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Court of appeal shuts down Liberal bill for unlawful interference in justice system

Attorney General David Lametti was cited by the Federal Court of Appeal for meddling in legal proceedings for his own government’s advantage.

Attorney General David Lametti was cited by the Federal Court of Appeal for meddling in legal proceedings for his own government’s advantage. 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the pandemic relief Bill C-17 was struck down by Justice Marc Noël for being “intolerable” and unlawful in its interference in Canada’s justice system. 

The court claimed that the law would “invade a core judicial function” and “harm” those seeking justice. 

Bill C-17 was introduced by the Liberals on June 10 as an omnibus bill and it included a law called Time Limits And Other Periods Act.

The bill would effectively suspend deadlines for civil cases at a number of federal courts for a period of six months. This would overwhelming favour the federal government, the court found.

“The Attorney General’s position calls into question orders, directions, judgments and other actions made by this Court in specific files involving the Department of Justice,” said Noël.

“For example, orders requiring that a proceeding to be prosecuted urgently on shortened time limits to further the public interest and to avert some harm or prejudice would be invalidated with retroactive effect.”

Lametti replaced former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould in 2019 shortly after she revealed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attempted to interfere in criminal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin. 

Wilson-Raybould was kicked out of the Liberal caucus for refusing to go along with Trudeau’s plans.

After an investigation by Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, Trudeau was found to be guilty of breaking ethics rules for his involvement in the SNC-Lavalin affair. 

“The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer,” wrote the Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion in his report.

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