The province has named Murray Segal to review the actions of police and the Public Prosecution Service in the Rehtaeh Parsons case.
Mr. Segal has more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer, consultant, mediator and advisor to governments.
He is the former deputy attorney general of Ontario and the former chief prosecutor of Ontario.
Minister of Justice Ross Landry announced in April that a review of the initial police investigation would begin as soon as the criminal investigation was completed. On Aug. 8, the RCMP and Halifax Regional Police charged two men relating to child pornography.
“This has been a long and painful process for Rehtaeh’s family and they remain in my thoughts today,” said Mr. Landry. “We are committed to reviewing everything that led up to this tragic death, including the role of police and the prosecution service. We aren’t leaving any stone unturned.”
The review will consider the impact of technology on young people, their families, their interaction with the justice system and police investigations. It will focus on the police and Public Prosecution Services’ handling of the Parsons case and related policies and procedures, and make recommendations for improvements to the justice system.
“This is a tragic case that has captured the hearts and minds of Nova Scotians and Canadians,” said Mr. Segal. “I am committed to conducting a thorough review that will support on-going efforts to address this important issue.”
The review is expected to take about six months. Mr. Segal will provide a final report and recommendations to Mr. Landry and Marilyn More, Minister for the Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying.
“The province continues to work with Nova Scotians on many fronts on how to better protect our young people from cyberbullies, to prevent sexual violence and provide more help for survivors,” said Ms. More. “I want Nova Scotians to know that the province is committed to acting on recommendations from this and all reviews to make Nova Scotia a safer place for families.”
Last week, some of the toughest cyberbullying legislation in Canada came into effect in Nova Scotia. Cyberbullies, or their parents, can be sued, victims can seek restraining orders, and principals have clear authority to act on cyberbullying that happens off school grounds.
Premier Darrell Dexter led discussions on actions to address cyberbullying at Council of the Federation meetings in July. The premiers acknowledged his national leadership and endorsed initiatives he brought to the table such as strengthening the criminal code to make distributing intimate images without consent a crime.
The full terms of reference for the review are available at www.gov.ns.ca/just/publications/docs/parsons_TOR.pdf .