Posts Tagged ‘asylum law’

Speechcrime in the UK, cont’d

More on a subject we covered on Dec. 13, Sept. 14, and Jul. 16 of last year: in December British authorities rounded up and arrested the head and various officials of the British National Party, charging them with inciting racial hatred in political speeches (“Let the people of England speak”, The Spectator, Jan. 1). Also in December, the quasiofficial Press Complaints Commission announced a crackdown “on the use of the term ‘illegal asylum seeker’ by newspapers after research revealed its continued usage. Sir Christopher Meyer, the press watchdog’s chairman, has commissioned its cuttings agency to scan all British newspapers for use of the term after a study by the Liberal Democrats showed that the press has ignored the PCC’s guidance issued more than a year ago.” The culture spokesman of the bafflingly named LDP has written to Meyer “calling for harsher punishments for defiant newspapers”, and saying there is “a strong case for considering the imposition of fines on erring newspapers.” (Sarah Hall, “Newspapers flout ruling on asylum seekers”, The Guardian, Dec. 31).

U.K.: toward Christmas pantomime sensitivity

In Devon, England, a community theater producer who faced accusations of hate speech last year after staging a Christmas pantomime entitled Snow White and the Seven Asylum Seekers has announced that he has begun production on a presumably less offensive show, Snow Person and the Seven Completely Ordinary People. The north Devon village of Merton near Okehampton had banned producer Bob Harrod’s pantomime last year following advice from the government’s Commission for Racial Equality and a regional race council, after complaints that the show’s satirical portrayal of asylum seekers might violate laws against racially offensive speech. The show featured seven asylum seekers with names like Chemical Ali, Comical Ali, Back Ali, Dark Ali, and Bowling Ali. The nearby village of Langtree, however, agreed to host the production. (“New target for Snow White writer”, BBC, Sept. 11; Nov. 3 and Dec. 1, 2003)(via Norvell). More on British hate speech laws: Jul. 16, 2004, Dec. 18-19, 2002,

Update: immigration law fraud

In Miami, immigration lawyer Javier Lopera was sentenced to eight years in prison and faces deportation afterward for his role in operating a visa mill which may have provided as many as 3,500 persons with false papers qualifying them to enter the country as religious ministers or business executives. In another major fraud case, “Virginia lawyer Samuel Kooritzky was sentenced in March to 10 years in prison for crimes involving 2,700 applications submitted in 18 months.” (Catherine Wilson, “Probe of immigration lawyer balloons into massive visa fraud case”, AP/Atlanta Journal Constitution, Aug. 29). Last year Harvard Law-educated Robert Porges, who once ran the country’s largest political asylum practice, and his wife pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering, conspiracy and tax fraud and were sentenced to about eight years in prison for their role in filing 6,000 or more false asylum applications as well as false affidavits (see Sept. 22, 2000; Matt Hayes, “Corrupt Lawyers Aid Immigration Woes”, Fox News, Apr. 29, 2002; “Lawyer, wife admit Chinese smuggling scheme”, AP/Court TV, 2002; Elizabeth Amon, “The Snakehead Lawyers”, National Law Journal, Jul. 17, 2002).

Archived Canadian items, pre-July 2003

‘Father files suit after son fails to make MVP award’” (hockey, New Brunswick), Nov. 8-10, 2002.

‘Sorry, Slimbo, you’re in my seats’“, June 7, 2001 (& updates Dec. 15-16, 2001, Oct. 25-27, 2002); “Obese fliers“, Dec. 20, 2000; “Welcome Toronto Star readers” (Jason Brooks column, disabled rights), Sept. 27-28, 2000. 

Personal responsibility, 2002:Skating first, instructions later” (Edmonton), Sept. 25-26; “‘Woman freezes; sues city, cabbie’” (Winnipeg), Sept. 18-19; Personal responsibility roundup” (social host alcohol liability), Sept. 12; “Paroled prisoner: pay for not supervising me“, Jan. 4-6.  2001:Don’t rock the Coke machine“, July 20-22; “‘Gambling addiction’ class action” (Loto-Quebec), June 20 (& update May 20-21, 2002; “‘Woman who drove drunk gets $300,000’” (Barrie, Ont.), Feb. 7-8; “By reader acclaim” (sues alleged crack dealers over own addiction), Jan. 11.  2000:Not my fault, I” (woman who murdered daughter sues psychiatrists), May 17; “Blue-ribbon excuse syndromes” (Metis Indian defendant allowed to cite cultural oppression as defense to stabbing charge), Feb. 12-13. 

Cash demanded for drug users and panhandlers inconvenienced by film crews” (Vancouver), Aug. 23-25, 2002. 

Activist judges north of the border“, May 31-Jun. 2, 2002 (& letter to the editor, Jun. 14). 

Flowers, perfume in airline cabins not OK?“, May 17-19, 2002; “Scented hair gel, deodorant could mean jail time for Canadian youth“, Apr. 24, 2000. 

‘Unharmed woman awarded $104,000’” (Manitoba chemical exposure), May 6, 2002. 

‘Targeting “big food”‘” (Lemieux, National Post), Apr. 29-30, 2002. 

Pharmaceutical roundup” (silicone implants popular), Apr. 16-17, 2002. 

Web speech roundup” (flag logo on website), Mar. 25-26, 2002. 

Tribulations of the light prison sleeper“, Mar. 25-26, 2002; “Prison litigation: ‘Kittens and Rainbows Suites’” (cellmate’s smoking violates rights), Jan. 11-13; “Paroled prisoner: pay for not supervising me“, Jan. 4-6, 2002. 

Couldn’t order 7-Up in French” (suing Air Canada for $525,000), Mar. 18, 2002; “Gotta regulate ’em all” (Quebec official upset that Pok?n cards not in French), Dec. 16, 1999. 

Stop, they said” (Manitoba: stop sign too vague?), Feb. 4-5, 2002. 

Planners tie up land for twenty years” (plus B.C. land use story), Jan. 18-20, 2002. 

Family law, 2002:‘Avoiding court is best defence’” (Dave Brown), Jan. 14-15.  2001:‘Crying wolf’” (Christie Blatchford on sexual abuse charges), Oct. 30; “Why she’s quitting law practice” (Karen Selick), Aug. 13-14; “Canadian court: divorce settlements never final“, May 15; “‘Victim is sued for support’“, Feb. 9-11; “Solomon’s child” (Donna LaFramboise), Jan. 26-28.  2000:Pilloried, broke, alone” (LaFramboise on “deadbeat dads”), April 10.  1999:Down repressed-memory lane: distracted when she signed” (Ont. judge voids separation agreement), Dec. 29-30. 

Front-row spectator sues ‘reckless’ exotic dancer” (B.C.), Jan. 7-8, 2002; “Embarrassing Lawsuit Hall of Fame” (injured by exotic dancer in Ottawa), Aug. 14, 2000; “‘Toronto Torch’ age-bias suit” (stripper in Brantford), May 23, 2000. 

Overlawyered schools roundup” (challenge to Ontario standards), Dec. 7-9, 2001. 

Columnist-fest” (asylum policies), Nov. 27, 2001; “Opponents of profiling, still in the driver’s seat” (Air Canada), Nov. 2-4; “Security holes: to the North…” (anti-terrorism security), Sept. 14-16, 2001. 

‘Hate speech’ law invoked against anti-American diatribe“, Oct. 17-18, 2001; “Most unsettling thing we’ve heard about Canada in a while” (hate speech laws), Dec. 17-19, 1999. 

‘Hama to sue bridge owners over her daughter’s fall’” (Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver), Oct. 8, 2001. 

Fear of losing welfare benefits deemed coercive” (N.S.), Oct. 3-4, 2001. 

Zero tolerance, etc.:John Leo on” (Halifax: snowball-like gestures banned), Aug. 15, 2001; “Fateful fiction” (Cornwall, Ont.), Jan. 30, 2001; “Hug protest in Halifax” (school’s no-physical-contact policy), March 2, 2000; “Zero tolerance roundup” (Windsor: 11-year-old’s fictional school essay), Dec. 27-28, 1999. 

Why she’s quitting law practice” (Karen Selick), Aug. 13-14, 2001. 

Welcome readers“, June 26, 2001. 

‘Dead teen’s family sues Take Our Kids To Work’“, May 31, 2001. 

Holiday special” (misconduct by N.B. lawyer), May 28, 2001. 

‘Insect lawyer ad creates buzz’” (Torys, Toronto), May 23, 2001; “‘Not-a-Lawyer’” (Vancouverite’s business card), Feb. 10-11, 2000. 

Columnist-fest” (Mark Steyn on Indian residential schools), May 1, 2001; “Bankrupting Canadian churches?“, Aug. 23-24, 2000. 

Canada’s secret legal aid“, April 10, 2001. 

Putting the ‘special’ in special sauce” (alleged rat in Big Mac”, March 29, 2001. 

Saves her friend’s life, then sues her“, Jan. 3, 2001. 

Canada reins in expert witnesses“, Nov. 22-23, 2000. 

Malpractice outlays on rise in Canada“, Oct. 2, 2000. 

‘Mother sues over lack of ice time for goalie son’” (Quebec), Sept. 11, 2000. 

‘Mugging victim “stupid”, judge says’” (Winnipeg case), Aug. 2, 2000. 

‘Skydivers don’t sue’“, May 26, 2000 (update July 6: Canadian diver prevails in suit against teammate). 

Cash for trash, and worse” (“Vancouver solution” for Microsoft?), June 26, 2000. 

Welcome Montreal Gazette readers” (columnist Doug Camilli cites this website), June 7, 2000; “Trop d’” (we are recommended by the Gazette), Oct. 18, 1999. 

‘More lawyers than we really need?’” (aftermath of Walkerton, Ont. E. Coli outbreak: columnist cites this website), June 2-4, 2000. 

Less suing = less suffering” (Sasketchewan no-fault auto study), April 24, 2000 (& update June 26). 

Swissair crash aftermath” (Peggy’s Cove disaster in U.S. courts), March 14, 2000; “Montreal Gazette ‘Lawsuit of the Year’” (bagpipers sue Swissair for lost income), Jan. 17, 2000. 

‘Girl puts head under guillotine; sues when hurt’“, March 8, 2000. 

Ontario judge okays hockey-fan lawsuit“, Jan. 12, 2000; “Spreading to Canada?” (hockey fan sues Alexei Yashin), Oct. 20, 1999. 

Update: toilet of terror” (Canadian tourist visits Starbucks in NYC, sues), Dec. 8, 1999; “Starbucks toilet lawsuit“, Dec. 1, 1999. 

Mounties vs. your dish” (satellite regulations), Nov. 1, 1999. 

Sensitivity in cow-naming“, Oct. 21, 1999; “Weekend reading” (Bugs Bunny television complaint), Aug. 21-22, 1999. “You may already not be a winner” (prisoner suit over sweepstakes entry), Aug. 23, 1999.

For a discussion of the loser-pays principle, which Canada has retained to a considerable extent in its courts, see our loser-pays page