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G20 summit detentions focus of class action appeal

Two lower courts have already ruled on two lawsuits that came about out of the 2010 G20 summit. The Court of Appeal will rule as to whether the two lawsuits can be certified as class actions, something the police authorities believe should not occur.

The lawsuits deal with the mass detentions that occurred during the summit, when over 1,000 people were arrested or detained. Many were held in a makeshift detention centre in horrid conditions. Most were not charged and were released within 24 hours. The two lawsuits want damages for false imprisonment or arrest and constitutional rights violations.

The Court of Appeal heard arguments this week. The police services board wants the proceedings quashed by the Court of Appeal. The Divisional Court overturned the original ruling against the certification, saying that the mass arrests could be looked upon as "one of the hallmarks of a police state." The police board says that because the individuals did not act the same, the protesters couldn't be considered a class.

In one of the two lawsuits, it is said that belief is misguided and goes against precedent that is already well-established. In the other lawsuit, it says that it is "just not feasible" for everyone involved to sue individually. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association also believes that certification is the appropriate action.

The Division Court said, "It is important to remember that the police cannot sweep up scores of people just in the hope that one of the persons captured is a person who they believe is engaged in criminal activity."

Class action lawsuits and subsequent litigation are complex and require an experienced lawyer.

Source: Huffington Post Canada, "G20 Lawsuits: Ontario's Top Court To Decide On Class Actions," Colin Perkel, Jan. 31, 2016

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