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Welcome to Selwyn A. Pieters Law Office

Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A. (Toronto), LL.B. (Osgoode), L.E.C. (U.W.I). Lawyer & Notary Public (Ontario). Attorney-at-Law (Republic of Guyana and Republic of Trinidad and Tobago).

This law firm focuses on education law, human rights, police law, criminal law, civil litigation, administrative, constitutional and public law.

Our goal is the passionate pursuit of truth, social justice, equity and human rights through grass root community work and fearless advocacy. We achieve this goal by providing the highest quality legal services to you in an effective and efficient manner. Honesty, integrity and professionalism are our watch words. We invite you to talk with us about how we may be of service to you.

Selwyn currently practices law in downtown Toronto at Pieters Law Office and in Guyana in association with local Attorneys-at-Law

Selwyn is an experienced litigator licensed to practice law in Ontario, the Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Selwyn has litigated, researched and published in areas of Securities law, Human rights Law; Administrative Law; Civil Litigation, Critical Race Analysis, Anti-Black Racism, Racial Profiling, Equity, and Inclusion in Policing; Criminal Law.

Trial Matters
Selwyn's recent success in Court includes resisting an injunction in the Superior Court of Justice brought by the neighbours of a young Black professional in a civil action Lee et al. v. Agnelo et al., 2021 ONSC 8188. Selwyn also secured bail in the Superior Court of Justice for a Black 20 year old male who the prosecution is alleging killed a White home invader during robbery that Judge described as a "hate crime" and stated the accused has "a very strong self-defence argument" as the "evidence before me demonstrates that Mr. Roberts was the victim of a racist conspiracy and attack immediately preceding the incident in question." R. v. Roberts, 2020 ONSC 8401.
In 2021, Selwyn also successfully defended a Black teenager injured during the execution of a search warrant at his home by a Toronto Police Officer all the way to the Supreme Canada Office of the Independent Police Review Director v. Faye Stanley, et al. 2021 CanLII 4697 (S.C.C.). See also, Supreme Court won't hear police oversight case on Black family's allegations of brutality Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, January 28, 2021.
Selwyn successfully represent a Black couple at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario who alleged that they had been discriminated against by a real estate seller who was keen to sell them a house when she spoke to them over the phone, but allegedly balked when she saw them face to face and realized that they were Black: Walkes v. Reid's Heritage Homes, 2021 HRTO 251.
Selwyn was also involved in a leading case addressing the pandemic needs of the homeless population of Toronto living in park encampments on behalf of 14 applicants, each of whom have been experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic Black et al. v. City of Toronto 2020 CarswellOnt 15654, 2020 ONSC 6398, 11 M.P.L.R. (6th) 121, 152 O.R. (3d) 529, 324 A.C.W.S. (3d) 577.
Selwyn also recently concluded a murder Trial in the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto representing Connor Madison, a 22-year-old man of indigenous (aboriginal) ancestry, who is recognized as Metis. R. v. Madison, 2022 ONSC 2537; R. v. Madison, 2022 ONSC 2094; R. v. Madison, 2022 ONSC 1749; R. v. Madison, 2022 ONSC 1545 and aggravated assault R. v. Madison, 2021 CarswellOnt 5084, 171 W.C.B. (2d) 337
Selwyn is counsel in the Court of Appeal ordered alleged manslaughter retrial in Hosannah and Hosannah scheduled for five weeks in 2023.
Selwyn was co-counsel in the world's first-ever sexual HIV transmission murder trial of Johnson Aziga in Hamilton, Ontario R. v. Aziga, 2008 CanLII 39222 (ON S.C.); R. v. Aziga; 2008 CarswellOnt 4300 (ON S.C.); R. v. Aziga, 2008 CanLII 29780 (ON S.C.).
An appeal was recently heard by the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Crown has conceded that the convictions on first degree murder cannot stand. The Crown and Amicus asked the Court of Appeal to substitute a judgment of Manslaughter. The appeal decision is reserved.
Selwyn was co-counsel in McAteer, Topey, Dror-Natan v. Canada (Attorney General) 2013 CarswellOnt 13165, 290 C.R.R. (2d) 332, 20 Imm. L.R. (4th) 121, 117 O.R. (3d) 353, 2013 ONSC 5895 (ON S.C.) and Roach v. Canada (Attorney General) 2012 CarswellOnt 7799, 2012 ONSC 352 (ON S.C.). In these cases, the applicants challenged the requirement for them to swear or affirm allegiance to the Queen in order to become a Canadian citizen contending that this was a violation of their freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of expression, and equality as provided for in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Selwyn has been involved in trial level decisions involving police level involvement with Black Canadian citizens and the use and exercise of their police powers: R. v. Bramwell-Cole [2010] O.J. No. 5838; R. v. Steele, 2010 ONSC 233 (ON S.C.) and R. v. Egonu, 2007 CanLII 30475 (ON SC); Tewogbade v. Toronto Police Services Board; [2010] O.J. No. 3641, 2010 CarswellOnt 6345, 2010 ONSC 4706 (ON S.C.); Carty v. Canada (Attorney General), 2007 CarswellOnt 7846(SCJ); R. v. Agil, Chambers, Fullerton, Jimale and Brown 2011 CarswellOnt 18099 (Ont. CJ. July 14, 2011, Khawley J.); R. v. Taylor, 2010 CarswellOnt 6584, 2010 ONCJ 396, [2010] O.J. No. 3794 (Ont. CJ.); R. v. Ramsaroop, 2009 CarswellOnt 5281, 2009 ONCJ 406 (Ont. CJ.); K.F. v. Peel (Regional Municipality) Police Services Board [2008] O.J. No. 3178, 2008 ONCJ 382 (Ont. CJ.); R. v. Roach, 2005 O.J. No. 5278 (Ont. C.J.) (Criminal Law - Causing a Disturbance) ; Aiken v. Ottawa Police Services Board 2019 CarswellOnt 9212, 2019 HRTO 934 (HRTO).

Appellate Advocacy
Selwyn has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada in Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General) 2021 SCC 34 (S.C.C.); Langenfeld v. Toronto Police Services Board et al., 2020 CanLII 25159 (S.C.C.); Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, et al. v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), et al. 2015 SCC 39, [2015] S.C.J. No. 39, [2015] 2 S.C.R. 789; Attorney General of Ontario v. Michael J. Fraser on his own behalf and on behalf of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada, et al., 2011 CarswellOnt 2695, 2011 SCC 20, J.E. 2011-751, D.T.E. 2011T-294, 2011 C.L.L.C. 220-029, 331 D.L.R. (4th) 64, 415 N.R. 200, 275 O.A.C. 205, 91 C.C.E.L. (3d) 1, [2011] 2 S.C.R. 3

Selwyn has also appeared in the Ontario Court of Appeal in Stanley v. Office of the Independent Police Review Director et al., 2020 ONCA 252 (Ont. C.A.); Langenfeld v. Toronto Police Services Board et al., 2019 ONCA 716, 2019 CarswellOnt 14511, 309 A.C.W.S. (3d) 506, 55 Admin. L.R. (6th) 322, 58 C.C.L.T. (4th) 27, 437 D.L.R. (4th) 614 (Ont. C.A.); Lam v. The University of Western Ontario Board of Governors et al., 2019 CarswellOnt 3247, 2019 ONCA 185, 302 A.C.W.S. (3d) 474 (ONCA); Lam v. The University of Western Ontario Board of Governors et al., 2019 ONCA 82, 2019 CarswellOnt 1562 (ONCA); Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General) 2018 ONCA 761 (ONCA); R. v. Steele 2015 ONCA 169 (ONCA); McAteer v. Canada (Attorney General) 2014 CarswellOnt 10955, 2014 ONCA 578, 121 O.R. (3d) 1, 242 A.C.W.S. (3d) 772, 376 D.L.R. (4th) 258 (ONCA); Peel Law Association v. Pieters 2013 CarswellOnt 7881, 2013 ONCA 396, 228 A.C.W.S. (3d) 204, 116 O.R. (3d) 81, 306 O.A.C. 314, 9 C.C.E.L. (4th) 233, [2013] O.J. No. 2695 (Cronk, Juriansz and Pepall JJ.A.); Peel Law Assn. v. Pieters, 2012 CarswellOnt 8616 (Gillese, Epstein, Feldman JJ.A.); Freeman-Maloy v. Marsden 267 D.L.R. (4th) 37, 208 O.A.C. 307, 2006 CarswellOnt 1888, 79 O.R. (3d) 401, [2006] O.J. No. 1228, (2006) 146 A.C.W.S. (3d) 986 (C.A.); Bangoura v. Washington Post [2005] O.J. No. 3849, (2005) 258 D.L.R. (4th) 341, (2005) 202 O.A.C. 76, (2005) 17 C.P.C. (6th) 30, (2005) 142 A.C.W.S. (3d) 247, 2005 CarswellOnt 4343 (Ont.C.A.) (defamation - jurisdiction), [2005] O.J. No. 5428, (2005) 206 O.A.C. 325, (2005) 20 C.P.C. (6th) 178, (2005) 144 A.C.W.S. (3d) 615, 2005 CarswellOnt 7304 (costs), 1v. to S.C.C. dismissed [2005] S.C.C.A. No. 497; the Federal Court of Appeal inThe Honourable Sinclair Stevens v. The Conservative Party of Canada, [2005] F.C.J. No. 1890, 2005 FCA 383, [2006] 2 F.C.R. 315, (2005) 262 D.L.R. (4th) 532, (2005) 343 N.R. 275, 2005 CarswellNat 3774, 2005 CarswellNat 3775, (2005) 143 A.C.W.S. (3d) 1029 (Fed. C.A.) (2005-11-17) 1v. to S.C.C. dismissed [2006] S.C.C.A. No. 12

Caribbean Constitutional Law Cases engaging the Courts in Guyana.
Selwyn has acted as co-counsel in cases at all levels of the Courts in Guyana including the Supreme Court of the Judicature, Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Selwyn recently appeared before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in GYCV2022/001- The Attorney General of Guyana v Monica Thomas et al and GYCV2022/002- Bharrat Jagdeo v Monica Thomas et al In this consolidated appeal, the appellants, the Attorney General of Guyana and Mr Bharrat Jagdeo appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 21 December 2021. In this judgment, the majority held that the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to entertain an appeal from the decision of Madame Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, sitting in the High Court, dismissing Election Petition 99 of 2020 on the grounds of late service, non-service or improper service. The appellants contend that the majority erred in law and had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal; neither from statute, the Constitution nor does it have an inherent jurisdiction. The CCJ allowed the appeal and dismissed the election petition Attorney General et al v Monica Thomas et al [2022] CCJ 15 (AJ) GY

Selwyn also appeared before the Caribbean Court in the seminal human rights matter: Quincy McEwan et al. v Attorney General of Guyana , [2018] CCJ 30 (AJ) (CCJ.). As well, Selwyn was co-counsel for deceased families at the Linden Commission of Inquiry. He was counsel for the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and the People's National Congress (PNC) at the Rodney Commission of Inquiry. Selwyn represented the Guyana Prison Service and Guyana Police Force in the Commission of Inquiry into the Camp Street Prison Disturbances and Subsequent Deaths and in 2017 the Commission of Inquiry into the Presidential Assassination Attempt. Selwyn's expert evidence on Canadian Citizenship law was recently cited in application with respect to the disqualification for dual citizens from sitting in Guyana's National Assembly: Reid v Scotland, Persaud et al - Action No. 2019-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-19.

Selwyn is co-counsel in the Guyana Court of Appeal CIVIL APPEAL No. 50 of 2021 Attorney General of Guyana, Sarah Browne and Vikash Ramkissoon v. Christopher Jones & Speaker of the National Assembly. This is an appeal of the Judgment of Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George, SC, which held that Members of Parliament (MPs) cannot be elected and non-elected members at the same time. This decision was in respect to the unlawful appointment of Sarah Browne and Vikash Ramkissoon as Parliamentary Secretaries by President Irfaan Ali in violation of the Constitution. Douglas Mendes SC is leading the Attorney General team. Roysdale Forde SC is the lead lawyer for Christopher Jones.

Guyana Court of Appeal: COA-CA-66-2021 (88/2020): Claudette Thorne & Heston Raymond Bostwick v. Keith Lowenfield et al - this is an election petition appeal of the Judgment of Roxane George, Chief Justice (ag). Douglas Mendes SC is leading the Attorney General team. Roysdale Forde, S.C., Mayo Robertson and Selwyn Pieters appears for the Petitioners/Appellants.

PSC and Slowe v. The Secretary of the Police Service Commission et al The Full Court denied Leave to Appeal to the Court of Appeal in the Police Service Commission matter: Attorney General et al vs The Police Service Commission 2022 HC DEM CIV FCA 18. This case being heard before the Honourable Mr. Justice Gino Persaud involves the unconstitutional suspension of the Chairman Paul Slowe and Commissioners by His Excellency Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the failure to government of Guyana to recognize the promotion of 132 senior police officers from Inspector to Assistant Commissioner made by the said Commission. This case was adjourned to September 20, 2022 to allow the parties to study Aubrey Norton v. Attorney General et al No. 2022-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-902 and its application to this case. This case is scheduled for oral arguments on a preliminary motion to strike the application.
Aubrey Norton v. Attorney General et al No. 2022-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-902, the issues here revolves around the appointment of Pastor Patrick Findlay as Chair of the Police Service Commission and the appointment of the Integrity Commission without meaningful consultations with the Leader of the Official Opposition Aubrey Norton and whether the Police Service Commission was properly constituted. An added issue was the application of the de facto doctrine. The Chief Justice ruled that the appointment of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the members of the Integrity Commission by the Executive President was Constitutional. The Police Service Commission is not properly constituted the Chief Justice found. She applied the de facto doctrine to protect all decisions made by the Commission inclusive of promotions. Appeals were filed by both parties in the Guyana Court of Appeal.

Christopher Jones v. Attorney General and Clifton Hicken 2022-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-705 - The Chief Justice of Guyana heard arguments on whether the president engaged in an overreach in violation of 211 of the Constitution when he appointed Clifton Hicken as acting Commissioner of Police using the Doctrine of Necessity. On the application of the doctrine of necessity, she held that "....while the necessity in this instance was not spawned out of a national crisis such as a coup as evidenced in Mitchell and similar cases, this is a case of a necessity not to cure an illegality but to ensure that the unexpected lacuna that resulted in an impossibility to comply with art 211 did not result in a situation that would have left the Guyana Police Force, and therefore the nation, without a Commissioner." An appeals was filed in the Guyana Court of Appeal.

Tabitha Sarabo-Halley -vs- The Attorney General of Guyana 2022-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-705 before The Honourable Madam Justice Damone Younge - this matter deals with the suspension of 8 APNU/AFC Members of Parliament. The Privilege Report regarding Opposition APNU/AFC MPs Chief Whip Christopher Jones, Ganesh Mahipaul, Sherod Duncan, Natasha Singh-Lewis, Annette Ferguson, Vinceroy Jordan, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and Maureen Philadelphia was adopted by the House on August 21, 2022. This case raises significant issues of constitutional law and policy, administrative law and matters of public importance particularly where, as here, quarter of the Opposition Bench has been suspended leaving over 60,000 Guyanese voters without their representatives in the National Assembly of this Court does not intervene. Further, there are individual, collective and public interest consequences of the decision of the National Assembly. Oral arguments were heard on several preliminary matters and judgment will be rendered on December 08, 2022.

2022-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-469 Chris Jones and Norris Witter v. Attorney General of Guyana et al. This case concerns a challenge to the Natural Resource Fund Act. The trial is scheduled to continue December 29-30, 2022.

Vinceroy Jordan v. Attorney General 2022-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA- this is a challenge President Mohamed Irfaan Ali's failure to act on the written consultation with the Opposition Leader on making permanent the appointments of Chancellor and Chief Justice. This matter is before The Honourable Madam Justice Damone Younge. This matter is scheduled to continue January 11, 2023..

Selwyn has been appointed as one of ten Ontario lawyer Presiding Inquest Officers. The appointment comes on the heels of a legislative change to the Coroners Act that allows a lawyer to preside at a Coroners Inquest.

Selwyn currently sit on several Subject Matter Expert Technical Table (SMETT) established by the Solicitor General to provide technical advice on the important work that is needed to bring Ontario's Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 (CSPA) into force.

Selwyn has guest lectured at Universities the across Canada including McGill, Dalhousie, University of Windsor, University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, Ryerson University and George Brown College on law enforcement and criminal law issues.

Selwyn is a Vice-President at the Toronto Centre of Learning and Development

Selwyn has appeared in numerous media including print, television, online, radio on law enforcement and criminal justice issues.

Selwyn A. Pieters - Barrister & Solicitor; 2022 All rights reserved.