From Bad Law to Restorative Justice with John Reilly
Raven is the only organization in Canada that’s expressly established to provide access to justice for indigenous Nations. RAVEN exists to level the playing field, so that when nations are up against very deep pockets of governments or corporations they have the financial staying power to see legal actions aimed at protecting their rights and the environment all the way through. Usually that means all the way to the Supreme Court.
However, as our campaigns focus mainly on constitutional challenges, we very rarely address the experience of Indigenous Peoples within Canada’s criminal justice system.
Right now, across Turtle Island, we are experiencing a flowering of anti-racist activism. On the other hand, we still contend with a system where Indigneous Peoples make up 5% of the country’s population but more than 30% of the prison population. As an organization dedicated to seeking justice, RAVEN is joining the conversation about those gross inequalities.
To begin, we reached out to Judge John Reilly, the bestselling author of Bad Law: Rethinking Justice for a Postcolonial Canada.
While there are many Indigneous practitioners of law whom we can – and will- talk to on this issue, Reilly’s 33 years of first-hand experience as an Alberta provincial court judge brings credibility to his call for the radical reform necessary to mend a broken justice system.
Reilly has become an outspoken proponent of Indigenous legal frameworks, including restorative justice circles as an alternative to the punitive approach of Canada’s criminal courts.
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