James Lockyer C.M., “Is Canada’s Bail System Broken?” April 30, 2024

The Whiff is again privileged to hear from the eminent criminal lawyer, James Lockyer. He first spoke to us in April 2010 about “Wrongful Convictions in Canada“ and updated us again at the February 2022 Whiff@Home meeting on “Miscarriages of Justice in Canada“. As our April speaker, he will help us understand the current failings of the Canadian Bail Process, what has been done to try to fix it and discuss what he believes is necessary to protect the innocent and maintain the public’s confidence in the administration of justice.

Click here to jump to the RSVP below the speaker’s bio.

James Lockyer C.M. is a partner in the Toronto office of Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh. Mr. Lockyer obtained his LLB at the University of Nottingham in 1971 and 1974 and was called to the Bar in England as a barrister. From 1972-1973, he was an Assistant Professor of Law at McGill University; from 1974-1977, he was an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Windsor. In 1977, he was called to the Ontario Bar and began to practice criminal law. He has been a criminal lawyer for 45 years doing trial defence and appeal work. Since 1992, much of his practice has involved unravelling wrongful convictions. For over 40 years, he has given numerous special lectures, talks and speeches on criminal justice issues. Most recently, in 2021, he gave the annual Sopinka Lecture.
(formerly known as the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC)). This Canada-wide organization advocates for the wrongly convicted. In that capacity, he has been involved in several high-profile cases which he demonstrated were wrongful convictions, including those of:
  • Guy Paul Morin, First Degree Murder (Queensville, Ontario 1995)
  • David Milgaard, Non-Capital Murder (Saskatchewan 1997)
  • Clayton Johnson, First Degree Murder (Nova Scotia 1998)
  • Greg Parsons, Second Degree Murder (Newfoundland 1998)
  • Peter Frumusa, First Degree Murder (Niagara Falls 1998)
  • Gordon Folland, Sexual Assault (Hamilton 1999)
  • John Willis, Sexual Assault x 4 (Michigan 1999)
  • Kulaveerasingam Karthiresu, Second Degree Murder (Toronto 2000)
  • James Driskell, First Degree Murder (Manitoba 2005)
  • Steven Truscott, Capital Murder (Goderich, Ontario 2007)
  • William Mullins-Johnson, First Degree Murder (Sault Ste. Marie 2008)
  • Robert Baltovich, Second Degree Murder (Toronto 2008)
  • Anthony Hanemaayer, Break and Enter (Toronto 2008)
  • Erin Walsh, First Degree Murder (New Brunswick 2008)
  • Sherry Sherret-Robinson, Infanticide (Belleville 2009)
  • Kyle Unger, First Degree Murder (Manitoba 2009)
  • Jack White, Sexual Assault (Orillia 2010)
  • Romeo Phillion, Non-Capital Murder (Ottawa 2010)
  • Camille M., Manslaughter (Ottawa 2010)
  • Cheryl F., Infanticide (Barrie 2010)
  • Tammy Marquardt, Second Degree Murder (Oshawa 2011)
  • Richard Brant, Aggravated Assault (Coburg 2011)
  • Dinesh Kumar, Criminal Negligence Causing Death (Toronto 2011)
  • Leighton Hay, First Degree Murder (Toronto 2014)
  • John Salmon, Manslaughter (Woodstock 2015)
  • Maria Shepherd, Manslaughter (Brampton 2016)
  • Frank Ostrowski, First Degree Murder (Manitoba 2018)
  • O’Neil Blackett, Manslaughter (Toronto 2020)
  • Joyce Hayman, Administering a Noxious Substance (Toronto 2021)
  • Jacques Delisle, First Degree Murder (Quebec 2021)
  • Bernard John Doyle, manslaughter (Kitchener 2023)
Mr. Lockyer is working on several other wrongful conviction cases in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He has also appeared as counsel at several Public Inquiries into Wrongful Convictions, including the Guy Paul Morin Inquiry in Toronto, the Lamer Inquiry in Newfoundland into the Wrongful Convictions of Gregory Parsons, Randy Drunken and Ronald Dalton, the Driskell Inquiry in Manitoba and the Charles Smith Inquiry in Toronto. He has argued hundreds of appeals in multiple provincial appeal courts and more than 40 appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada.

In December 2018, Mr. Lockyer was made a member of the Order of Canada. In 2001, Mr. Lockyer received the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal from the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. 2005, he received the John Howard Society’s Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service. 2010, the Globe and Mail chose him as the National Builder of the Decade in Justice Issues. In the same year, Canadian Lawyer Magazine named him the second most influential lawyer in Canada. In 2012, he received the Award for Justice (Advocates Society). He has received six honorary doctorates from the Law Society of Upper Canada and five Canadian Universities.


Join fellow Whiffers on Tuesday, April 30th
for a lively discussion on Canada’s Bail System.

The reception at the RCYC begins at 6:00 pm.


To RSVP for this event, enter your first and last names as recorded in our Whiff database.