The late Douglas H. Christie, the foremost defender of our God-given free speech rights in Canadian history, was posthumously vindicated yesterday by a vote of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC).
The CBC’s June 13 radio report of the Court’s Spencer decision came to the attention of the Crown Prosecutor in my case, who correctly brought it to the attention of Barclay Johnson, the defence lawyer who shared office space with Mr. Christie, and who inherited my case from the deceased ‘battling barrister.’
The learned trial judge admitted that he knew little or nothing about the new Spencer ruling, but he apparently understood immediately that this 8-0 SCC verdict would very likely have implications pertinent to my case, because Messers Christie, Johnson and their legal assistant Jeremy Maddock had all found Canadian legal precedents to bolster arguments against the much too easy warrantless access to my wife’s IP address in our contract with Shaw that a Saanich Police investigator illegally used in my case.
The judge therefor very quickly requested an adjournment to give everyone time to read the Spencer verdict, effectively acknowledging that the SCC decision could have relevance to my case.
When the session resumed, it was remarkable to behold how agitated the judge’s body language became.
I suspect that he fully realized that the SCC decision actually could now be used to upturn his verdict that I was guilty of a breach of another judge’s ‘publication ban’.
After consulting very briefly with Mr. Johnson and my dear wife Dawn Keough, we decided to maintain our position, which was not to contest the judge’s verdict, but to rather request that the judge’s sentencing be announced, notwithstanding the SCC decision.
This decision was a very difficult one for all of us to make, as I understood that Spencer now effectively vindicated our arguments, which insisted that a proper warrant, obtained from a judge, was indeed necessary to arm the Saanich Policeman to get further access to our Shaw contractual information.
The problem is essentially academic at this point, as far as we are concerned, as the long drawn out time taken by the Prosecutor to harass us with this frivolous charge had worn us out, especially in terms of my physical and mental health.
Thus, it was tragicomic to see the palpable relief of the judge when he realized that despite Spencer, his erroneous verdict against me would not be contested in this court.
We have been vindicated by the Supreme Court of Canada, and the learned trial judge in my case has clearly erred, notwithstanding his insistence yesterday that his verdict justified the harsh unreasonable sentence given to both of us.