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Justice Lorne Sossin on Adjudication in the Time of COVID-19


welcome to stereo decisively. Podcast about the law in Canada and beyond I am Robert. Downey I'm council with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Vancouver British Columbia but speaking only today in my personal capacity not Behalf of the government of British Columbia and I am joined today in Vancouver Oliver Paulie Blink of polly blank law. How're you doing today sir? I'm doing really good rob excited to record and excited for our special guest joining us today. Yes anticipation builds also joining us today from Fredericton New Brunswick professor of law at the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick is Hillary Young. How are you doing today? Hillary and great thanks rob and and we can actually see on our Uber Conference system. We can actually peer into your home and we commented before we went on the air as to your lovely wallpaper with birds flying in the background. It's the only house Renault Project that I've never regretted for a second. I've loved that wallpaper since the minute I put it off. Bennett makes me smile every day. I can see why and now let us introduce our special guest today from Toronto. At the moment I believe is justice. Lawrenson who was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in December of two thousand eighteen before his appointment Justice Sawssen was a professor and dean of Osgood Hall Law School At York University. He is a prolific writer. He is the author. Co Author Editor or CO Editor of twelve books and more than one hundred articles and books and book chapters across a wide variety of fields including administrative law and constitutional law legal process legal ethics and civilization. Justice sauce was a law clerk to former chief justice Lemaire of the Supreme Court of Canada. He has not one but two doctorates one from U of T in political science and another from Columbia University law but far more significant than all of those many impressive accomplishments Justice Sawssen taught me civil procedure and administrative law at Osgood Hall and employed me as a summer research assistant sometime in the late mess. Azoic era Justice Lawson. How're you doing today? first of all. Thank you for the very generous introduction And saving the best for last. And thank you for having me On the PODCAST. I'm a big Fan. It's a real privilege and And thanks for checking in. I'm Doing well like Any members of the court. Many people in all walks Just trying to make sense out of The moment we're living through and And also The you know increasingly blurred boundaries between What is work? What is home and And trying to also live up to What are some real pressure on On On the courts the justice system and Trying to recognize New Ways You know the contributions that That we can make it. I can make and And I really appreciate the attention that the podcast is giving to These issues and Look forward to the discussion. Excellent thanks so much so before we get into the. You know the main topic that we did want to discuss with you. Today is in effect. The effect that the the cove nineteen pandemic has had on the courts and and Some of the ways in which it actually may present an opportunity for positive law reform but before we get into that You know the the the the fact that a sitting judge Has is joining us on on. The podcast is sort of notable in part because judges tend to to speak less freely once they take on the judicial role than they did before and I would note that when I I reached out to you to invite you to come join us You know you responded by saying well. Let me make inquiries and see the extent to which I might be able to do that. So what kind of raised for me is the interesting question as to what? How do you perceive The the constraints on your freedom of expression now that you've taken on the judicial role especially you know in contrast to how your former roles where you were in effect paid to publicly express yourself all the time and so so Could you sort of shed some light on that question? No for sure and And I think it is an important issued to To raise an of course one that will play out differently for both different judges and in different contexts but Certainly For For me and just as you can't speak for government in in the comments you make on On a podcast. That's important for me to reiterate that I don't speak for The Superior Court of Justice here on -Tario or for other courts and I viewed this as a real opportunity to speak to my own experience and I think it's really important for judges to share their experience and to listen and learn from the experiences of others in the draft system in our society to be engaged in that process of learning and sharing knowledge to me is central to the judicial role but One does I with is open when you take the plunge and put in an application for an appointment like this you know that you are going to be Constrained for for important reasons on lots of issues and Agit to take one of the most obvious ones there In in my previous role there were times There during an election or where they were contentious issues and open letters would be circulating or opportunities to be commenting on On these files in media that sort of thing was a big part of my role. I'm not sure I was paid for it. It may have been Part Hobby part job but he was a terrific privilege to be able to participate in those public debates. And and that really is something that given The independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the the importance of Those as rights of of litigants. Those who've come before the courts aren't rights of judges to be independent. It's rights have The parties to an independent and impartial adjudication That those comments are not becoming from judges on partisan issues on which party stamps before an election Judge agrees with disagrees with and those are really the kinds of areas where when you're appointed It's not that someone takes away your freedom of expression. It's that you agree as part of that role at there's certain kinds of settings where It wouldn't be appropriate to Express those and and and still be able to maintain that independence and impartiality that is so critical the public confidence in the system and and to the right shows a link and so I think there are really areas of constraint. But it's not like someone is censoring What what I'd say it's it's for each judge will bring that sensitivity and concern to how she or he interacts In in their settings and my hope is that it doesn't mean judges can't be engaged in their communities and can't be part of important discussions But but it has to come with those limits and caveats and and to me. That's a trade off. I felt comfortable making but It's certainly a part of my former life On some days that I miss Somedays I'm grateful to see the terrific Comments of lots of others that That you know have Have taken up The areas of of my interest and are Really making their voices heard and that's also a an important feature is you get to appreciate The insight and comments of lots of others when When you're listening more and talking about right that makes that makes sense. It's interesting that you know you have experienced on some occasions. You know the the sense that that you know in the past you might have commented on something that now. It may not be appropriate to do so. I can tell you that I've spoken. There's another judge that I that I had a conversation with once who was acutely aware of the limitations on their freedom of expression and and what had in their own mind kind of a countdown? Until they turned seventy five. Because on that at that point it would be. They'd be free to resume full freedom of expression but it doesn't sound like you're quite there at this point is that right. I think that's right That you know we've seen of course our former chief justice. Beverley mclachlan weighing in both around This particular pandemic response and on many other issues in ways that I'm sure would have been different when she was chief justice so there is a certain Extra adrenaline rush That I think comes with Judges who Do step down. Although there's still some constraints no doubt that we'll continue in no in my case it's a balance today's Have become very comfortable with it and again. I think it's not one that means isolation or means living in a in a bubble or not being able to participate In one's many communities and support other communicates. So I worry. Sometimes that the You know the important constraint on how expensive views and and on which topics can lead some judges I think to overcompensate and just withdraw from From too many setting so in in that sense I've tried to continue participating and a little bit on social media a little bit in teaching and writing and You know whatever one has time for Given the pressures of a pretty significant day job which in my case it's come with a pretty significant learning curve lots of important areas that I wasn't Julia with that. I'm now immersing but But spending the time one has In in getting outside that That bubble can be Can Be very important and certainly I think has made me a better a judge at the end of the day and and again. I'm low reluctant to say that. There's a one-size-fits-all way to do this or for others. So I don't mean this as a criticism against any other style or way of being judged but for me Having those outlets and again those Sources of information. A new side about The society that we're living in the times we're living through has been invaluable so It doesn't mean say whatever you want on whatever you want but it also doesn't mean that the asylum withdrawn either but you raise a really good point and I think you talked about it. I was at the L. CEO Conference Couple of years ago I mean we know very well about the ways in which judges have to be careful not to speak out. But we don't engage so much with the question of what we lose when we encouraged judges to stay away from social media for example or you know hide away from all public discourse We need our judges to be experienced with social media. We need judges to to be participants in the real world in order to be able to preside over over regular people so I think it's science and important point that you raise. Well I you know it's something as well but Is a bit easier coming from an academic Environment before my appointment I got Really a you know. A immersed in in jeff seeing that ventilation of new ideas Through Social Media. Learning about a lot of really important initiatives and of course there's a lot of risk of engaging in or getting drawn into at settings in discussions that can can have a very negative vibe as well so. I I don't view it as simply you know a a one dimensional Good I think it comes with some risks and needs to be an engaged with carefully but I I had already seen Some real benefits and so the question became for me more. Would I cut that off After my appointment and and some judges you know. Did some judges were giving advice to And to treat it as a blank slate and a new start and I appreciate that In some context but For me it's been you know again. A transition for sure but one where? I've tried to keep the best of the settings I was part of and exposed to prior to the appointment and add some of incredible opportunities to Have terrific colleagues and be a part of Important discussions within the court and then among others in the justice system and try to to keep adding adding to rather than Subtracting from as I go along. Excellent so You mentioned Justice sauce in the Some of the chief justice mclachlan's comments on the courts in the time of social distancing and I she published an article. One example of that is an article published on March thirty first in the lawyers daily and in it. She said the following Kobe. Nineteen is highlighting for us. What we already knew that the justice system needs to be revamped and reformed the system has been running on the edge of viability for years struggling to maintain backlogs and reasonable hearing times now with the courts. Shutting down things will only get worse. People will have even less opportunity to find support for their life. Challenges and cases will either be foregone pile up. If we care about accessible justice we must stop living on the edge and make our procedures and hearings more efficient. Our reliance on only one mode of dispensing justice is holy and woefully inadequate. It is incumbent upon governments to prioritize justice as a critical and essential part of the functioning of our society and ensure that the people at the heart of the system have the tools to meet the demand. Our court system must be sufficiently funded to be able to function in a modern fashion. No longer reliant on paper bricks and mortar only approach to the courthouse and mode of interaction that requires people to be physically in the same space now setting aside the bit about government funding. Would you agree with chief justice? Mclaughlin that the Kovin nineteen pandemic has essentially forced the courts around the country to to figure out in a much more immediate way How to deal with some of the access to justice problems that were already there by shifting more to you know virtual and telephone and writing style hearings certainly You know I think That's unquestionably I've been Been the case in other words as as the need for a remote access To the services of of court says intensified and right now throughout most of the country. It remains A matter for Eric Urgent Urgent. Matters are applications rather than everything in converted to Telephone or electronic kinds of proceedings. But I think it has Laid bare just The difficulties of Turning on a dime for some of these institutions and and that's not to say there hasn't been modernisation going on and calls for more of it But traditionally all these complexities were reasons why that couldn't happen Quickly or easily and at now with the crisis upon us I it's Having to be rolled out in ways that again are extremely challenging given all the moving parts in the system that have to be a line because it's never adjust. Can you get a You know a judge on a phone or can you set up Zoom a preceding With you know what I am. Astor OR COURT STAFF. You've got to have The the lawyers and the parties and sometimes self represented Sometimes Whip Council and court staff and Judges and a filing and registry system that needs to be engaged with privacy protections security measures And sometimes accessibility accommodations all happening in In real time With you know lots of other pressures in all of the lives of all of those people that I just mentioned so you know. I don't think this is Easy or in in the case of any court why this isn't happening You know Faster or more of it but I think chief justice McLaughlin put the access to perspective front and center and I give her of course real Credit for ensuring that that is the lens through which so many are are viewing this issue not just a complexities and difficulties of moving adjusting system in an era of social distancing to more remote kinds of proceedings but To the real cost of Those matters where that's not impossible yet and so to keep Keep that perspective front and Center. I think is critically important in and appropriate You know for the The desire not just to get through this crisis but also to come out of In a way that is more effective more and more efficient and more able to be responsive to the needs of Litigants community members than You know they're necessarily has been the case so I would say Certainly that's been my own experience Is having done Nelson Teleconference Emotions as zoom in junction just earlier today. it's Both showing me. What's possible In even with limited Time and technology and resources? But also showing just how significant those needs are. And we're really just seeing the tip of the iceberg in in these urgent matters and it'll be a little different I'm on a team. That's dealing mostly with civil matters at the moment. There's a criminal Perspective In family Judaization perspective. That will have different concerns different opportunities different reality for courts across the country. I think this is a moment of truth. In exactly the way The chiefs former chief justice Have Highlighted I. I'm wondering whether you think that you know the the way. In which the pandemic has has essentially immediately forced a shutdown of the courts in terms of their traditional functioning and shifted to. You know figuring out ways to make sure that at least urgent matters could be heard one way or another But it seems to me at least in my mind that forced a rethink of some of the the the basic assumptions about what an adjudicated process should look like In a in a court setting in particular There's there's a bunch of basic questions in my mind were raised. One of which for example is you know. When do we really when do judges really need to see the faces of witnesses? What jumped into my mind was The the debate a few years back and it went all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada in the NS case as to whether or not it's permissible to have a witness testify wearing a niqab Sort of religious Muslim face covering and the council for a Ns in that case argued quite compellingly in from my perspective that in fact our the presumption that we need to see the faces of witnesses in order to evaluate credibility is in fact not empirically sound and there's all kinds of empirical evidence had actually You know people are able to tell whether eye witnesses telling the truth better when you can't see the face of the person. It appears in my submission if one views the studies that the emergent consensus over a number of studies over a number of years in different contexts. Is that people. Even professed professionals judges lawyers. Fbi lie detector agents and so on are actually quite poor at the sesing truth. Telling by looking at facial cues so we have to in my submission. We have to honestly confront the reality that the research literature at this stage in its development. Because that's all we can do the results and in which case then maybe maybe shifting away from the traditional model for witness might be a benefit a on top of the fact that it would allow people in remote places to to be able to participate in a way they wouldn't otherwise be. D- What what is your view on that. Yeah so I mean it's fascinating Experience to To suddenly look on on issues from a different perspective. And I I'd say Just to your opening the courts You know have notices to the profession have suspended certain kinds of hearings and And the like for sure. No court has closed. I think is an important message to take away from. This court can close given the importance of accountability rule of law. Justice issues. That don't Pause for a pandemic so what one messages that we you know the question is. Can we stay open or closed we are open? How can we be open and truly open four? And and and and in what ways can process unfold that is as as effective as can be in the circumstances but on that question you're raising. I think it's going to be an even more interesting debate and I you know Back in the NS case incense with so many talented Colleagues for example who live with visual impairments that that mean they're never able to assess credibility About a witness or for example through site It's always been clear to me that All of our senses are tools but But none of them are The only ways possible to elicit the perspective necessary to be affected whether Judah Keating or being an advocate or Or being being Whitson You know it's come to me More and more as I watch. Correspondents in the media Colleagues also speaking through masks for example and Am I less able to be affected by what I'm hearing when I'm not able to see Someone's Face in that sense on the other hand people with hearing impairments have found a reality where most communication is happening through masks and it's not able for example Not Possible to do Lip reading or to see other cues when you're not able to hear The sounds emanating has a different accessibility. Challenge so This idea that we're all able to see an here And engage with each other in the same way I don't think has ever been the reality But because a number of us are able to see a number of us are able to hear We've developed Routines practices assumptions based on these being universal traits at our somehow Essential for the purposes of adjudication. When I I'm not sure that's ever been the case. And certainly as we move now to see experiences with jurors adjudicators others who have a range of abilities and a range of needs at different ages and stages of their life from different communities. I think the notion that there's a one-size-fits-all answer to how witnesses ought to be heard or assessed or how judges a can or ought to News these serious You know mechanisms tools technologies. I think all is very much. A part of evolving discussion rather than a set of accepted truths or non-negotiable realities of of how we live at moments. Like this do reveal that Of of course you can You know have a teleconference on important issues. But that teleconference depending on the issue we'll have limitations and I've been hearing from others for example Participants in bail reviews where There something You know those who are experiencing it will say is lost when it's Over the phone and people talking over each other and council not able to lean over and have a private moment with Their client or not able to have that visual interaction. Just as we're seeing in in other cases Visual distractions we'd see too much. Sometimes in Zoom context you know family members come in and out and You'll see more you know never mind A good Good wallpaper from Hillary. You're seeing basement decor. That was not necessarily ever meant for prime time. And you know everyone's manage the idea that you know you're not having Judges in ropes or sitting on a diet or council coming to a podium or lectern and and all of these things I think are adjustments that that that Disclose to us. That our system of justice has never really been about buildings and roads and You know furniture even though those have significance and we shouldn't discount their importance but it's always been about The people and The issues and the ideas that are at stake in solving problems and and coming up with ways to make The rule of law come alive. And and that's not going to change whether it's on zoom or if you're a telephone or in person or in writing or in any other form so there's always going to be away. I think for the system to be resilient and to be effective Notwithstanding any of the measures were living through now or may in the future is really interesting. I think one thing that's been on my mind is the way. There's a fascinating sorting that we're going to be seeing where we're going to have a chance to know what things we do in the courts that are strictly necessary. You know we can't get around doing them the way we have been doing them. What things are preferable but not strictly necessary and what things are neither preferable nor necessary and are perhaps just done the way they're done because of inertia and I think there are some things that it may be pretty clear that they're gonNA fall in that last category. I think of my days sitting in chambers to do a very short application where I know it could have been done by phone and the idea that we all came down to court was was probably unnecessary in federal court has been quite ahead of the courts in terms of things being done by writing but I wonder if there will be some surprising things where we say oh. We don't miss that nearly as much as we thought we would. And some things that may be surprising and the other way and you think boy it really is quite important that That we do things the way. We've always been doing things one thing that's been concerning me. Is I do think that the ritual around court and the solemn nature of court is very important because at the end of the day. You're jets judgments are just frankly words Not Enough police in the country to enforce every judgments as issued in a day so we need people to have that solemn respect for the courts and so I wonder if you might comment on If you see that as a problem and if so how we can in this modern or in this new paradigm Ensure that that solemn nature is preserved. I think it's a really important Have fleet racing both about those areas where there really isn't a lot of value served for example by bringing people together and sitting around the office or Courtroom where chambers waiting to schedule something You know when you're fifteen on a list and all of this could be done either in writing electrically. It's hard to make the argument that we once we can. We want to go and turn the clock back on how things used to be in those settings but I think you're right that This is the moment to shelter. What I what is important and and and isn't in for example just again to speak About my experience I don't miss the bricks and mortars of Out of a courthouse. I in fact in my particular team in downtown Toronto. We're in an office building in the courthouse So the the courts already. America bowl ceased In that sense but I do miss the idea of beginning emotion or trial or preceding with whether or not in in robes but with Abou a moment to come in and Show respect for people who are coming to court. show respect for The process and The whether it's all them or simply a way of Conveying meaning through body language through presence Those are difficult things to add to manage in and through other Technology so I think there are certain kinds of settings where that's physicality is going to be very difficult to Simulated or replace and and again. I think the Apex of where that may be the case will be the jury trial and jury deliberations in how Juries Here and And process material. I think that Of course it's been suspended in in many jurisdictions here in Interior Jury trials Are Not going to resume before September for example And of course there are real backlogs and Costs to delay both in the You know sense of deadlines under charter principals. And simply the cost of of justice delayed in many of these important matters so So I I'd say there are some Low hanging fruit of areas where the technology is here to stay. And there's been pronouncements without effect by some chief justices and other leaders that we're not going to turn the clock back I areas where again Whether it's solemnity or simply effectiveness It's not gonNA be as easy to imagine all of this happening Virtually although you know we have models like the civil resolution tribunal lighten BC Condominium Authority Tribunal here in Ontario and Some others That had moved in certain steps in this direction. And you know before my appointment I was vice chair part time on To help boards here in Ontario where we had used a piece of paper in say five six years The entire record was coming through a cloud based secure platform and Submissions and any other exhibits. Her materials were routinely filed electronically and notre taken on laptops and so it was odd in twenty eighteen to move for not administer justice world to civil justice world and find. You know A list of bench books and file numbers and Sir locked binding and And the like so So again I think the this is one of those moments where aspects that needed to be modernized. We'll be and and we won't turn back other aspects. We're going to have to be much more reflective about maybe value Presence in in new ways and find creative mechanisms through which to manage it Through social distancing and notwithstanding or or find proxies for it that are equally effect. Well you mentioned the civil resolution tribunal in British Columbia and I noticed a tweet The other day by Shannon Salter. Who's the chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal? And she wrote wire. Sworn Affidavit still thing I've seen no empirical evidence that documents sworn before a notary or a lawyer more reliable more. Most tribunals admit unsworn statements and having held hundreds of hearings. I've noticed no difference credibility wise. But what if people lie? She says if you're going to lie to a court or tribunal it's unlikely that swearing document in front of a notary is going to change that. There are serious statutory and common law consequences for misleading a judicial body including fines and imprisonment. Then she goes on to say. But swearing an affidavit doesn't hurt it hurts marginalized people she says when I interviewed community legal advocates for a forthcoming paper on fee. Waivers many pointed to the courts requirement for a sworn affidavit as a major access barrier for low income clients and SORTA. She goes on to suggest a practice that could be adopted in courts. That is one that they use in the civil resolution tribunal. That's an alternative to getting sworn affidavit. Which of course. In the time of social distancing can be very difficult because subject to law society and other rules allow your needs to physically be present next to a witness and observe them. Swearing an affidavit. So do you think that That's sort of a small way in which things might change in the litigation context in terms of moving away from sworn affidavits to one in which a just affirms that they're going to tell the truth and everything they said is true subject to perjury or other penalties. What do you think about that issue? It's really interesting one and here. At least the the law society has has at least temporarily altered That rule to allow for the virtual observing and swearing in that way without the physical presence being required and What will be interesting in? Shannon saulters point to the really important one is that it's not simply an article of faith that Tack is better than in person or vice versa. It's a an opportunity when you have those different outweighs of adjudicating ways of Handling issues ways of You know a user centered Analysis of comparing you actually get that data and so we're going to have now for a period of weeks maybe months important Ah Data in places like Ontario and other jurisdictions that are no longer requiring that physical Swearing of of the documents or off the day. That's just see what kind of difference it makes both in terms of reliability and And and any impact on litigation but also in in the access to justice or removal of barrier sense. So I think so. Much of What's happening now is going to be rich trove to consider analyze Sift through whether as it's unfolding. Or or in retrospect to decide what this really allows us to to do by way of design or redesign or modified design of our Justice System. And and of course also very interested in the tribunal system and and it's been a laboratory for For many years of of some new ways for example of active adjudication I've tried to Level some of the Were limit some of the barriers are overcome some of the barriers that many parties feel in in a court system and that again has proven extremely effective at driving some change driving some Law Reform and in fact It was always interesting to me. That the Legal Requirements Administrative Law For Written reasons coming out of the Baker decision in nineteen ninety nine preceded the equivalent requirement. Trial judges in the court system in two thousand and two I think it wasn't sheppard Which as part of his reasoning that It's a strange world in which parties are are giving greater procedural protections in the administrative context than judicial one and we need to reflect on on whether that requirement of justification of reasons is something that should be more universal in the court system as it's becoming in the administrative system so that idea of looking at the data points in looking for experiments and And looking to learn from the different settings and the important role of course of academics and other observers in doing those studies conducting that research at publishing those findings will be critically important in this law reform process where no doubt going to be living through as well. Can I just take that as an invitation for a shameless plug? If you want to read Shannon's paper on waivers it's in the upcoming edition of the Supreme Court log reports as well as in a special volume from the Canadian Law of Obligations Conference that we hosted here U. N. B. Last year. So I don't know how Rob Always knows about these papers before they're even published but that'll be it should be out now or very shortly full disclosure. Shannon's former student of mine as well so I WANNA make sure. It's clear that I have lots of things to save people. I've never met in any academic setting but in Shannon Shannon's case It's not a surprise to me that she's taken on such an important leadership role on the tissues and it's terrific to see her work the catalyst for such important discussions So here's a question you mentioned just assassin that you have now conducted a hearing by zoom. I think it was You mentioned an injunction and of course this kind of hearing is new in large part and raises some some new difficult questions. I would note that the Ontario the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had a has already started doing some zoom hearings as well. So that's like with a I think a panel of three judges and there was a recent case. And I think it was live streamed on Youtube as well which was interesting. There was the recent case was Ontario and the Ontario Association of Midwives and in the sort of pre hearing judgment of Justice Corbett which set out what the parameters procedural parameters for that hearing would be Justice Corbett indicated that neither council nor the court will gown for the hearing instead. Business attire is required for anyone with a speaking role in hearing. All parties must ensure that they participate in the video conference from an appropriate from appropriate surroundings and they and the court will not be interrupted or disturbed during the hearing and this to my mind. It raised a number of interesting questions. One of which was what kind of inappropriate surroundings is the court thinking of and then I recalled an article. I read on Buzzfeed in which it turns out that in Florida Certain lawyers are appearing in court hearings shirtless and from bed and and so they were subject to rebuke by the judge. Saying you know that's inappropriate. So I'm wondering if Justice Corbett was attempting to to proactively indicate that you shouldn't conduct a hearing shirtless as council or some other equally obviously inappropriate context and also. Then there's the question of being interrupted of course speaking from my experience I've got two young kids and even just being able to do this podcast. It's difficult to ensure that they don't you know barge in and scream all kinds of crazy things during the course of the podcast so far. We're we're doing pretty well but you know obviously many others you know. It's just luck that it that it hasn't happened so far. It may be difficult for many people to achieve that that that standard. So I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on kind of appropriate etiquette for for for counsel and others who may appear in one of these Zoom hearings including the difficult question as to whether or not One ought to wear pants even if they cannot know what. And this is raising Both of intriguing questions that they come back to you. Know what We're we're trying to reinvent what we're trying to change what we what we value and In that sense You know I'm I'm also struck by the debates. I've been Seeing and lock of online discussions about virtual backgrounds and whether Michigan I think it is on their zoom hearings they have this virtual background of being in the courtroom and so no matter where they are. It just looks like they're against so wood-paneled court backdrop And I mean I think the interesting and important thing is that no matter what you choose whether you're You know suit in robes In your pyjamas In a chair at a desk on a couch with kids running around Or not there's going to be in an important sense of meaning to how every Party Council judge participates in this. That is That is New and different to what? The expectations were in a courtroom. So I I tend to not get a you know. A lot of respect for Justice Corbett of course in and These early zoom hearings are really going to be important. That setting also The the importance of public access to proceedings And the open courts principle. And what that's going to look like in a more webcast new to buy environment are rather than the Closed courtrooms and physical challenges of people actually coming to observe And See Justice Unfolding so the Court of Appeal Divisional Court style hearings are being broadcast Were live streamed or In a in a zoom context Made available at all is terrifically important. I tend to not get as Reoccupied Myself When it comes to dress codes Or You know. Background noise or the occasional disruption or interruption as long as it can be an effective opportunity to hear submissions or understand the issues and participate together in that process. That for me is is the top priority. That said I I put on a tie this morning. I don't think I have outside of these settings Been seen in a suit jacket in some weeks so You know I also for me. It was a way of expressing respect respect for the council and more importantly respect for the parties and respect for a process and for some people. you know. Turtleneck can express as much respect As a as a suit jacket Can But We all have our individual ways of trying to make that real arguably the Florida person Not Putting on his shirt rolling out of bed. Hard to you know to see that is commensurate with trying to demonstrate A real respect for others and for the the process their participating in so there are going to be boundaries at the On the more extreme ends but I think a lot of leeway at this moment a Lotta kind of a lot of compassion for what people are Living through and with Israeli the order of the moment then and I think it's bringing out the best in far more people than I see bringing out the worst in and and that's a really inspiring sign at least at least for me. Yeah I agree I I mean I'm really hopeful and curious about what this is going to allow the courts to do in the long run although obviously it's very concerning in the short-to-medium run so here's hoping that That this is started from the court system. Awesome okay so on that note. I will suggest that we move onto our regularly scheduled portion of the program obiter dicta in which we each get to make a non-binding recommendation. That may or may not be legal in nature justice awesome. Do you have an odor as our guests that you want to bring forth today. I do in fact. I'm going to divide my My obiter into and I'm I'm GONNA choose the category of Literature. Because I just happen to have read a couple of terrific books lately that Really divide into. I think the world most of us are living in and why is Pandemic literature and then the other is literature. As far from the pandemic as one gene possibly get In opening a virtual or actual covers of a book so the Non Pandemic offering is The newest book by Julian Barnes the man in the Red Coat. The story of The Arts and letters and people of belly talk France leaked Nineteenth Century early twentieth century and Sarah Bernhardt earned an Oscar Wilde and The Credibly interesting I Holder of the Cherry Gynecology in France. That is the center of this Unfolding of Initially a picture of this individual in a red coat and all of the circles in which he moved Which were many and lively so nothing even remotely close to a pandemic in the story but Some very interesting Anecdotes and capturing beaumont quite far from our own. The pandemic fiction is also as it happens. about Nineteenth Century Europe Which is A non fiction book as well called Ghost Map by Steven Johnson and it's an exploration of the cholera epidemic outbreak in the fifties in London Caused has we now know by By contamination of the water supply. And there's particularly dense An impoverished neighborhood in London. But the book is about the story of the early people who traced every case figured out. Why some people were getting sick and others not and I identified The cholera was moving through the water. Supplies Power was infecting People and of course what to do about it and and the entire urban experience of London and every other city from that point forward was affected that incidents and experience of I've been the democratic House what seemed huge proportions at the time and now of course seems quite localized from a pandemic point of view. But it makes for great reading lots of resonance to the moment. We're living true and the drama of Science and also I've discovery and society that Occurred then and that is occurring. Now that will I think be meaningful for people in a new way so Man in the red coat If you WANNA be a years and miles away from the and like a ghost map if you want to have something that we'll bring you right into the throes of what we lived through and can learn from In these Experiences of disease and fear and and science excellent. Okay so actually. Maybe I'll go next because thematically my obiter relates in a way to those who Do the the difficult sleuthing scientific work of contact tracing and so forth and I basically I'm I'm thinking of the Very amazing Celebrity which our public health officials across the country are now receiving and in particular in B. c. Our Own Chief Public Health Officer. Dr Bonnie Henry has Been lionised at least locally and to the extent that shoe has been created by a flu wagner. It's the Bonnie Dr Bonnie Henry Shoe and it is a sort of. I'm not in a position to judge. It's aesthetics it's it's Pinkett. There's a buckle. It's a as a high heel. It is a women's shoe but the notable thing about it is that immediately upon releasing this shoe on its website. The website of flog crashed because the pre sale demand was so high and so it seems to me that that's an indication of just one indication aside from the banging on the pots at seven. Pm Every night and and so forth the appreciation that people have for for medical health professionals but particularly it seems to me the the women who are the chief public health officers across the country. are are receiving. Do in a way that I'm sure they never have before and And so I I. That's my nonbinding recommendation. I know a number of people who've been trying to get these shoes and haven't been able to and they're hoping that you know. Capitalism will prevail annulled. Actually make a whole bunch of them. But I I think they're lovely. I particularly like the the pink stitch along the top which I think must be. I don't know whether it's a play on Doc. Martens whether that's whether that's a thing but anyway I think it's a very active shoe hillary. What is your Obiter for for this episode so I decided to talk a bit about keeping my hands busy with all of these video conferences. I would sometimes you know back in ancient when we had in person meetings I would sometimes bring knitting to these meetings If it's a meeting where you're just sitting and listening and I found that lowered my aggravation levels considerably and The great one of the great things about these online conferences. If it's a a meeting session where you're just listening. I have turned my video off and gone into the kitchen and the dishes on you know felt like I was some killing two birds with one stone. But I've also been doing a lot more handcrafts than I thought. I heard that down That people who make craft supplies or sell craft supplies are doing good business these days so I what. I'm work even today while we were recording. The podcast I've been working on a little embroidery hijacked him when this is what it's supposed to look like so we put this on on twitter as well but I'm just showing Oliver Rob and justice oculus supposed to look like I'm showing what I've been. You know the halfway mark. Maybe it looks wonderful. Hilary yeah so doing a little Reuter urinating or something In a in a meeting where you're not having to take a lot of notes or whatever I find Kind of relaxing and makes you feel like you're getting even more accomplished. Yeah that's probably not something that just as Saas and could do on trial. I imagine that might be an image so that will be As informative entertaining for people to imagine delays. Probably but best. You'll get a hot rod committees. I know Bring a laser like focus To all their activities but also have a great ability to multitask and had there's Admiration for people who can be engaged in one activity and yet still be creating something amazing with Their hands on another part their brain. So I think it is probably A sign of a very active and agile. Mind at work. Yes okay Oliver What is your obiter for this episode? And it's so funny Hillary that you said that because it ties quite well into my obiter because one thing that I sometimes do you WanNa call is sort of absent. Mindedly Play Guitar with the very quietly with. Will I muted if I'm just listening? I don't even think what I'm playing in. Just sort of doodle on guitar and That happened the other day and I was not muted. Someone's like is there some music in the background I was like? I don't hear anything I would I was working on is funny. 'cause it's actually connected to what? I WanNa talk what my odor was A. I was working on some music by John. Fahey who's a person I wanted to talk about because very recently Famously sadly of the Great American musician John Prying passed away. from complications of cove and was rightfully well memorialized but of course There is that that irony where people are best remembered after they've they've gone But then often are allowed to disappear once they've been gone for a little while which I hope doesn't happen to to John Prime but I fear has sort of happen to John. Fahey WHO's equally? I think an American original in a truly wonderful musician He is a guitarist who created a style. That's really uniquely his own mix of Blues in focus on a steel string guitar. That just doesn't sound like anything else in its instrumental music. It's stunningly beautiful and He described it or it was described as American primitivism so sort of a riff on the visual art style. But this is with his his guitar primitivism. Because it's self taught it's not You know this sort of not coming from a classical strain. It's coming from folk and blues but it's as beautiful and complex any any music out there and it's Quite good I find for working during Working at home to put something on to drought some some of the noise in the background of the kid noise and its instrumental music. So if you haven't listened to John V he. I'd recommend him and I think it's quite good music to have on while you're working if you need something that's instrumental excellent well on that note on behalf of Hillary young and Oliver Paulie blanket and myself. We will thank justice awesome for for joining us today and thank all of our listeners who tuned in and we look forward to hearing from you again. Soon I guess logically doesn't make sense. It's them who must hear from us but in any event thank you guys so much bird.

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