Monday, November 13, 2006

Caledonia: Judge Marshall should recuse himself

Six Nations people again have to face Judge David Marshall ...

Sept.26, 2006: All parties blast judge over rulings on Caledonia

"lawyers for the province, the Ontario Provincial Police and the aboriginals said the judge was completely off base when he ordered parties in the dispute to report back to him as if he were their supervisor".

"... Mr. Justice John Laskin and Madam Justice Kathryn Feldman -- who shook their heads in apparent surprise as Judge Marshall's approach to the contempt proceedings was described. "
"Let's assume -- as I believe to be the case -- that the contempt proceedings were deeply flawed . . ." Judge Laskin said late in the day, prefacing a question. "

In my opinion, Judge Marshall has imposed himself in the reclamation process through his manipulation of his court and abuse of his power. The Attorney General is appealing Judge Marshall's order against the Six Nations people. The findings of the Court of Appeal have not yet been released. However, it appears clear that Judge Marshall's actions in relation to Six Nations were considered highly questionable by Ontario's Appeal Court. The issue of his ownership of disputed land was not raised.

Six Nations have made a claim for the Haldimand Tract and that claim has been accepted for negotiations, in progress. Judge Marshall 'owns' land in the Haldimand Tract ... a great deal of land, including his own home on the bank of the Grand. Judge Marshall was made aware of Six Nations claim to the Haldimand Tract at the time of the original injunction, and it was suggested he should recuse himself. He became very upset, red-faced, angry and in fact left the courtroom for a few minutes to compose himself. When he returned, he indicated that he would not recuse himself, and he continued the injunction proceedings. He later tried to personally control its implementation, by demanding reports in court (four times) about why his orders have not been carried out.

It should be said that some people of Caledonia and Haldimand County support the Judge's actions. That is not surprising, since they also live on Six Nations land. Their support cannot be taken as indication that Judge Marshall is right, because their interests are the same as his.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that Judge Marshall is concerned that Six Nations claim could jeopardize his land holdings. Now he has also been raked over the coals publicly through the Ontario Court of Appeals, where the Attorney General is appealing his rulings.

This Wednesday, Six Nations and other people charged with offences during the reclamation will appear in Cayuga Court ...
people charged with offences relating to a claim for the very land the courthouse stands on ...with what chance of justice?

Judge Marshall should recuse himself. Lawyers should demand a change of jurisdiction. Even without the judge's displays of obvious bias, it does not seem right that people charged with offences relating to a claim for the very land the courthouse stands on would receive justice in that jurisdiction. You don't have to support all of the actions of individuals to support people's right to a fair hearing and a fair trial ... outside of Haldimand County and outside of the influence of Judge David Marshall.


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