Saturday, June 14, 2014

Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry - Joseph Hamilton

By Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A., LL.B., L.E.C.
Lawyer & Notary Public (Ontario, Canada)
Attorney-at-Law (Republic of Guyana, Island of Trinidad)
Posted on June 13, 2014

As a lawyer with significant experience in human rights, civil rights and non-adversarial matters, I was retained to represent its interest of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) at the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry.

Joseph Hamilton a former House of Israel member provided evidence. In examination in chief he described himself variously as an oppressor, suppressor, oppressed. He claimed to have received military and bomb-making training from an officer of the Guyana Defence Force. Claimed to be a whistleblower. The evidence of Joe Hamilton covered a spectrum of areas and the areas that are of interest are excerpted below:

Documents available that were not produced prior to giving his evidence:

Mr. Pieters: Mr. Hamilton, do you have any documents at all, of whatever nature with respect to
your involvement with the House of Israel between 1978 and 1980? Do you have any documents
at home or in any other place that you have control?
Mr. Hamilton: I might have documents. I might have photographs. I suppose my sons might
have photographs of the period when I was in the House of Israel.
Mr. Pieters: Can you make an undertaking to provide that to the Commissioner through its
Mr. Hamilton: I would if that is the request of the Commission?
Mr. Pieters: This is the request of one of the Counsels and my understanding is that you can make an
undertaking to provide it to Commission's Counsel. Counsel can make that request of you, if you
have those documents.
Mr. Hamilton: Yes, if I can locate photographs of the time that I was in the House of Israel, I will certainly make those copies available to the Commission.
Mr. Chairman: We would appreciate it if you can.

Opinion Evidence from a lay witness:

Ms. Rahamat: We had some difficulties with the photocopier yesterday even in the evening and Secretariat had to sort that out, my apology; the copies were not made available for everyone at this time. I would read from paragraph 480. “Suddenly the crowd of demonstrators was charged from in front of the gang of young men led by members of the House of Israel group carrying staves, cutlasses and bayonet-looking knives. They attacked the crowd, they scattered in all directions. Some running back down Brickdam, others into the house opposite the police station. Mike James was attacked by three men and received a blow on the head that stunned him. From the other side of the road, Father Darke started to take photographs of the attack on Mike. Three of the gangs started towards Father Darke, he saw them coming and started to run, but was encumbered by his cameras strung around his neck. After a few yards, he tripped and fell. They started to beat him with staves, and as he fell on the grass verge, they continued to beat him. One of them took his camera and started beating him with it and then one of then drew an old bayonet from his waistband and stabbed him in the back. The plain clothes policemen fired two shots in the air to scattered the assailants and then effected an arrest.”
Now, I refer to this passage Mr. Hamilton, and I would seek your opinions because your evidence yesterday was I had a full view of the scene. If you had a full view of the scene, and you said you were approximately the same distance you are away from me today. This eyewitness account that I have read, did you see what the gentleman said he saw?
Attorneys for the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) [Mr. Selwyn Pieters]: Mr. Chairman, before he answers that question, he has already answered the question: “Did you see that Mike James was beaten?” and his answer was that “not that I can recall”. He has no place here regardless to what the rules of evidence is in this tribunal to give opinion evidence. He is not an expert and if he says that he did not recall or he did not see regardless of what my friend reads into the record he has not give opinion on it.
Mr. Chairman: Do not make too much of the use of the word “opinion” there. I think it is a little out of place, but do not make too much of it. Is your recall of the scene of that day, I think that is the question.
Mr. Pieters: Well then let her ask that question as opposed to asking for an opinion.

Hamilton's explanation in Chief of his regrets

Ms. Rahamat: Mr. Hamilton do you regret your involvement in the activities you were involved in, in relation to the House of Israel between the period 1978/1980?
Mr. Hamilton: I will answer that question this way. A 60-year-old grandfather sees the world differently to a 23-year-old young man and therefore, if the 60-year-old grandfather would be speaking to his 23-year-old young son, what he will say is that you made a bad choice, you made a bad decision, and your decision caused great harm to people, so yes, there are regrets.
Mr. Hamilton: I continue to live with that past, it is here with me and so, I have no difficulty presenting the past as I know it, as I participated in it. As I said, I think when I came to the Commission the first time, I think Mr. Hanoman asked the question about whether I am prepared for this. I indicated to him that the only hurdle I had to cross is having a conversation with my wife and children, and once they indicated that they are prepared to have me stand public scrutiny, what any other one said about what I am doing, it matters not to me.
Ms. Rahamat: With reference to paragraph 22 of your written statement, Mr. Hamilton, what would you give as one of the contributing factors or the reason behind the behavior and the attitude of yourself and the House of Israel between the period 1978 to 1980?
Mr. Hamilton: I said in my statement, without seeking to excuse the behavior and attitude of myself and Members of the House of Israel, I would want to say that Rabbi Washington and the House of Israel were victims of the specific time because the time was framed in the mantra of you are either with me or against me. The House of Israel chose to be with Burnham and the PNC Government of the day. I suspect because of two reasons, firstly, Rabbi Washington being a fugitive from the US refusing to accede to Burnham’s and the PNC’s request would have found himself on the first plane out of Guyana and secondly, we bought the argument that Walter Rodney and the WPA were tools of the Indian dominated PPP party, who was seeking power from the African dominated political party, the PNC.

Hamilton's explanation when I cross-examine him on his failure to apologize to Eusi Kwayana and Dr. Rupert Roopnarine at the first opportunity

Mr. Pieters: Yesterday you were questioned by Commission Counsel and at page 67 and page
68 of the transcript... I will read it to you and then I will pose my question. The Commission
Counsel asked you, "Mr. Hamilton, do you regret your involvement in the activities you were
involved in, in relation to the House of Israel, between the period 1978/1980?" and your
response was, Mr. Hamilton, "I will address the question this way. A 60-year-old grandfather
sees the world differently to a 23-year-old young man and therefore if the 60-year-old
grandfather would be speaking to his 23-year-old young son what he will say is that you made a
bad choice, you made a bad decisi.on and your decision caused great harm to people, so yes, there
are regrets." And you continued. "I continued to live with the past. It is here with me and so I
have no difficulty presenting the past as I know it, as I participated in it. As I said, I think when I
p. 133

came to the Commission the first time, I think, Mr. Hanoman asked the question about whether I
am prepared for this. I indicated to him that the only hurdle I had to cross is having a
conversation with my wife and children and once they indicated that they are prepared to have
me stand public scrutiny, what any other one said about what I am doing, it matters not to me." I
am going to suggest this to you yesterday 89 year old Eusi K wayana was sitting in the audience
watching you give your evidence, Mr. Roopnarine was in the audience as well, Mr. Kwayana is
no· longer here because he had return to the United States why did you not stand up yesterday
look at Mr. K wayana who you heard testify about the suffering he and his colleagues
encountered at the material time and say you were sorry. Why didn't you express that remorse?
Mr. Hamilton: Mr. Chairman and Commissioners Mr. Pieters is pre-empting me it was my
intension when I am concluding to speak to the specific matter that he has raise and other things.
Mr. Pieters: Mr. Kwayana is no longer here. You were asked that question.

The Murder of Father Darke and His Camera Being Stolen while he lay there dying

Mr. Pieters: Now on the day that the arson five appeared at the Georgetown Court you testify
that you were in Buxton.
Mr. Hamilton: Yes.
Mr. Pieters: Right and you later travelled to Georgetown after things died down somewhat so
you were not an eye witness to most of the events that took place
Mr. Hamilton: That is when things were starting, not dying down. The Court had concluded
Mr. Pieters: The Court had ... You were in Georgetown when the real action began.
Mr. Hamilton: If you want to categorise it as "real action" yes
Mr. Pieters: The extent to which you were involved in it was to take Father Darke's camera
after he was stabbed.
Mr. Hamilton: I never said that at that time Father Darke was stabbed. I could not speak to
when he was stabbed. My statement said and I repeat that I saw a white guy who had a camera
with Mike James who I knew stumbled somewhere in the vicinity of Ministry of Home Affairs .
His camera was released when he stumbled that camera was handed to me by a brother that I
named. So I never said that I saw when Father Darke was stabbed.
Mr. Pieters: I am going to suggest to you that with your "thuggish" mentally at the material time
you were the one that robbed Father Darke of his camera so you can sell it to make a quick
p. 132
Mr. Hamilton: You cannot suggest that I was in any bad economic position to sell a camera. No
part of my evidence suggested that so I would ask, Mr. Commissioner, that Mr. Pieters withdraw
and refrain from suggesting that I sold some camera
Mr. Chairman: Order, order!
.... Mr. Pieters: Mr. Chairman, the witness in the box answered my question so I am prepared to
move on to my last question.
Mr. Chairman: He rejected your suggestion, yes.
Mr. Pieters: That is right and so I am prepared to move on to my last question.
Mr. Williams: How much did he get if for?

On the Guyana Defence Force supplying weapons to the House of Israel

Mr. Pieters: You mentioned that the first time you saw that the Guyana Defense Force was
provided with high power weapons was when you met with Commission Counsel and he showed
you the requisition.
Mr. Hamilton: Yes.
Mr. Pieters: Well let me ask you this: why would you have been left out of the circle of
knowledge that the House of Israel posed high powered G3 riffles capable of firing 7.62 rounds
of ammunition? Why would you have been left out that circle?
Mr. Hamilton: Mr. Chairman, again, when that document was shown to me, I indicated that as
far as I know nothing, except for Browning pistols, and I could not say

McCallister was a Skills at Arms Expert - yet the witness evidence is he trained him to make bombs

Mr. Pieters: So you are saying Me Allister was not involved in training you in the use of
Mr. Hamilton: No. not at all
Mr. Pieters: I am going to suggest to you that your evidence before this tribunal that Mr. McAllister trained you in the use of bombs is false, patently false.
Mr. Hamilton: Well I am denying that it is false
Mr. Pieters: I am going to suggest to you, and the evidence could bear that out, that Mr. McAllister was a Skill-at-Arms expert in the Guyana Defense Force at the material time and not a
bomb expert.
Mr. Hamilton: I do not know in what capacity Mr. McAllister functioned in the Guyana
Defense Force.
Mr. Pieters: Well I am telling you ...
Mr. Hamilton: I do not know. I am saying I know Mr. McAllister was an officer at that time,
but as to what capacity functioned in; I do not know and could not say.

Context: Lawrence Edward Rodney evidence on the House of Israel and Joseph Hamilton

Mr. Hanoman: Can you give us an idea about the activities of the House of Israel in 1978, 1979 as well as 1980? Especially in terms of any association that they may have had with the Guyana Police Force?
Mr. Rodney: Well, the House of Israel, as is generally known, was led by one Rabbi Washington. There was a hierarchy comprised perhaps of Deacons and Elders, both male and female.
Commissioner [Mrs. Samuel-Brown, Q.C.]: Deacons and…?
Mr. Rodney: Elders, yes. Thank you. …based in Alberttown, where I think the offices or the structure remains, dilapidated. The House of Israel spread out to different parts of the country. Where I worked, for example, there was a House of Israel contingent, that is to say, the Ministry of Agriculture. I want to believe that National Mobilisation would have also had House of Israel elements. Where I was employed, in Mon Repos, there were about six or seven, it could be more, House of Israel types who resided in Triumph. So, you had a central hierarchy and you had a community element. I want you to follow what I am getting at.
 Mr. Hanoman: Yes.
Mr. Rodney: Mon Repos, Triumph and then there were House of Israel elements along the East Bank of Demerara and on the West Bank of Demerara and possibly the West Coast so the House of Israel was not just a concentrated element. It had different branches. Now, where I worked they would sometimes come in their uniforms, because they felt free – the red and black uniforms.
Mr. Hanoman: Can you describe the uniforms for us?
Mr. Rodney: Okay. A red top, sometimes with the green appellate and black so red, green and black and sometimes they would have the Star of David, whatever insignia, but that was the colour of the uniform.
Mr. Hanoman: Do you know what the PNC colours were at the time?
Mr. Rodney: Well, the PNC colours also, I think were, if I remember correctly, Sophia and places like the annex of the Appeals Court, green, red and black.
Mr. Hanoman: The same colours as found in the House of Israel uniforms?
Mr. Rodney: The same colours, yes.
Mr. Hanoman: Do you know the names of some of the persons that were in the hierarchy of the House of Israel in those times?
Mr. Rodney: Well, it is difficult to know the names, unless you are part of the organisation but what I do know it the term ‘brother’ was being used a lot. You would hear ‘brother’. You would hear ‘shalom’. ‘Shalom’ was being used and perhaps other nomenclature or descriptive terms that they used amongst themselves. I had an experience, for example, at the Public Hospital, where there was a group of House of Israel selling plantain chips and peanuts and they would come to you and just say, ‘well purchase one of these’ and if you did not purchase it, they would get, you know, ‘anti’. So you purchased it just to…
Mr. Hanoman: If you did not what?
Mr. Rodney: They would get ‘anti’. They would get antagonistic.
Mr. Hanoman: I see.
Mr. Rodney: They were a kind of bullying type, if you like. They were a sort of local bullies. Not everyone, but for the large part.
Anyway, to continue about the House of Israel, at my workplace, there were both male and female, young and middle-aged and they would have children with them. It was a kind of sect and this sect recruited people. If you were not a member of the House of Israel, they did not attack you or do you anything but they made it very clear, that they were privileged compared to other persons working in the same worksite.
During that period, we tried to get the workers organised to become members of Unions. Myself and another Comrade, who lived on the East Coast, mobilised the workers to join GAWU because the workers were being victimised and there was no representation and that created …
Mr. Hanoman: The workers were being victimised by whom?
Mr. Rodney: By their bosses, the people who ran the operations and they were being exploited. There were people working in the warehouses. There were ‘weeders’. There were people working in the seed bond. There were people working in different parts of Mon Repos. They would work late hours and not get their overtime pay or they would have to go and ask for it and they would have to go to the Ministry building in Georgetown to get their money so we tried to get the workers organised and that led to a very bitter situation whereby they made it very clear that if you try to organise the workers, you would do it at your own peril.
This is, the House of Israel now. A vehicle would pick them up and take them from the public road or on the line top, the old railway line, to the work site because it was quite a distance to go in, probably, you would know this yourself. If you were not a member of the House of Israel and that vehicle passed and even of there were two seats there, they would not pick you up. However, there were occasions where, if I was travelling in a taxi and they stopped the taxi and the taxi man stopped, they would join the vehicle and come along, just as if it was ordinary and nothing was wrong. It was a bullying type of operation.
There was one particular Deacon there by the name of Hamilton.
Mr. Hanoman: Do you happen to know the first name of Hamilton?
Mr. Rodney: I cannot remember his first name, but he is presently in the system.
Mr. Hanoman: Could the first name be Joe Hamilton?
Mr. Rodney: It will be Joseph, yes. He worked there at Mon Repos. As a matter of fact, he was the counterpart to what we were trying to do for the workers by getting the members becoming members of GAWU.
Mr. Hanoman: What do you mean by counterpart?
Mr. Rodney: Well, he was a kind of Deacon and he had the influence because he lived in…
Mr. Hanoman: Joseph Hamilton was a Deacon in the House of Israel…?
Mr. Rodney: A kind of Deacon, yes.
Mr. Hanoman: ... at that time?
Mr. Rodney: Yes, he was a kind of senior.
Mr. Hanoman: A senior member?
Mr. Rodney: Yes, in other words, he had influence. There was a branch of the House of Israel in Triumph, one of the side streets so he would be there sometimes and at other times he would be at the workplace, but he made it very clear that if you try to organise the workers in the seed bond, the weeders, the people working in the nurseries, you would be doing this at your own peril. I will leave it at that.
Mr. Chairman: Counsel, I am not too sure that I am much clear about the nature of this organisation. Was this a political or religious or a religious quasi-political? Was it a trade union type of organisation? Let us get some specifics? Who so constituted its membership? Does it still exist? Did it have political ties to any Parties? I want some specific things. I am not clear.
Mr. Hanoman: Do you have any information as to those many questions posed by the Chairman?
Mr. Rodney: Yes, well the learned Chairman is quite right. One has to be specifics. What I do know is that there is a body of literature, a wealth of literature perhaps, on the House of Israel. This could be accessed; however, this information does not give you the details about the modus operandi, if you like, of the House of Israel. For example, if there were cases being heard in the Georgetown Magistrates Court, the House of Israel would take contingents of people and occupy almost all the seats. When there was the trial…
Mr. Hanoman: Do you mean ordinary cases, at the Georgetown Magistrates Court?
Mr. Rodney: Not ordinary cases.
Mr. Hanoman: What types of cases?
Mr. Rodney: Cases involving the WPA.
Mr. Hanoman: I see.
Mr. Rodney: If there were Magistrates hearings of any matter that was political in the sense of being opposed to the PNC at that time, the House of Israel presence would be there. Additionally, the House of Israel operated not only as a religious or quasi-religious grouping, but also as a kind of hit squad. They were violent people.
Mr. Hanoman: A kind of ‘what’ squad?
Mr. Rodney: A hit squad.
Mr. Hanoman: What do you mean by “hit squad”?
Mr. Rodney: Well to be specific, you probably recalled the murder of Fr. Bernard Darke.
Mr. Hanoman: Could you tell us a little about that?
Mr. Rodney: Well, Fr. Darke was actually knifed to death in 1979, in Brickdam, not far from here and his assailants were proven House of Israel members.
Mrs. J. Samuel-Brown: Proven how? If I may ask and also since I have engaged, was the House of Israel in existence when the witness returned to Guyana? Can we get some indication of when it came into being? Thank you.
Mr. Chairman: I am going to pause for those of whom, may wish to go to the bathroom, may do so. A brief bathroom break.
Hearing Suspended at 10:36hrs.
Hearing resumed at 10:46hrs.
Commissioner [Mr. Seenauth Jairam, S.C.]: The two, the witness statement and the... they were not…
Mr. Hanoman: Thank you for pointing out that omission. We will attempt to do so now, please.
Mr. Chairman: If those who are coming in from outside could…
[Commissioners were in discussion]
Mr. Hanoman: Mr. Rodney, you earlier spoke of two documents which were signed. I will ask you to look at them now and verify that those were the documents you were speaking about.
Mr. Rodney: Yes, these are the documents.
 [Commissioners were in discussion]
Mr. Chairman: I just want to assure the public that you really have not missed anything. We had a comfort break, of about ten minutes, and we then ran into a technical problem with the microphones, but it think that we have resolved that and are about to resume. Thank you, Counsel.
Mr. Hanoman: Could I be guided as to the stage we were at when we stopped?
Mr. Chairman: I think we were last describing the House of Israel; or rather it was being described as a quasi-religious organisation which operated as a hit squad.
Mr. Hanoman: Thank you.
Mr. Chairman: I think we should take it from there.
Attorney for People’s National Congress (PNC) [Mr. Williams]: Mr. Chairman, he had gone past that. He spoke about Deacons and all of that, but could I ask if he has identified the two statements?
Mr. Rodney: Yes, I have.
Mr. Hanoman: I will get into that, we will move to that now.
Mr. Chairman: I had hoped that you would do that at a more convenient point, rather than break the House of Israel, but I will leave it to you, Counsel.
Mr. Hanoman: At this stage, I wish to ask for the statements identified by this witness, or the documents identified by this witness to be firmly tendered, I believe as LER1, and LER2. LER meaning “Lawrence Edward Rodney”.
Mrs. Samuels-Brown: And my understanding is that the statements you refer to are the ones dated the…
Mr. Hanoman: Yes, thank you.
Mrs. Samuels-Brown: If you could identify it by the 19th April, 2014, and the extract from the testimony given in relation to the inquest by the witness in 5th February, 1988.
Mr. Chairman: 1988. Thank you.
Mrs. Samuels-Brown: And is certified by him to be true and correct.
Mr. Hanoman: I am guided please, Madam Commissioner. I wish to ask for the signed witness statement which is dated the 19th April, 2014. Perhaps to be marked with the letters LER and the number one. The other document that I am seeking to tender also has the same date, but it is a reflection of the Coroner’s Inquest proceedings, and those proceedings were held in February of 1988. We are hoping that you will ascribe the marking LER2 to that particular document. I think the witness has already given evidence that he verifies both of them to be accurate and that he adopts the contents of those documents.
Mr. Chairman: The two identification markings suggested LR1 and LR2?
Mr. Hanoman: LER, if it pleases you.
Mr. Chairman: LER1 and two.
Mr. Hanoman: Thank you.
Mr. Chairman: It has been so tied, and I think we can continue now.
Mrs. Samuels-Brown: Before you proceed, when we took the break, I had asked a question as to trying to date the formation or the existence - the initiation of the time of existence of the House of Israel.
Mr. Chairman: I will now try to elicit that information, thank you very much.
Mrs. Samuels-Brown: Thanks.
Mr. Hanoman: Mr. Rodney, you are required to tell us, if you do know, about the early formations of the House of Israel. Are you aware of when it was first formed, do you know when it was in existence in the late 70s, and do you know whether it was in existence now?
Mr. Rodney: Well, there are three parts to your query. If we deal with the second one, the House of Israel, to the best of my knowledge came into existence when the Rabi Washington arrived in Guyana. After he arrived in Guyana, and that would have been after 1971. Practically, and for the rest of Guyana, House of Israel would have come on stream when they would have begun their radio programmes. Some years ago, looking through the old newspapers, the House of Israel had a radio programme called the “House of Prophecy”. So, it would have been roughly the latter part of 1971, perhaps, onwards, coming into existence with their own radio programme, their own offices or headquarters and their own, if you like, community of people or members.

Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A. (Toronto), LL.B. (Osgoode), L.E.C. (U.W.I). Lawyer & Notary Public (Ontario). Attorney-at-Law (Republic of Guyana and Republic of Trinidad and Tobago).

Selwyn has appeared at all levels of courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada in Attorney General of Ontario v. Michael J. Fraser, et al., 2011 SCC 20, Ontario Court of Appeal in Freeman-Maloy v. Marsden 267 D.L.R. (4th) 37, 208 O.A.C. 307 (C.A.); Bangoura v. Washington Post (2005) 202 O.A.C. 76, (2005) 17 C.P.C. (6th) 30 (Ont.C.A.), the Federal Court of Appeal in The Honourable Sinclair Stevens v. The Conservative Party of Canada, [2005] F.C.J. No. 1890, 2005 FCA 383. He represented Correctional Manager Mariann Taylor-Baptiste in the ground-breaking competing rights case of Taylor-Baptiste v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 2012 CarswellOnt 8965, 2012 HRTO 1393, 2012 C.L.L.C. 230-022 reconsideration denied in 2013 CarswellOnt 1033, 2013 HRTO 180, 2013 C.L.L.C. 230-019 at the HRTO; Civil Rights lawyer Charles Roach in the Oath cases of McAteer, Topey, Dror-Natan v. Canada (Attorney General) 2013 CarswellOnt 13165, 2013 ONSC 5895 (ON S.C.) and Roach et al. v. Canada 2012 CarswellOnt 7799, 2012 ONSC 352 (ON S.C.) which is a constitutional challenge to the oath in the Citizenship Act.

Selwyn has provided representation to persons charged with various criminal offenses including Drugs: Selling and Possessing, Shoplifting, Serious Offences of Violence: Aggravated Assault, Assault with a Weapon and Robbery, Gun Offences, sexual assault, robbery, theft, extortion, HIV/AIDS litigation; fraud, break & enter, attempted murder, murder, regulatory offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, professional disciplinary offences, and conspiracy offences.

Selwyn has also been involved in drugs, guns and gang trials including "Project Green Apple", "Project XXX" and "Project Kryptic", "Project Corral" which are some of Canada's largest Criminal Organization prosecutions. Selwyn is currently counsel for an accused in "Project Feline" and Project Revival" drug sting operations. In Project Corral, Selwyn's advocacy resulted in the "gang expert" evidence being discredited and the Criminal Organization charges against his client and others being tossed out by the Court: R. v. Agil, Chambers, Fullerton, Jimale and Brown 2011 CarswellOnt 18099 (Ont. CJ. July 14, 2011, Khawley J.)

Selwyn recently obtained an extraordinary remedy of costs agains the Crown for failure to provide disclosure of police officer memo book notes in R. v. W.(J.), [2013] O.J. No. 2284, 2013 CarswellOnt 6322, 2013 ONCJ 270 (Ont. CJ.).

Selwyn is the successful litigant in the recent racial profiling case involving carding of three Black men: Peel Law Association v. Pieters, 2013 CarswellOnt 7881, 2013 ONCA 396, 228 A.C.W.S. (3d) 204, 116 O.R. (3d) 81, 306 O.A.C. 314, 9 C.C.E.L. (4th) 233, [2013] O.J. No. 2695.

Selwyn has provided crucial legal advise to clients duringhigh risk situations such as gun calls, hostage taking, barricaded persons, mentally disturbed persons, high risk arrests and public order control in situations where there is significant public disorder, lawlessness, personal injury and property damage. Charges of cause disturbance and assault police can be pretextual racial profiling charges: R. v. Roach, 2005 O.J. No. 5278 (Ont. C.J.) (Criminal Law - Causing a Disturbance); R. v. Ramsaroop, 2009 CarswellOnt 5281, 2009 ONCJ 406 (Ont. CJ.); R. v. Taylor, 2010 CarswellOnt 6584, 2010 ONCJ 396, [2010] O.J. No. 3794 (Ont. CJ.)

Selwyn was co-counsel in the world's first-ever sexual HIV transmission murder trial of Johnson Aziga in Hamilton, Ontario. See, for example, R. v. Aziga, 2008 CanLII 39222 (ON S.C.); R. v. Aziga; 2008 CarswellOnt 4300 (ON S.C.) and R. v. Aziga, 2008 CanLII 29780 (ON S.C.)

Selwyn argued on racial profiling includes: R. v. Steele, 2010 ONSC 233 (ON S.C.) and R. v. Egonu, 2007 CanLII 30475 (ON SC) - Driving while black and R. v. Bramwell-Cole [2010] O.J. No. 5838 (ON S.C.) - walking while black.

Selwyn has acted in exclusion cases at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: See, Song Dae Ri (Re) 2003 CarswellNat 4527; (2004) 36 Imm. L.R. (3d) 203; Liang (Re) 2002 CarswellNat 4719; 33 Imm. L.R. (3d) 251.

Selwyn has appeared in  Coroners' Inquest including: Coroner's Inquest into the Death of Negus Topey (May 02, 2005, Coroners' Court, Dr. K.A. Acheson) Ruling on Application for Standing; Coroner's Inquest into the Death of Dwight Haughton (Coroners' Court, Dr. Evans) Ruling on Application for Standing; Coroner's Inquest into the Death of Jeffrey Reodica(May 04, 2006, Coroners' Court, Dr. B. Porter) Ruling on Application for Standing

Selwyn also acted as co-counsel with C. Nigel Hughes for the families of three deceased persons killed during a civil demonstration in Linden, Guyana, at the Linden Commission of Inquiry. Selwyn is currently co-counsel with Brian M. Clarke representing the Guyana Trades Union Congress in the Walter Anthony Rodney Commission of Inquiry in Georgetown, Guyana.

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