In Canada, when an individual is convicted of a criminal offence1, they obtain a criminal record, which is retained for the remainder of their life. For individuals who have successfully completed their sentences, the continued existence of a criminal record can present challenges to obtaining employment, traveling, and/or reintegrating into society. Fortunately, some convicted persons are eligible to apply for a records suspension, which effectively removes their criminal record.
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The emergence of the global coronavirus (COVID) pandemic has created an atmosphere of uncertainty and ambivalence about the future. For many Ontarians, COVID has forced them to turn their minds to estate planning for the first time, and has prompted questions about the need for a Will, how to make one, and how assets and gifts can be properly conveyed. In Ontario, Wills and the law of succession are covered under the Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA). This Act sets out the specific requirements to which testamentary documents must conform in order to be valid. Where a testamentary document does not meet the requirements under the SLRA, it can cause devastating consequences for your loved ones after your death.
The topic of restraining orders and how they are obtained is a largely complex legal subject. While many Canadians believe restraining orders to be straightforward and universally available, the truth of the matter is quite different. In Ontario, there are two forms of restraintrelated relief that can be sought by an individual: the family law restraining order and the criminal peace bond. As there are very different requirements and processes for obtaining relief under each process, it is vital that the Applicant understand when each process is available, what the process entails, and the implications of such relief.
Often times when we think about the intersections of mental health and the law, we think about how individuals with mental health concerns interact with the Criminal Justice System. In reality, the interaction between mental health and the law extends beyond the criminal sphere to govern committals of vulnerable persons to mental health facilities.
Going through a separation or a divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining process, especially if children are involved. In family law, custody and access are commonly litigated issues. Custody is the right to make decisions on behalf of a child, and to have care and control of the child. Access is the right to communicate and spend time with the child and may include the right to obtain information about a child.
For the majority of Canadians, incapacity planning, either for ourselves or our loved ones, is often a subject that we like to avoid thinking about. However, the unfortunate ramifications of the absence of forethought is that we can eventually find ourselves in critical situations when our loved ones can no longer make their own decisions. Alternatively, even where there are Powers of Attorney in place, disputes or issues can arise which render these documents problematic. In both of these situations where we are faced with needing to take care of an incapacitated individual, often times a guardian needs to be appointed.