Monday, February 19, 2007

Mini Bush criticized by former Chief Justice of Supreme Court

PM trying to muzzle judges says Antonio Lamer:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is trying to "muzzle" the judiciary by baldly acknowledging he wants judges who are tough on crime, says the former chief justice of Canada.

Antonio Lamer, in an interview with CanWest News Service, said he sympathizes with the Harper government's complaints that some judges hand out soft sentences, but the prime minister shouldn't be trying to influence the judiciary just because he's frustrated that his justice bills are not passing in the minority Parliament.

"I must say I was taken aback," Mr. Lamer said of Mr. Harper's blunt assertion last week in the House that he wants judges who will enforce his government's law-and-order agenda. "The prime minister is going the wrong route as regards to the independence of the judiciary. He's trying to interfere with the sentencing process."
That's pretty unprecedented for a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to criticize a sitting PM like this...