Home Opinion Secret test: trust in the system is at stake, says media lawyer

Secret test: trust in the system is at stake, says media lawyer

Secret test: trust in the system is at stake, says media lawyer

The Court of Appeal of Quebec must allow the publication of certain documents related to a trial held in the most secret, several months ago. It’s about public trust in institutions, said the lawyer representing several media outlets, including Radio-Canada.

According to the lawyer in question, Me Christian Leblanc, it is hard to imagine having a complete closed session and some information is still in the closed session, especially the name of the prosecutor involved, the name of the judge, the name of the judicial district, the defendants..

We have not seen evidence of this file, but it seems to us at least intentionally difficult to explain this type of closed session; this is why we are asking the Court of Appeal to intervene and allow some access to the fileHe added.

This is why this lawyer, as well as the lawyers representing the Court of Quebec and the Attorney General of Quebec – the Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin -Barrette – pleaded on Monday morning before three judges to get the disclosure of some specific information still padlocked in the double turn.

A test we know almost nothing about

This story of a secret trial is surprising and mysterious: it has to do with a case about a police informant, whose identity must be kept secret. But in addition to this aspect, other events surprised the Chief Justice of the Court of Quebec as well as Minister Jolin-Barrette.

Thus, the trial witnesses were heard outside the courtroom; the judge referred to the transcripts before sentencing. In addition, we do not know the exact cause of the lawsuit.

In fact, the existence of this story was revealed due to a judgment of the Court of Appeal relating to the cessation of proceedings, for the second time.

An important public aspect

For Me Leblanc, publicity of court proceedings [leur nature publique, NDLR], it is not disbody: the reason we defend this principle is because of the greatest possible publicity that the population maintains its trust in the justice system. This is an important aspect […] recognized by the courts.

The lawyer representing the media actually argued that the judges of the Court of Appeal could actually reconsider the closed session order issued by the trial judge, and that they had the power to overturn.

There is a question of jurisdiction, there is a question of whether the Court of Appeal can intervene … Since it is a statutory court, it can only intervene in specific cases. There is also a problem with the police indicator; we recognize that we can and should protect a police informer, but having said that, the question is where do we line up, to protect him. We, we think this is definitely not a total cameradeclared by Me Leblanc.

According to this lawyer, having access to as much information as possible makes advocacy smarter. This simplifies the work of the Court, he said.

Three judges of the Court of Appeal took the case under counsel. It is not known when they will make their decision.

Source: Radio-Canada



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