Stereo Decisis

Stereo Decisis

The Legal Ethics of Representing a Hatemonger (with Dean Patricia Hughes)

December 11, 2020

In this episode of Stereo Decisis, Hilary Young and Robert Danay are joined by the former Dean of the University of Calgary's Faculty of Law, Patricia Hughes.

The discussion focuses on the appeal of R. v. Sears, 2019 ONCJ 104 in which James Sears and Leroy St. Germaine were convicted of wilful promotion of hatred contrary to s. 319 of the Criminal Code. The basis for their conviction was the publication of Your Ward News, a local periodical distributed in Toronto (and online), which contained messages that were found by the Court to promote hatred of Jewish people and women. On appeal, Mr. Sears suggested that his lawyer did not afford him competent representation. The basis for this argument was the fact that Sears' lawyer had refused to adduce evidence and make arguments to the effect that the hateful messages in the impugned periodical did not violate the Criminal Code because they were true. In a recent article on, Patricia pointed out some of the ethical issues that arose for Sears' lawyer under such circumstances.

In obiter dicta, Patricia recommends the Marshal Guarnaccia detective novels by Magdalen Nabb, Hilary recommends the "Buy Nothing" facebook pages and Rob recommends chihuahua puppies as pets.

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