U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Students co-sign a letter asking law prof St. Lewis to abandon her legal costs demand against co-student

Twenty three students and community members have co-signed a letter to law professor Joanne St. Lewis asking that she abandon her cost submission to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against physics graduate student Joseph Hickey:

Petition to Social Justice Prof. Joanne St. Lewis to Drop Legal Fees (link)

Hickey sought to have public and media access to the live testimony of public official Allan Rock regarding his use of public funds and student-tuition money to fund a private matter.

The claimed legal costs are for Hickey's court motion to intervene in a motion for leave to appeal a judge's decision to not hear an open court motion that requested that public attendance be allowed at the out-of-court cross-examinations of the evidence of U of O president Allan Rock and others in a "maintenance and champerty motion" in which Rock has stated that it was his decision that the university is entirely funding a private libel litigation of St. Lewis as the plaintiff.

Hickey's stated only interest was to have his say on the open court question of public and media attendance at the cross-examinations. Hickey had attended previous such cross-examinations and the Court had barred the public from a re-examination at that time.

For Hickey to have his say in court would probably have taken 15 minutes, as allowed by the judge for an intervener in this case. Instead, the St. Lewis and U of O lawyers argued during half-a-day before the judge against Hickey having his say. The judge then ruled that Hickey would not be allowed to make his statements or bring his evidence and received costs submissions from both St. Lewis and the U of O.

As background, a link to the court documents in the main action and all the court motions is HERE.


Steve E. Noble said...

This move of St. Lewis's with regard to demanding 1/3 of someone's income simply because this person is asking for transparency, for fairness, for balance, for openness within a legal procedure that is anything but these dynamics and demonizes this person's efforts as a "trouble making" - well, for me, that just puts anything she has to say, stand for or write about with regard to issues of social justice or equality into deep question.

bell hooks reminds all of us in Talking Back: “It is necessary to remember, as we think critically about domination, that we all have the capacity to act in ways that oppress, dominate, wound (whether or not that power is institutionalized). It is necessary to remember that it is first the potential oppressor within that we must resist – the potential victim within that we must rescue – otherwise we cannot hope for an end to domination, for liberation.”

I shall always hold Dr. St. Lewis's stance on social justice with suspicion if she cannot see the effect of this oppressive act upon a student's efforts to liberate and, yet, who lives in poverty....

Anonymous said...

This student who lives in poverty has acted in the face of a judicial order, advice and warnings. Costs sanctions are meant to discourage exactly the type of actions he has chosen to take. Its important for people to understand that the court does not care if you are rich or poor. If that were the case, then an impecunious person would be free to bring legal action against anyone and everyone, regardless of merit. Our system would crumble.
Mr. Hickey chose to mount an action in an area in which he had no personal knowledge--the law.
He chose to do so without seeking legal advice and against warnings from counsel to the parties in the matter that they would be seeking costs against him if he made this pointless motion. The point is that someone has to pay for his decision to waste valuable time and resources and the legal system is set up so that the loser pays.
Not only did he bring a motion that was destined to fail because it lacked any legal merit, but he brought it improperly which meant further work was required in order to satisfying him. It took 3 hours. 3 hours!! Do people even realize how much money that actually cost these lawyers and us as tax payers. It cost much, much more than the $5000.00 he will undoubtedly be ordered to pay.
On top of it all he is choosing to spam Professor St. Lewis, members of the Senate (who have nothing to do with his bogus motion) and the lawyers involved. He is committed further acts which are merely aggravating his situation.
He is on a path to become unemployable and much more poor.
The information he seeks is not available to him yet because it is part of an out of court process. It may very well become part of the public record if he chose to simply wait. He chooses not to. So let them order costs against him and let him learn a lesson.
And pray to whomever you hold dear that he does not get re-elected to the University of Ottawa's Senate. He is an obstructionist with delusions of grandeur who is destined to offer nothing but aggravation and humour to those of us who carry a little more self-control and logic in our minds.