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Bad Judgment: The Myths of First Nations Equality and Judicial Independence in Canada
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Bad Judgment: The Myths of First Nations Equality and Judicial Independence in Canada

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  150 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Judge John Reilly, now retired, was the youngest judge ever appointed to the Provincial Court of Alberta. For most of his 33 years on the bench he was the circuit judge for the Stoney Indian Reserve at Morley, Alberta.During his career he became interested in aboriginal justice and saw the failure of the "white" legal system to do justice for aboriginal people, the harm ca ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published November 14th 2014 by Rocky Mountain Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Start your review of Bad Judgment: The Myths of First Nations Equality and Judicial Independence in Canada
Tbh, I doubt that there's a single good book that employs the 'white man selflessly seeking justice for others' narrative. But if so, it's definitely not this one. ("I think that my name, John, is appropriate. I often feel like John the Baptist - a voice crying in the wilderness.")

Firstly, it doesn't explain the legal argument Reilly makes wrt 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code. Really, its exploration of how Canadian law has failed & victimized FN people and communities is pretty cursory. Reilly spe
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, let me explain my rating. I would say this is not the most well written book I have ever read. I would say it should be considered more like a cross between a judge's rulings on a court decision, a literature review and an op-ed. Based strictly on writing style, I would give it a 2 out of 5. Based on value and importance of the content (which in my opinion is not degraded by the writing style), I would give it a 5 out of 5. I will split the difference and give it a 3.5 out of 5, but rou ...more
Linda Brown
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some definite repetitiveness but overall informative of conditions at Morley a d the lack of support or willingness of government to investigate the suggested corruption of the leadership and ways to improve the transparency to prevent corruption and truly help the people.
Albertan Author! Canadian Publisher!
What is the purpose of the justice system? Is it retribution? Deterrence? Reparations? Rehabilitation? If it is all of these, are they equally weighted or are some more important than others? What do we hope to achieve with the way our justice system is currently configured? Would you be willing to sacrifice punishment and retribution if it was unequivocally proven that rehabilitation was more effective in decreasing crime, and creating and maintaining a just,
Dinah Might
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty readable. Glad I read it. Would recommend.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book that all Canadians should read.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In terms of expanding my knowledge of unconscionable treatment of our First Nations and the repercussions right up to present day this was this most eye opening book I've read. Highly recommend. ...more
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has mixed reviews. I believe the book achieves its overt and intended purpose, which is raising awareness to the societal conditions of Canadian reserves, the corruption by some elected Chiefs, the ways in which the Criminal Justice System does not come close to achieving "justice" for Indigenous peoples... and ultimately how the legacies of colonialism create and sustain the above mentioned phenomena.

As for people commenting that Reilly wrote this book to make himself "look good"...
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Early in his career, John Reilly was the judge who had the primary jurisdiction over the Stoney Indian Reserve at Morley, Alberta just west of Calgary. After many years of simply applying the law without question, he made a promise in 1996 to 'make my court accessible, understandable and effective for the Stoney people". To do this he had to learn as much as he could about them and in doing so he became aware of the 'frightening dysfunction that plagues this reserve and is often typical of reser ...more
Dwayne Clayden
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy Crap! I had no idea of the conditions on the Stoney First Nation only 30 minutes from where I live. It appears that Judge John Reilly did everything in his power-and some outside his power-to bring attention and support to the community at Morley. What is equally clear is the the governments-Provincial and Federal-regardless of which party was in power-have ignored the crisis in all our First Nations. It is clear that the Federal government is more concerned about conditions in third world ...more
Wowza. Brave battle, brave man. This guy got some bad press awhile back for makeing a poor choice for an example when interviewed on the radio. Now having read the book, I understand what he was trying to say. I believe this book would make alot of people change their take on a few things (ie. how they "see" aboriginal people) and that there is a "solution" to the "problem", while being multi-layered, is infact, do-able. We're just missing the desire because it will be hard and before that even, ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't a big fan of the writing style (often repetitive, sometimes awkward with the many segments of legislation worked in), but I am nevertheless very glad to have read this book. I'm embarrassed to say how little I knew about a community that's only 30 minutes away. I think many Canadians (myself included) are dimly aware of the appalling conditions on reserves, and are troubled by them, but really have no idea what can be done. John Reilly offers a very insightful perspective and some caref ...more
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent read for anyone involved with First Nations, Aboriginal, or Indian people especially in a legal setting. Judge Reilly wrestles with the impact of black letter law on a community which fundamentally experiences the law as a foreign concept as structured. The writing is stark, personal and comes from first hand observation of a community struggling with the impact of colonialism.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting to look at the aboriginal justice and political systems from a sociological perspective where more support is needed. I am not a stranger to witnessing political corruption and helplessness in my own community. It was very heart-warming to know that there is someone who cares and who could push those boundaries in trying to make changes for the betterment of aboriginal people. Interesting read.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Judge Reilly's first book "Bad Medicine" and thought this would be a good follow up on the judicial side of story. This book focused more on Judge Reilly's own personal judicial matters with the Chief Judge's office and a little less on the aboriginal side of the story. The context of the book was good, and luckily I am quite familiar with the Canadian legal process - if you have little understanding of the judicial process, this might be a little confusing and dry. ...more
Debi Robertson
I felt well informed by this book. I did not always agree with his solutions but I certainly saw the problems in a different light. A little bit of 'I' trouble but after all it is about his work with Native peoples. Certainly worth the read. ...more
Horrific story knowing that this is happening in Canadian reserves (still). My heart goes out to those who suffer and I'm quite proud of Judge Reilly for stepping up at the risk of his career and health to bring this to the general publics attention.
Susan Gerrior
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in learning about this reserve, it was informative without a lot of judge jargon. Biased now and again but you can tell this judge has a passion for helping these people. I will be reading his next book.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would love it if everyone read this book as it gives some very important insights into Indigenous people and the justice system in Canada. It examines important social questions regarding First Nations people, colonization, Canadian society and government.
Astute analysis of a complexand difficult situation. Empathetic understanding, well articulated.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law, non-fiction
Really interesting, but it's incredible Reilly is still allowed to keep his place on the bench. "Ignorance is an essential element of objectivity..." etc. ...more
Jeremy Shirt
Thought it very informative.
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