Bruce Clark: CBC Interview, Sep 12/95


CBC TV Newsworld, Tuesday September 12 / 95, 10:15 AM PST

- transcribed by Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty

[SISIS note: The following mainstream interview is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. Click here for transcripts of the hearing and decision.]

Dr. Bruce Clark sought an injunction to prevent RCMP from further violence at Gustafsen Lake, pending a hearing on the issue of jurisdiction in lands beyond the treaty frontier. Canadian Chief Justice Antonio Lamer denied both applications.

CBC: Mr. Clark, exactly what was it you wanted the Supreme Court of Canada to do?

Clark: I wanted the Supreme Court of Canada to look at the existing constitutional law that prima facie precludes its jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of all the non-native courts in the unsurrendered Indian Territories - that law at the same time as it precludes the courts jurisdiction renders the assumption of the courts' jurisdiction treasonable, fraudulent and arguably complicitous in genocide.

CBC: Chief Justice Antonio Lamer said that he has never heard anything so preposterous and said that you were a disgrace to the bar. Are you surprised by his comments?

Clark: I'm dismayed by his comments but I'm not surprised by it - it takes the measure of the man. What he ought to have done as the senior judge in Canada was to look at the legislative words that I was putting before him and to say a mistake has been made here or here or here. The reason he didn't do that is because he can't do that. He can't do that and he's caught in a criminal activity. And so he blusters, and that's what you've just recorded.

CBC: Part of the reasoning as I understand it is that the Supreme Court wondered if you were in the right building in the first place - perhaps you should have been in the Supreme Court of BC?

Clark: Well that's absolute chicanery. It's complete nonsense. On July the sixth I brought a whole raft of cases from the Supreme Court of BC - raising the identical point of law - brought that raft to the Supreme Court of Canada - and then the Chief Justice Lamer held that the issue itself was not important, at least not of sufficient importance to occupy the court's time. Now to say that the clients should go back to the Supreme Court of BC level is just chicanery - legal trickery.

CBC: If this is essentially what you expected from this court, what was the point in taking up your time and the court's time with this?

Clark: Well in order to approach the appropriate international penal tribunal to apprehend the Canadian judges' complicity in genocide it is necessary to exhaust remedies in the domestic legal system. And I think if you were to take the time to look at the court record that has been compiled you will find that every stone that could be turned over has been turned over to persuade the domestic judges to look at the law. Invariably they simply refuse to look at the law.

CBC: So having turned over all the legal stones, as you put it, in this country then does that prepare you for the next move and if so what is it?

Clark: Well the next move is to proceed under articles 2a and b, 3e, 4, and 6 of the Covenant for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948. That particular convention to which Canada has attorned by its signature establishes the point in law that there is no-one in the society, even judges, who is exempt from the rules against genocide. In my view when one carefully and dispassionately looks at the history of this country the case is not difficult to make in terms of that particular legal instrument.

CBC: I would suggest that a lot of people in this country, including our political leaders, the RCMP certainly at Gustafsen Lake, would argue about the genocide aspect and suggest to you and the RCMP has said that what we're dealing with are criminals with a criminal agenda.

Clark: Well that is the issue and I agree they may wish to argue that. My only point and my clients' only point is let's argue that in accordance with the rule of law, which means we both put our arguments before an independent and impartial third party tribunal. It may be the RCMP and Chief Justice Lamer are correct. I don't think they are; if they were correct they would come forward with some legislative words that refute the legislative words I have put on the table. But they're not able to do that.

CBC: Mr. Clark, finally what we have here is a standoff that continues - shots continue to be fired. We saw more evidence of that yesterday. On a practical level is there anything that you can do to help resolve this and if you can extricate your clients out of this situation?

Clark: My clients' instructions to me when last I was in the camp...Their instructions to me basically were, 'who's putting the wool over your eyes Clark - the Supreme Court of Canada - they're the crooks, they're the criminals. They're not going to do anything on the 12th. You get to an outside court which will objectively look at it.' And my clients' instructions turned out to have been prophetically wise. They are now under circumstances where they may well be murdered over the next period of time and they have indicated that they're prepared to die for their principles. And I haven't received any change in my instructions which would authorize me to cease doing what I'm doing, which is again to try and get to this outside tribunal.

CBC: Lawyers generally advise their clients - do you have any advice for your clients then?

Clark: Yes, my advice to them is that they are in the right. That when an independent and impartial tribunal looks at the words of the constitution, there is no question. Until there's a constitutional amendment those people at Gustafsen Lake are in the right - the police are in the wrong. That's simply what the law says.

CBC: All right Bruce Clark that's our time. Thank you for this.

Clark: Thank you.

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