Why are we eliminating peremptory challenges? – CBA National

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Why are we eliminating peremptory challenges? – CBA National

by ahnationtalk on October 20, 202023 Views

They are not without their flaws, but by getting rid of them, we run the risk of ensuring there are more all-white juries.

Two years ago, the federal government axed peremptory challenges, removing the ability of Crown and defence counsel to reject potential jurors out-of-hand, without any need to explain.

That change, according to the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, was a dangerous misstep. “Peremptory challenges are required to protect the constitutional rights of Black accused persons,” the Association wrote in its written submissions to the top court in R. v. Chouhan. Abolishing them led to “the exacerbation of the very issue that it claimed to fix: systemic racism.”

Aboriginal Legal Services, also intervening in the case, took the diametrically opposite view. “The exclusion of Indigenous jurors through the use of peremptory challenges is a real and persistent problem that has a corrosive impact on the jury process,” the organization told the court in their appeal factum. It noted that Indigenous groups have been calling for the elimination of automatic jury disqualifications for years.

Read More: https://www.nationalmagazine.ca/en-ca/articles/law/in-depth/2020/why-are-we-eliminating-peremptory-challenges

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