A blast from the past....
October 25, 2008
http://www.freedominion.com.pa/phpBB2/v ... ?p=1247921
<center>The Trial of Athanasios Hadjis
Richard Warman vs Marc Lemire
When Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) Chairman, Athanasios Hadjis, first heard of Marc Lemire, Mr. Lemire was supposed to be just another pebble being crushed under the CHRC/Richard Warman steamroller. But that was five years ago and before anyone knew Lemire would turn out to be an immovable boulder.
Athanasios Hadjis has chaired several ‘hate crime’ hearings for Canadian Human Rights Tribunals and his rulings have contributed to the CHRT’s 100% conviction rate on Section 13 complaints. He has issued convictions and has handed down a variety of punishments to those he has convicted. These punishments included large fines to the federal government and cash awards to Richard Warman for hurt feelings and such.
Connie and I came late to the Lemire case. We might not have heard of it at all if we had not ourselves been attacked by the CHRC through an absurd complaint filed by Marie-Line Gentes (a complaint that was dropped in the face of the publicity it generated.) Shortly after the Gentes complaint was dropped, by both Gentes and the CHRC, we were hit by three SLAPP suits by former CHRC employee Richard Warman. At that point we decided to investigate our attackers and much has become public as a result.
Soon after the SLAPP suits began arriving, the human rights cases against Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn hit the news. There is a football adage that says “Defences win championships, offences sell tickets.” Steyn and Levant put on a great offensive show and they sold a lot of tickets. Many Canadian eyes were opened by their to-be-aborted cases and the public “learned much that may have lay hidden.” Although they may no longer have a dog in this fight, the battle goes on and the defence is back on the field.
There has been very little media attention paid to the Lemire case, yet it is one of the most far-reaching cases of our time. Many other cases, in these tribunals and in the real courts, are on hold pending Hadjis’ decision in the Lemire case.
When the Lemire hearings ended with closing arguments in Toronto this fall, the trial of Athanasios Hadjis began.
Being a relative newcomer to human rights commissions and tribunals, I have only had two opportunities to see Mr. Hadjis in action as a tribunal chairman, both times in the Lemire case. His rulings in a number of cases are available in the public record, but I wanted to see what I could gain by direct observation. Who is this man?
From his conviction rate alone one could conclude that he is a raving ideologue, but he gives no indication of being such when he is chairing a hearing. While I could think of a number of derogatory terms for him, based on his rulings, after seeing him in person “fool” would not number among them. Mr. Hadjis is obviously very intelligent, he seems to be a master of the Canadian Human Rights Act, and he appears to be quite aware of the huge political forces at play around this case.
He also knows when he is being manipulated or lied to. You can see the awareness in his facial expressions and body language when a CHRC member or witness lies to him, when the CHRC alters evidence, or when a CHRC employee or witness comes down with an obvious case of selective amnesia. Yet I find this troubling. With all of this going on before his eyes, why has he consistently ruled in favour of the CHRC and Richard Warman? Was doing so part of his unofficial job description? Was it because until recently no one was watching?
A lot of people are watching now and that completely changes the political landscape in which these tribunals operate. In the real world a prosecutor must decide whether he has enough evidence for a conviction before he approaches the courts and a judge must weigh whether his decisions will be overturned. The primary concern of these prosecutions and convictions is politics. Rather than weigh evidence and the quality of decisions, they need only weigh what they can get away with politically.
The Steyn article clearly violated the CHRC’s in-house “Hallmarks of Hate” and it did so in a very public way, yet the commission backed away from prosecuting him. It wasn’t for lack of evidence, in the world of the CHRC, they had a slam dunk case against him. They backed off because they couldn’t get away with it politically and that is all that matters to an organization that is entirely political in nature.
The Lemire case began in the dark and that was where it was supposed to end, but it has already left the land of obscurity. Now it is a hot potato--of interest to the public and to legal and political communities--and it will ultimately lead to a Charter challenge of Section 13, a challenge that is destined to succeed.
Athanasios Hadjis knows these things. He knows from the representation sent to the hearings from the Ministry of Justice that the Harper government wants Section 13 on the books so badly that they did a complete turnaround and read a list of reasons (including the Anne Cools post) that Hadjis could use to dismiss the lemire case due to abuse of process. He also has to know that if he does so he will stop the Charter challenge the Harper government so badly fears in its tracks. Mr. Hadjis also has to understand the freedoms and liberties that are at stake in this case. If he did not understand those issues when he first sat in the Chair, he surely does now.
The pressure on Mr. Haduis is huge and it is coming from many quarters. What will he do?
When the Lemire hearings ended the trial of Athanasios Hadjis began.
We can only await the outcome.