Simon Says

Bringing clarity to the inner workings of our legal system

Borys Law takes habeas corpus test case to Court of Appeal

In 2020, Simon Borys and Kate Mitchell of Borys Law–a boutique law firm in Kingston, Ontario that focuses on parole and correctional law–launched a test case, on behalf of a number of inmates serving life or indeterminate sentences, in coordination with the John Howard Society of Canada (represented by Paul Quick, a staff lawyer with the Queen’s Law School Prison Law Clinic) to challenge whether the writ of habeas corpus can be used to challenge situations where the Correctional Service of Canada refuses to lower an inmate’s security level.

After initially surviving a motion to strike brought by the Attorney General (reported at 2020 ONSC 6297), the test case was dismissed (reported at 2022 ONSC 2107).

However, the case has now been appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal (C70956). The Appellants’ legal team has been joined by lawyers Adriel Weaver and Jessica Orkin from Goldblatt Partners LLP, who are acting pro bono. The John Howard Society has been granted party intervenor status (reported at 2022 ONCA 762) in the appeal. The Canadian Prison Law Association, along with the Black Legal Action Centre, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, has been granted intervenor status to support the Appellants in this important case (reported at 2023 ONCA 64). A full day hearing before the Court of Appeal is set for May 29, 2023.