The CELOS Court Project is an effort to understand the court system from the perspective of ordinary citizens who have no legal training. Our intention is to promote a more informed discussion about the judicial system as it plays out in our neighbourhood, and see what happens. Since February 2008, our group has been following court cases that started with arrests in the neighbourhoods near Dufferin Grove. We learn about arrests in the following ways: from news releases issued by the Toronto Police Service; from media reports; from messages posted to local e-mail discussion groups; from youth in Dufferin Grove Park; and at bail court, by chance, from coming across neighbourhood residents in detention.
CELOS workers then follow these cases through court, bringing the stories back into our community (while respecting publication bans). High on our list is publishing judges' decision, which are often of far more scope and interest than media stories. We're also assembling a library of media stories about the courts.