TS'PETEN DEFENCE COMMITTEE
174-1472 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, Salish Territory, V5L 3X9
Phone: (604) 322-7934, Fax: (604) 323-0224
March 11, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VANCOUVER, Salish Territory -- Native rights lawyer Dr. Bruce Clark's appeal to Judge Nick Friesen's conviction of him of contempt in the face of the court is scheduled to occur in the British Columbia Law Courts, 800 Smithe Street in Vancouver at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday March 11, 1997.
Dr. Clark was sentenced to three months incarceration as a deterrent for him to cease raising his Native client's point of law, that being Newcomer courts have no jurisdiction on un-surrendered Native territories according to natural law, international law, and Canada's own constitutional law.
The key point on which Dr. Clark is basing his appeal of conviction and sentence is that Judge Nick Friesen made certain errors in law in his judgement of February 21, 1997. When Dr. Clark attempted to raise these points, Judge Friesen's response was "...l don't want to get into a discussion of what the law is... If you can find errors in them that won't be the first time.... if I've made a mistake I'd just as soon let you have your remedy on an appeal..."
The errors that Dr. Clark was referring to were:
1) He was not given a proper trial in that the Judge was a party to the action and therefore not impartial. (A trial before an impartial Judge is now required before such conviction.)Margaret Clark, Dr. Clark's wife and legal assistant of twenty years, was informed by the B.C. Court of Appeals yesterday that Dr. Clark's motions on Judge Friesen's errors in law will not be allowed in his appeal.
2) He was not given the opportunity to present a defence or even enter a plea during the "trial."
3) The case upon which the judge was relying for his decision (Regina vs Williams) was overruled by the Supreme Court of Canada on September 12, 1995.
According to Margaret Clark, the decision is extraordinary. "It's absurd but shows once again, how far the legal establishment will go in suppressing Dr. Clark's client's points of law. If we leave the appeal trial without more time added to his sentence, I'll consider us fortunate," said Mrs. Clark.
Mrs. Clark, who has been preparing Dr. Clark's case with his legal counsel, Manuel Azevedo, will be attending the appeal.
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For More Information:
Manuel Azevedo, phone: (604) 687-0231, fax: (604) 687-0241
Margaret Clark, c/o phone: (604) 687-0231, fax: (604) 687-0241
Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty website: