Dyanoosh Youssefi
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Dyanoosh Youssefi is a social justice advocate, a lawyer, a professor, and a politico. She is the founder of All IN, an advocacy organization committed to promoting inclusive communities (allinadvocacy.ca). She writes about criminal justice issues on her blog, and volunteers with human rights and justice-seeking organizations. Follow Dyanoosh Youssefi on Twitter @DyanooshY.

Entries by Dyanoosh Youssefi

Canada Doesn't Need To Fix Its Justice System. It Needs A New One

(26) Comments | Posted May 1, 2017 | 3:58 PM

How do you reform Canada's criminal justice system? Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and her provincial and territorial counterparts held an urgent meeting on April 28 to discuss "priority responses to further reduce delays in the criminal justice system."

There was scant information available to the public...

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Trudeau Needs The Courage To Reform Our Criminal Justice System

(3) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 11:19 AM

There is widespread expectation among progressive lawyers, criminologists and community and mental health workers that Justin Trudeau's Liberal government will step in and reverse some of Stephen Harper's draconian criminal laws. This expectation exists, despite the fact that the Liberal election platform was silent on most of the purely ideological...

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The Toronto Police Have Failed to Tackle Racial Profiling

(17) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 12:40 PM

"Fair and bias-free policing."

That was the promise of Toronto's Chief of Police less than a year ago. At the time, Chief Bill Blair was hailing the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER) report. According to Chief Blair, the report was a "comprehensive review." It was written by...

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Why The Arrest of This Defence Lawyer Was So Wrong

(28) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 12:23 PM

Laura Liscio, a criminal defence lawyer, was arrested in Brampton Court on Thursday, February 12, allegedly for passing narcotics to her in-custody client.

According to many accounts, police arrested her in full view of the public, while she was in her lawyers' attire, about to enter a...

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How City Council Can Build the Toronto That We Want

(1) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 10:14 PM

There has never been a more critical and opportune time to take control of Toronto's development plans.

Our city is in the middle of a development boom, yet we face a housing crisis.

We build high rises and infill town homes anywhere possible, and we build grand houses where sturdy...

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A Law School That Bans Homosexuals Has No Place in Canada

(54) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 6:44 AM

When freedom of religion and equality collide, it often seems that only one side can win and the other must lose.

Recently, equality was the loser.

British Columbia's Trinity Western University (TWU) is one step closer to launching a private, Christian law school where students are prohibited from engaging in...

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Canadians Need to Stop These Appalling New Laws in Their Tracks

(13) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 6:24 AM

Last week, I wrote about the federal government's latest draconian criminal law, the mandatory victim surcharge.

October 24th's dubiously named Increasing Offenders' Accountability for Victims Act eliminates a judge's ability to exempt a convicted person from paying a surcharge, even if the payment would cause...

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Our Government is Tough On People and Stupid On Crime

(10) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 8:57 AM

Last week, on Oct. 24, another noxious, ineffective, irrational, costly and purely political Conservative "pile on the punishments" law came into effect.

The Increasing Offenders' Accountability for Victims Act, like so much other criminal law legislation enacted by the Conservative government, neither increases offenders' accountability nor helps...

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James Forcillo's Bail Proves a Double Standard

(14) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 12:31 PM

Officer James Forcillo, who shot Sammy Yatim nine times while the latter was alone, on a street car, wielding a small knife, was charged with second-degree murder on Monday.

On Tuesday, Forcillo surrendered to the Special Investigations Unit, was taken into custody, and by the afternoon, was already out on...

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Will We Ever Learn the Whole Truth About Sammy Yatim's Death?

(175) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 11:21 AM

Another young life, extinguished -- lost.

Eighteen-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot nine times, Tasered, and killed by Toronto police early Saturday morning. Yatim was alone at the time, on a streetcar, apparently having earlier wielded a knife and ordered everyone off. It is not clear whether he had any...

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When Videos of Police Brutality Are Not Enough, Citizens Must Act

(17) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 8:31 AM

It has sadly become a familiar chain of events:

Officers charge civilian with assaulting a police officer.

Video (either surveillance, or taped by a civilian) surfaces: it shows the officers beating up the same person whom they have charged. That person is helpless and under police control; he or she...

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The Harper Government Has no Insite on Canadians With Addictions

(66) Comments | Posted June 9, 2013 | 10:08 PM

How do you defy the highest court in the land?

If you are the Conservative federal government, you replace a simple, straight-forward law with a gargantuan one that shouts, "In your face, Supreme Court!" In other words, you turn the court's decision on its head.

That's what Harper's government...

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Ontario Should Commit Sociology to Combat Harper's Crime Agenda

(17) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 5:34 PM

That the Conservative federal government has no regard for evidence, science, or sociology was evident long before PM Harper's proclamation that he does not want to "commit sociology."

The proof lies in the spate of "law and order" crime bills that has been enacted by the federal government over the...

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NCR: Why Richard Kachkar Didn't Get Away With Murder

(59) Comments | Posted March 30, 2013 | 7:26 AM

Richard Kachkar's not criminally responsible verdict has divided observers and is fueling the debate on Bill C-54, the bill to make NCR reviews more restrictive.

There are those who feel that the NCR decision was the right, though imperfect one.

And there are those who are angered by...

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Harper's Crime and Punishment Agenda: Top 7 Disastrous Laws

(46) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 11:12 PM

Every week, it seems, the Harper government introduces a new bill or initiative purportedly aimed at making our "streets and communities safe." Rather than make us safer, however, these crime and punishment laws are leading us toward disaster.

A complete list of all the changes would fill up a hefty...

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Do Conservatives Really Want to Help Victims?

(4) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 4:55 PM

Victims' services, victims' rights and victim advocacy: that's the Canadian government's current focus when it comes to justice issues.

Supporting victims in dealing with their trauma or long-term healing is our collective social responsibility. But just because the cause is noble does not mean that the plans for achieving...

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When Bad Cops Get Away With Crimes

(3) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 4:15 PM

The Crown is appealing the sentences of the former Toronto police drug squad officers who were convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice and received 45-day conditional sentences (house arrest) on January 4 of this year.

If some members of the public reacted to the sentences with incredulity...

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Should the Mentally Ill Be Put in Jail?

(12) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 11:00 PM

Say one thing, do the opposite. That sums up the Canadian government's approach to the treatment of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system.

"(I)ndividuals with mental health issues do not belong in prisons but rather in professional health facilities." Those were the promising words of the Minister of...

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Will Prosecutors Really Snitch on Cops?

(6) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 12:10 PM

Ontario's Attorney General is directing the province's Crown Attorneys to report instances where police officers have lied while under oath.

It's the best news to come out of the criminal justice system in a long time.

Sort of.

It's good news because, until now, lying police officers...

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Should Bullies Really Be Punished By Criminal Law?

(23) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 8:25 AM

It has been just over a week since Amanda Todd's tragic and heart-breaking suicide, which she committed to end the pain from the endless torment of the bullies in her life. A week filled with the public's sadness, questions, and soul-searching. A week of outcries: "How did we stand by...

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