Supreme Court dismisses Gibbons appeal
LifeSiteNews.com has the story. Here is the decision. Linda Gibbons is a pro-life protester who has demonstrated inside the bubble zone. The technical legal question — the basis of the appeal — is whether or not the Crown should use the criminal court to enforce a civil injunction. It should be noted that is was a “temporary” injunction granted in 1994 that is still (ab)used. Here’s our coverage of the December hearings in the Supreme Court case.
In an 8-1 decision the ermine-furred justices (Justice Morris Fish dissenting) ruled Gibbons’ appeal should be dismissed. Justice Fish in his dissent said that sections 60 and 61 of the Rules of Civil Procedure should be applied (and if I’m reading it correctly, exhausted before employing Section 127 of the Criminal Code). The majority ruling relies on precedent in R. v. Clement, a 1981 Manitoba case that Fish does not consider analogous because the province of Manitoba did not have similar recourse to civil procedures. It’s all very technical and I welcome a response from a legal mind, especially if this reading is wrong (send comments to ptuns [AT] theinterim.com). Still, it is disheartening that the other judges did not have the clearer reading of precedent and existing procedures and process that Fish had in this case.
The issue for the broader movement is that by not charging Linda Gibbons appropriately, her lawyers can never challenge the constitutionality of the injunction. Indeed, pro-life observers suggest that is no accident. It might also prevent a challenge to the “temporary” nature of an injunction granted 18 years ago. At some point this injustice — the abuse of free speech rights, as well as the abuse of an 18-year-old temporary injunction — must stop. Today the Supreme Court missed the opportunity to right a wrong.