Monday December 6, 2010

Local News

This Dangerous Place: Where Law & Justice Collide

Krawczyk plans next move as appeal quashed

Submitted by Betty Krawczyk


he BC Appeals Court has just brought down a decision on my sentence for blockading at Eagleridge Bluffs in 2006. My appeal was denied. And of course Iím disappointed. Iím always disappointed in the decisions of the BC Supreme and Appeals Court decisions concerning peopleís struggles over trying to protect public and/or First Nationís property. However, there were a few interesting comments in this decision.

Mr. Justice Tysoe, in writing for the majority, with Madam Justice Rowles and Madam Justice Bennett concurring, wrote that the case law submitted by Michael Brundrett (Crown) comparing me to violent pedophiles thus: Page 5, no. 14, ďAs the Crown indicated at the hearing, those cases are relevant for the legal principles they contain concerning the limits of the scope of appellate review in sentence appeals and not for any other purpose.Ē

But I have trouble with this. As I understand it, the scope of appellate review is supposed to compare like cases to like circumstance, not go wildly off the rails as Michael Brundrett (Crown) did by underlining the judgeís opinion in one of these cases suggesting that I could be compared (in his submissions for appellate review) to these cases and should be put away for life. At least Mr. Justice Tysoe, along with Madam Justice Rowles and Madam Justice Bennett, refused that option and mentioned that even my ten month sentence was high. And they did throw me another little crumb.

The Appeal Judges did not seem convinced that Madam Justice Brown was right in refusing me credit for the month I spent in prison waiting for Cameron Ward to return from vacation at the beginning of my trial. I felt I was being unfairly criminalized without my lawyer being present and in a fit of pique rescinded my undertaking. Mr. Justice Tysoe wrote: Page 9, no. 29, ďThe rationale (for refusing me credit that could have been applied to my ten month sentence) was that it was Mrs. Krawczykís decision to remain in custody. I have reservations whether this approach is correct in principleÖI think the point should be left to another occasion when the court has the benefit of full submissions.Ē

Iím not sure at the moment what full submissions on this point might consist of but I will find out. Because there will be more of this governing by injunction as the Attorney General is apparently too lazy and morally lax to do his job while many First Nations and other environmentalists are gearing up for protest. And I will go with what the Justices of the BC Appeals Court have given me, meager it might be. I will apply to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. In other words, I will appeal this appeal. And I want to thank all of you who stood by me, who came to court, who spoke out, who wrote to the Attorney Generalís office because you also love this land, the waters, the wild animals and forests of British Columbia as I do. And you love justice. How can we possibly lose?


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