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Montreal lawyers to march against Law 78

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Montreal lawyers to march against Law 78

As Law 78 was being debated a little over a week ago in the National Assembly, the president of the Quebec Bar Association spoke out against the legislation, saying, “This bill, if adopted, is a breach of the fundamental, constitutional rights of citizens.”

Montreal lawyers have taken up the argument, and tonight will be marching through the streets of the city to show their dissent. This past Friday, a legal challenge of the law was filed by the three main student organizations--CLASSE, FEUQ and FECQ--along with the province's three largest unions.

According to the lawyers' press release (full text below):

Our walk has the purpose of expressing our dismay in light of the passing of a special law that we believe constitutes a disproportionate attack on our freedom of expression, of association, and of peaceful protest. We equally wish to demonstrate our concern regarding the (predictable) loss of confidence of a growing number of citizens in our judicial institutions following the passing of this law. 

In an interview with Métro newspaper, Me François Desroches further explained:

"Par rapport au droit de manifestation, comment l’exercice de manifestations est encadré, cela peut être problématique aux yeux de certains. Beaucoup de personnes m’ont fait part aussi que les amendes qui peuvent être imposées sont préoccupantes. La délégation de pouvoirs semble aussi problématique pour plusieurs."

The march will be gathering at the Palais de justice at 6:30pm tonight, to march to Parc Émilie-Gamelin. Because they are "officers of the law," they are compelled to follow the law even if they disagree, and have therfore submitted their route and other relevant information to the Montreal police.

Scroll down for the full press release, including the English translation by the Translating the printemps érable collective.

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Objet : marche silencieuse des « juristes togés à l’appui »

 
Nous sommes un regroupement spontané de juristes appuyant  la contestation de la Loi 78.
 
Nous avons rendez-vous au Palais de justice de Montréal, lundi 28 mai 2012, à 18h30, pour une marche silencieuse jusqu’au Parc Émilie-Gamelin. Nous serons vêtus de nos plus beaux apparats afin de rappeler la dignité inhérente à nos professions et notre système de justice fondé sur la primauté du droit et le respect des libertés fondamentales.
 
Notre marche a pour but d’exprimer notre désarroi devant l’adoption d’une loi spéciale qui nous semble constituer une atteinte disproportionnée aux libertés d’expression, d’association et de manifestation pacifique. Nous souhaitons également manifester notre préoccupation devant la perte de confiance (prévisible) d’un nombre croissant de citoyens envers nos institutions judiciaires suite à l’adoption de cette Loi.
 
Nous sommes juristes : nous entendons respecter les exigences de la loi en vigueur. Notre itinéraire a été remis au Service de police de la ville de Montréal plus de huit heures à l’avance.
 
Nous sommes officiers de justice : certains d’entre nous serons aux premières lignes du combat pour invalider les dispositions de la Loi qui nous semblent incompatibles avec notre Constitution et nos Chartes des droits. Nous sommes d’avis que cette démarche contribuera à restaurer la confiance ébranlée des citoyens envers leurs institutions judiciaires.
 
Pour toute information supplémentaire, n'hésitez pas à contacter Me François Desroches (514-895-8531) ou Me Rémi Bourget (514-827-7364).
 
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PRESS RELEASE

Subject: silent march of the “robed lawyers in support”

We are a spontaneous group of lawyers in support of the contestation of Law 78. 

We will meet at the Palais de justice in Montreal, Monday May 28 2012 at 6:30PM for a silent walk up to Parc Émilie-Gamelin. We will be donning our finest apparel in order to recall the inherent dignity of our professions and of our justice system founded on the primacy of the law and of the respect of fundamental freedoms. 

Our walk has the purpose of expressing our dismay in light of the passing of a special law that we believe constitutes a disproportionate attack on our freedom of expression, of association, and of peaceful protest. We equally wish to demonstrate our concern regarding the (predictable) loss of confidence of a growing number of citizens in our judicial institutions following the passing of this law. 

We are lawyers: we intend to respect the requirements of the law that is in effect. Our itinerary was submitted to the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal more than eight hours in advance. 

We are officers of the court: some of us will be in the front line of the battle to invalidate the disposals of the law that we deem incompatible with our Constitution and our Charter of Rights. We are of the opinion that this approach will help restore the shaken confidence of the citizens towards their judicial institutions. 

For any additional information, do not hesitate to contact Me François Desroches (514-895-8531) or Me Rémi Bourget (514-827-7364).

Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.

*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at translatingtheprintempsderable@gmail.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.

 


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