Compassionate Justice

ESG United Church hosts a free speaker series called Compassionate Justice several times each year. After a hiatus during COVID restrictions, the series returns for its 11th year from October 2022 – February 2023.

The principal focus of the series over the years has been all aspects of our criminal justice system and selected other topics such as the Truth and Reconciliation experience. Join us for another season of unique public speaking events with renowned and inspiring speakers.

All events in the series are offered free of charge. However, you may wish to support this work through at donation on our Canada Helps page here.

Previous speakers archive : https://esgunited.org/compassionate-justice-past-speakers/

Our Speakers 2022-23

October 23, 2022 – Innocence Unplugged

Bill Trudell was a founding member and  is now the current Chair of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers. He is also  a frequent lecturer and media commentator on Criminal Justice issues in Canada. “Much of the public  misunderstands the Criminal Justice System yet it is a cornerstone of our democracy and the presumption of innocence is the essential mortar that supports it.” Read more

November 20, 2022 – Darkness on the Edge of Town

Doug Saunders is the international-affairs columnist for the Globe and Mail. He served as the paper’s London-based European bureau chief for a decade. Until recently, the world’s social problems and inequities were most visible in inner cities. But the last few years have seen a dramatic shift, with the suburbanization of poverty and immigration settlement shifting the most vulnerable communities to the outskirts. Read more

January 22, 2023 – What Judges Don’t Decide at Sentencing 

Lisa Kerr is a law professor who teaches criminal law, sentencing and prison law. She serves as the Director of the Criminal Law Group at Queen’s Law and works with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic on strategic litigation. Sentencing judges decide only the length of a prison sentence, which means that the experience and severity of punishment is beyond the control of criminal law.  Read more

February 19, 2023A Blunt Instrument: Long Term Detention of Individuals found Not Criminally Responsible

Erin Dann is a criminal defence lawyer and has acted in over 100 appeals at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. Being found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder is not a “get out of jail free” card. Erin will share stories of individuals found NCR of offences that might never have resulted in a jail sentence, who have spent years, detained in forensic hospitals. Read more