I don’t know John Norris, I haven’t met him at all so I can’t tell you what kind of man he is or what kind of lawyer.
But we should know a little about Norris because Justin Trudeau and his Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, have appointed John Norris to the Federal Court.
What I can tell you about John Norris is that he has defended a number of terrorists and accused terrorists. In fact he seems to seek that out. A look at his website shows he acted as Omar Khadr’s lawyer in one lawsuit against the Canadian government and acted as an intervener in two other cases effectively supporting Khadr’s position.
He acted for Suresh Sriskandarajah, a man that pled guilty to terrorism charges for helping the Tamil Tigers. Norris acted for Raed Jaser, one of the men convicted in the Via Rail plot to blow up passenger trains above the Niagara Gorge. Other notable clients include Mahmoud Jaballah, Adil Charkoui, members of the Toronto 18 and more.
None of this is illegal or immoral but it is telling in terms of where now Justice Norris’ sympathies lie. Defence lawyers that represent bank robbers and other criminals bring a certain sympathy to the court with them. Prosecutors bring a different sympathy to the bench.
We now have a judge that has shown a sympathy for folks accused of the most heinous crimes appointed to the court and I have to tell you, I don’t like it.