"Something has to be done in the short term, because we have created a panic in our community," Young said.

The lawyer added that reverse onus bail, strict supervision of accused gun criminals out on bail and tougher gun sentences are all "short-term solutions that can serve to remove potentially dangerous people from the streets."

But other criminals will simply replace those in jail unless more effective long-term solutions are brought into play, Young stressed.

"Without the long-term vision there will be other dangerous people to step into the shoes of the people who are detained."

Canadian courts already use reverse onus bail rules for certain offences, such as drug trafficking, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. "It strikes me if you can have a reverse onus for selling drugs surely you can have a reverse onus for a dangerous weapon offence," Young said.

But a more effective solution, Young said, would include education and school programs that give troubled youngsters between the ages of 10 and 13 alternatives to gang behaviour.

Young wasn't the only lawyer with doubts.

Criminal lawyer Clayton Ruby said "reverse onuses don't generally make a lot of difference" because judges tend to take into account the circumstances of the alleged offence and the accused.

"It sounds good, which makes for good politics, but it doesn't make much difference," Ruby said.

Senior city, provincial and federal officials are to meet in Toronto tomorrow to discuss the new approach.

Also on the agenda will be involving the RCMP and OPP in gun control issues, and ensuring the effective delivery of social programs.

Reverse onus is also used in cases involving terrorism, membership in criminal organizations and offences allegedly committed while a person is already out on bail.

But some experts question whether bail is the right target. Toronto criminal lawyer Frank Addario said yesterday that the federal proposal isn't realistic because "there is no evidence that reasonable access to bail is the problem.

"The problem," Addario said, "is access to guns.

"If the Prime Minister really wanted to do something he could do things like pour money into border security, create a cash amnesty for turning in handguns, and do something to alleviate the hopelessness in the communities where gun violence has been the biggest problem."

Addario also challenged what he called "the myth, fuelled by some recent media commentary, that judges don't take gun crime seriously enough.

"It's not true," he said.

Addario did, however, play down a suggestion that reverse onus hearings on gun charges could clog up the courts, saying, "there are already so many, a few more won't make a difference."

Criminal lawyer Steven Skurka also had some advice for Martin yesterday as the public controversy over the proposed measure intensified.

"Don't rush," Skurka said.

"No doubt there is a heartfelt crisis in the community with respect to guns but it is important to proceed with caution.

"This measure could have significant impact," Skurka added.

"It could lead to more people being detained in custody before their trial is heard and the issue of their guilt or innocence is decided."

Invicta
January 3rd, 2006, 07:14 AM
It will be very interesting to see how he defends this garbage.

I guess, according to the article, I'd be considered a terrorist because right now my 16 month old daughter is snuggled up to 2 ticking time bombs on the floor while watching Dora the Explorer.

babyrocky1
January 4th, 2006, 04:42 PM
I read this article too. I was actually surprised that the reverse onus clause is accepted as widely as it seems to be but mostly they are talking about persons "charged" with a crime, so that would meen there must be at least some initial evidence to have taken things that far. But in our case, we are not "charged" with committing a crime, only with owning a "pit bull" if you are charged with owning a gun, well theres no question that a gun is a gun, the merits of the case arent about whether or not the gun is a gun. Because that would be freaking dumb!

seeker
January 4th, 2006, 06:05 PM
I have to disagree that proving why you should be let out on bail is "reverse Onus" because you were already caught with a gun an illegal gun at that. If it were true reverse onus it would be about the gun like "babyrocky" said . Asking the court to set bail is simply asking the court to set bail nothing more just because now they do and in the future they might not{set bail} has little or nothing to do with reverse onus.
They are just getting us used to the words .

babyrocky1
January 4th, 2006, 06:26 PM
.
They are just getting us used to the words .I think you have pinned it down right there Seeker, I do not believe in "true reverse onus" Bail is different, and yes, to me I cringe when I hear the words "reverse onus" as I believe we all should in a democratic system. Bryant used it as a positive term when he was on the Legal Briefs show! It scares me to think that we are so accepting of such a term.

babyrocky1
January 4th, 2006, 10:05 PM
. Asking the court to set bail is simply asking the court to set bail nothing more just because now they do and in the future they might not{set bail} has little or nothing to do with reverse onus.
They are just getting us used to the words . Exactly, they always consider or are supposed to, the seriousness of the crime and who the accused is (flight risk? past record) when considering whether or not to allow bail.

twodogsandacat
January 5th, 2006, 07:35 AM
My point was that when they speak of ‘reverse onus’ laws they tend to use it against extreme threats to society. Terrorists, gun dealers, drug dealers and DOG OWNERS.

I welcome them using those words. If judges start to see ‘reverse onus’ as a tool to use against the worst offenders and criminals they are less likely to believe that it’s a tool to use against dog owners.

Schwinn
January 5th, 2006, 07:57 AM
I welcome them using those words. If judges start to see ‘reverse onus’ as a tool to use against the worst offenders and criminals they are less likely to believe that it’s a tool to use against dog owners.

That's a good point. The more often it is associated as okay to use against those who are considered the worst criminals, the more it sounds ridiculous to use in reference to a dog owner.

Here's another thought...if it IS determined that it violates the rights of the worst offenders, how bad does it look trying to use reverse onus against a dog owner?

(As an aside, I have to agree with Clayton Ruby. Bail tends to be set as to the crime and the risk to society, so I think the whole thing is a moot point.)

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 04:24 PM
My point was that when they speak of ‘reverse onus’ laws they tend to use it against extreme threats to society. Terrorists, gun dealers, drug dealers and DOG OWNERS.

I welcome them using those words. If judges start to see ‘reverse onus’ as a tool to use against the worst offenders and criminals they are less likely to believe that it’s a tool to use against dog owners. Sorry 2dogs, should have explained myself better, I did and do understand the poiint you are making and definately I would agree that when you look at what "reverse Onus" is generally reserved for, Bryant looks even more ridiculous, if thats possible LOL. But I was adressing how I felt about the term in general, apart from bill 132.

seeker
January 5th, 2006, 05:28 PM
My point was that when they speak of ‘reverse onus’ laws they tend to use it against extreme threats to society. Terrorists, gun dealers, drug dealers and DOG OWNERS.

I welcome them using those words. If judges start to see ‘reverse onus’ as a tool to use against the worst offenders and criminals they are less likely to believe that it’s a tool to use against dog owners.

I got ya . I think many of us have been feeling that association for a while now . It is not right but the Liberal smear campaign against us has worked well with the public. This will come back to haunt them in 2007 when it is pointed out very clearly how they were too busy banning dogs to notice what was developing in the city that they meet in on a regular basis. That along with the fact they failed to act until 52 people died at the wrong side of a gun until they were forced to by public opinion and some moronic excuse for a polititian from Ottawa lobbying to remain the leader of the country.

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 05:37 PM
I really think that at the beginning of all this Bryant had a stereo typical vision of who pit bull Owners were and tried very hard to portray us as "gang members, thugs, and low lifes, wasnt that pretty much what the testimoney was about from thier side on the last day? Fantino, talking about the "malvern boys" etc. And Bryant, what about when he told the press he had "threats" I get so flipping ticked off when I think about that! Im so sure he made it up!

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 05:44 PM
Sorry guys, I have to make my posts fast and small or this comp, logs me off either that or like Prin said, its a Fiberal conspiracy;) anywys my point is that he thought he was only picking a fight with a "voiceless minority" But that is why i dislike the idea of "reverse onus" or at leas what I percieve that to mean. What about the next group some sleezebag, weazle politician decides to target? Do any of us rely believe that when demcratic rights are diminished for one group, be they thugs or anyone else, that everyones rights arent diminished? We either have a decmoracy or we dont, and after everything thats happened to us, Im leaning towards the "we dont" more nd more. And thats why Im offended and scared by the whole reverse onus thing, Who do we trust in our society today to determine who is a thug or a biker or a gang member without due process. But that doesnt mean that I would not support stricter bail laws for violent crimes and stricter sentencig for gun crimes. That to me is not reverse onus, what we are asked to do as dog owners, is.

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 05:46 PM
part 2...having to prove that our dog is not a pit bull, that is reverse onus. Especially when it is scientifically impossible in most cases as we have learned from the commitee hearings.

twodogsandacat
January 5th, 2006, 06:56 PM
Actually I can't wait for some cases to make it to court to watch it fall apart.

3. Who decides whether or not a dog is a pit bull?
The amendments provide that in a Part IX proceeding the onus of proving that the dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog. In offence proceedings, the amendments provide that the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, a veterinarian's certificate attesting that a dog is a pit bull is evidence of that fact. Part IX proceedings and offence proceedings are heard before the Ontario Court of Justice.

Does this mean that the intent of the law as documented by the attorney general states that if you provide ANY evidence to the contrary that your dog is not a pit bull that the veterinarians certificate provided to the province CANNOT be entered in as evidence as the wording is ‘in absence of evidence to the contrary’. If you provide ANY evidence to the contrary such as a certificate from ANY other vet then that negates the statement and while your certificate can be entered the certificate provided by the province can't. Is that what this statement means....I guess we will find out.

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 07:31 PM
They seem to me to be trying everything they can not to go to court. so far, in the cases we have heard about, they have scared the owner to the point were they have agreed to have thier dog put down down rather than face court procedures. Do we even know of anything pending other than our BIG DAy with Clayton? Have we even heard of anyone being charged with the dog not wearing a muzzle, certainly lots of people have told me that they have seen pitties not wearing muzzles. I wouldn't test it, thats for sure, and I absolutely don't advocate it but I do wonder why we havent heard of anything. Only incidents were there has been some "attack" or biting as well as the dog not being muzzled.

seeker
January 5th, 2006, 09:57 PM
Actually I can't wait for some cases to make it to court to watch it fall apart.

3. Who decides whether or not a dog is a pit bull?
The amendments provide that in a Part IX proceeding the onus of proving that the dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog. In offence proceedings, the amendments provide that the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, a veterinarian's certificate attesting that a dog is a pit bull is evidence of that fact. Part IX proceedings and offence proceedings are heard before the Ontario Court of Justice.

Does this mean that the intent of the law as documented by the attorney general states that if you provide ANY evidence to the contrary that your dog is not a pit bull that the veterinarians certificate provided to the province CANNOT be entered in as evidence as the wording is ‘in absence of evidence to the contrary’. If you provide ANY evidence to the contrary such as a certificate from ANY other vet then that negates the statement and while your certificate can be entered the certificate provided by the province can't. Is that what this statement means....I guess we will find out.

Based on how it was explained to me it goes like this.
A veterinarian's statement can be used to say the dog is a pitbull but cannot be used as evidence to say it is not. So it only works if He/She sides with the province.
I think this is part of what Ruby is going to challenge.

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 10:03 PM
Based on how it was explained to me it goes like this.
A veterinarian's statement can be used to say the dog is a pitbull but cannot be used as evidence to say it is not. So it only works if He/She sides with the province.
I think this is part of what Ruby is going to challenge. Exactly, werent we told that what our vets say that our dogs are has no merit? Only agents of the government have that authority yet the law says that they will use a vet to prove THIER case:confused: If you take lyour dog to AC and register he or she as a breed other than a pit bull they do not have to take your word or your vet records as proof, they decide for themselves. Just like Sandra, Jen and Lily. Now the same is true for the whole province.

twodogsandacat
January 5th, 2006, 10:29 PM
Exactly, werent we told that what our vets say that our dogs are has no merit? Only agents of the government have that authority yet the law says that they will use a vet to prove THIER case:confused: If you take lyour dog to AC and register he or she as a breed other than a pit bull they do not have to take your word or your vet records as proof, they decide for themselves. Just like Sandra, Jen and Lily. Now the same is true for the whole province.

First of Jen, Sandra and Lily won. Let's remember that. They used breed standards as EVIDENCE. Bryant says if there is NO EVIDENCE to the contrary they can present a certificate from a vet.

Secondly the government creates laws and JUDGES determine if they are valid.

Thirdly - is it not true that a vet can't determine breed under Canadian Federal law? Is allowing them to comment of characteristics of a breed not the same thing?

Forth - Has a judge agreed that you can't present expert witnesses to discredit the vet - they make that decision not Bryant?

Fifth – Bryant can’t keep his mouth shut and has done as much to discredit this law as anyone has. His crown attorneys are likely to spew as many lies as he has with one exception – they will do it in court where they can be discredited by real numbers.

Hang in there May is coming. This law still has to pass the tests. Bryant's an idiot and I know more than a few lawyers and at least one judge that hold that opinion of him.

babyrocky1
January 5th, 2006, 10:35 PM
First of Jen, Sandra and Lily won. Let's remember that.

Secondly the government creates laws and JUDGES determine if they are valid.

Thirdly - is it not true that a vet can't determine breed under Canadian Federal law? Is allowing them to comment of characteristics of a breed not the same thing?

Forth - Has a judge agreed that you can't present expert witnesses to discredit the vet - they make that decision not Bryant?

Fifth – Bryant can’t keep his mouth shut and has done as much to discredit this law as anyone has. His crown attorneys are likely to spew as many lies as he has with one exception – they will do it in court where they can be discredited by real numbers.

Hang in there May is coming. This law still has to pass the tests. Bryant's an idiot and I know more than a few lawyers and at least one judge that hold that opinion of him.All very true...I was only talking about what they are telling us now and how ridiculous and contradictory it is. I too know lawyers that think Bryant is an A$$hole but no judges YET! ha ha! One of my clients has two English bull terriers, she calls themher pit bulls, her husband is a lawyer and she says everytime she sees Bryant on t.v. she says to her hubby "cant you just take him out!?" I told her no worries we have someone working on that
;)

twodogsandacat
January 5th, 2006, 11:07 PM
I like saying "Bryant's an idiot' and I love it when lawyers say it. It's amazing how far you can go based on Daddy's merits.

seeker
January 6th, 2006, 08:19 PM
I like saying "Bryant's an idiot' and I love it when lawyers say it. It's amazing how far you can go based on Daddy's merits.
But sooner or later you have to prove your own worth . Then you sink or swim. This guys boat does not have a bilge pump and the big storm is coming in 2007.