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Sector 6 of Justice behind the Walls takes a hard look at Remedies, an issue at the core of human rights protection. Prison litigation has a number of limitations: the expense of lawsuits, the limited availability of legal aid and the high thresholds for judicial review, which accord prison administrators the right to be wrong. For this reason, the effectiveness of two non-judicial remedies created in the 1970s -- the Correctional Service’s internal grievance process and the Office of the Correctional Investigator (CI), the federal prison ombudsman -- assume particular significance. Since the CSC has been largely unresponsive to the CI's recommendations, the Correctional Investigator has recently recommended the establishment of an administrative tribunal that would have jurisdiction to enforce the CSC’s compliance with legislation and to provide remedies in cases where necessary. Madam Justice Arbour’s Report also found fault with the CSC’s internal grievance system and the Service’s lack of responsiveness to the Correctional Investigator. She recommended that the courts develop a new remedy to respond to those cases in which there had been illegalities, gross mismanagement or unfairness in the administration of a sentence. To close Sector 6, I review these proposals in the context of my own recommendations for the expansion of independent adjudicationto the areas of administrative segregation and involuntary transfers. The full panoply of the reform agenda to bring justice behind the walls, I suggest, is neither a lawyer’s pipe dream nor need it be a correctional administrator’s nightmare.

In December 1998, at various places across Canada and other parts of the world, quiet celebrations marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the celebration sites was the National Headquarters of the Correctional Service of Canada. That week I was in Ottawa preparing for a case before the Supreme Court, in which I would argue that B.C. prisoners have a right, under the legal aid scheme, to be represented by a lawyer at disciplinary hearings which could end in their solitary confinement. The events at CSC National Headquarters celebrated the passage into Canadian domestic law of international human rights standards. The arguments soon to come before the Supreme Court of Canada were about making those rights a reality. At the conclusion of Justice behind the Walls, I offer my report card on how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in living up to the ideals of the Universal Declaration.

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