Joshua Sealy-Harrington on Jury Selection, Diversity and Equality
On this episode of the podcast, Hilary Young and Robert Danay are joined by constitutional litigator and self-styled "Blackademic," Joshua Sealy-Harrington. The discussion primarily centred on the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Chouhan, which was a constitutional challenge to Bill C-75, a law that removed the ability of an accused (or a prosecutor) to remove potential jurors peremptorily. This law was passed in the aftermath of Gerald Stanley's controversial acquittal in the murder of Colton Boushie, a 22-year old Indigenous man in Saskatchewan. Joshua represented the intervener BC Civil Liberties Association in Chouhan.
The discussion also touched on the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 28, which was a constitutional challenge to an aspect of the RCMP's statutory pension scheme that disproportionately affected women. It was the first decision in which the Court found an unjustifiable breach of the right to equality in s. 15 of the Charter on the basis of "adverse impact" discrimination.
In obiter dicta, Hilary recommended the songs of Tom Lehrer, which the math professor/satirical musician recently released into the public domain. Rob recommended the CBC show You Can't Ask That! and Joshua recommended The Alchemy of Race and Rights by Patricia J. Williams.