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UofGH's Justice Studies program hosts 20 high-ranked Chinese delegates

The entire Chinese delegation poses in front of the plant wall

Twenty high-ranking Chinese delegates recently visited the University of Guelph-Humber to learn about the Canadian justice system and individual rights from the heads of UofGH’s Justice Studies program.

Program Head Dr. Gary Ellis and Assistant Program Head Dr. Glenn Hanna presented an engaging seminar about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for a delegation of 20 representatives from Jiangxi Provincial People’s Procuratorate China. That group included many highly ranked Chief Prosecutors, along with inspectors and researchers.

“I think this says that we have an impact internationally,” said Dr. Ellis. “The delegation reached out to us with very specific questions and they asked if the Justice Studies professors could help them answer these questions.

“I’m honoured that they did that.”

Dr. Ellis and Dr. Hanna provided a comprehensive overview of the Charter, which was signed into law in 1982. Their presentation helped the delegation understand the Charter’s limitations clause, the Charter’s fundamental freedoms, as well as the set of language rights that address Canada’s two official languages.

Much of the discussion focused on how the Charter protects the legal rights of people in dealing with the justice system and law enforcement, including rights against self-incrimination, the rights to an interpreter in court, and the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

With an interpreter on hand to translate the presentation into Mandarin, the delegation asked many questions about specific elements of how the Canadian justice system and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom interact and coexist.

“The session went very, very well,” Dr. Ellis said. “The questions and answers showed they were engaged and the feedback has been that this was a valuable exercise for them, for Canadian-Chinese relations, and for the University of Guelph-Humber having an international reach.”

The delegation also found the visit to campus enlightening.

“It was very helpful for us to understand the Canadian legal system and especially the exclusion of evidence,” said Deputy Procurator Shengping Xu.

“The campus is beautiful and this building is very creative and innovative.”