THE CANADIAN JUSTICE REVIEW BOARD (CJRB) is a national advisory organization which serves as an information collection agency that receives and organizes public comments about the state of the justice system and decisions of the court. This information is used to identify and publicize questionable legal practices and other systemic shortcomings. The CJRB promotes the fundamental right to receive from the courts non-political decisions based on established law.
"The Court is not a self-created body with original powers; it is not a benevolent autocrat with full powers to act as it should think fit; the Court is an institution organized by the people through their representatives for the purpose of giving to those who apply to it their rights according to law, the law not being made by the Court but laid down for it by authority: the Court has no right to give a decision in accord with its own views of equity and good conscience, as distinct from the rules laid down for it. The Court has no right to take power unto itself which is not conferred by the people" [Ontario Court of Appeal DLR53, 64OLR422]
Interesting and informative information on this website is organized into subject categories in an effort to assist and educate the public. These include commentaries as well as eye-opening and thought provoking court decisions in convoluted lawsuits, court errors, reversals, and enormous costs for which lawyers and judges take no responsibility. On June 23, 2012, writing for the Toronto Sun, lawyer Alan Shanoff posed an interesting question: Who pays when judges screw up? In his words, litigation is unpredictable because, "A witness may fail to appear, or lie, or forget key evidence. The judge may choose not to believe a witness. It's also possible one lawyer may be out-gunned by the other side's lawyer." These are real life stories that illustrate the pitfalls in the court system that may provide an important bird's eye view of the unsatisfying results that can befall both sides.
In some cases, the law, properly approached, is clear and all competent judges will come to the same conclusion. However, in many cases there is room for discretion and a judge's background and worldview will make a significant difference in the result. Consider a recent Court of Appeal for Ontario decision.
"I articled in Toronto in 1976-1977, when anyone could freely breeze in and out of the courthouses — including Osgoode Hall, where the Ontario Court of Appeal sits — without ever seeing a police officer, being searched or having to show ID. So what has changed over the past 35 years to make our courthouses so fearful? My hypothesis is that people were more willing to accept the notion 35 years ago that courthouses were places where justice was done. Today, people are more likely to look at them as places where injustice will be done. " Karen Selick, National Post February 8, 2012 3 minute read https://nationalpost.com/opinion/karen-selick-your-honour-whats-with-the-bulletproof-glass
which in 2011-2012 cost taxpayers $1.595 billion — has been a problem in Ontario for years. In the 1950s and ’60s a trial on a minor offence, such as prostitution, would start the same week the charge was laid — a speed that by today’s standards would probably be deemed unfair to the accused. By 1992, it took an average of 4.3 appearances and 115 days to complete a criminal case. Fifteen years later, those numbers had doubled to 9.2 appearances and 205 days. To begin reversing the alarming upward trend, in 2008 then-attorney general Chris Bentley launched an initiative called Justice on Target, which aimed to reduce, by 2012....The four-year deadline came and went, and the results were mixed. [December 2014-Toronto Star]