Opinion Column

THE DUEL

Duel: Men railroaded by court system

By Brent Stafford, The Duel

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This week’s topic: Is a specialized domestic violence courtroom in Surrey a good idea?

Canada’s courtrooms are ground zero in the war on men.

Questions of truth are obfuscated and justice is bent in order to placate notions of inequality and victimhood evangelized by postmodern leftists. Specialized domestic violence courtrooms — like the one just opened in Surrey — serve as a critical battlefield.

Its purpose is to increase turnaround times by handling those cases differently than other cases in the justice system. Sonya Boyce, executive director of the Surrey Women’s Centre told the Vancouver Sun, “there’s a really short critical window of opportunity to intervene” to increase chances to “keep the offender accountable.”

The logic is that hurrying up the system would help keep women and children safe.

Crown spokesman Daniel McLaughlin also gushed over the new court, stating that “the more expeditiously these matters are resolved the better,” and that “anything we can do to move the matters quickly and appropriately though the courts is a benefit to the victims." 

Read Petr Pospisil's column here.

What about the presumption of innocence? Time and again we have learned that expeditious justice is anything but. The victim may feel protected, yet at what cost to the accused?

I recently attended the Accusation is the Verdict, organized by the SFU Advocacy for Men and Boys. Speaking were UBC psychology professor Don Dutton and high-profile Vancouver lawyers Georgialee Lang and Carey Linde. The message was clear — men are getting railroaded in Canadian courts when it comes to accusations of domestic violence.

The moment police arrive at a domestic dispute, the presumption of guilt is placed on the man, even when evidence at the scene overwhelmingly proves otherwise. True accounts shared by the speakers were harrowing, including one where a man was stabbed in the stomach with a knife by his female partner and he was the person arrested.

Specialized courts designed to rush the process only exacerbate a very real perception that a male accused may not get a fair hearing. Many lawyers recommend clients should agree to a peace bond despite it being an admission of guilt and could irrevocably damage future proceedings on child custody. Better to choose your fate then roll the dice with a biased court.

Ultimately, the danger with dedicated domestic violence courts is the question the accused faces when first entering the system. Not, “How do you plead?” But, “How often do you beat your wife?”

Brent Stafford is a veteran television producer and marketing specialist. His company ShakyEgg.com works in the brand, entertainment and resource space. 

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