First Truscott Lecture in Justice Set

January 21, 2014 - News Release

The influence of politics, ideology and research on Canada’s criminal justice policy is the topic of the inaugural Truscott Lecture in Justice Jan. 29 at the University of Guelph.

The speaker will be David Daubney, current chair of Penal Reform International, and a former Member of Parliament and senior Justice Canada official.

He will speak from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Richards Building, Room 2529. A reception will follow in the University Centre faculty club. Both the lecture and the reception are free and open to the public.

The lecture series is part of a justice studies initiative launched at U of G in 2009 to commemorate the struggles of Guelph resident Steven Truscott and his family.

Truscott is known across Canada for his decades-long battle to prove his innocence after the 1959 murder of his schoolmate Lynne Harper. He was wrongly convicted of the crime at age 14 and spent years in prison before his release in 1969. He was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2007.

The Truscott Initiative reflects the University’s commitment to programming and research on fundamental questions in justice and public policy studies, said Troy Riddell, a political science professor who is helping to organize the lecture series.

The goal is to improve understanding of the nation’s complex criminal justice system, and to highlight how criminal justice intersects with other policy areas and broader conceptions of justice, Riddell said. “This knowledge will hopefully then transfer into more informed discussion and action in criminal justice and related fields, thereby contributing to community well-being.”

A former federal justice department lawyer and policy adviser, Daubney was previously the Member of Parliament for Ottawa West. He chaired the Standing Committee of Justice and Solicitor General when it conducted Canada’s first-ever comprehensive study of sentencing, conditional release and federal corrections. He also chaired the United Nations Experts Group on Restorative Justice.

At Penal Reform International, he advocates for a fair and effective criminal justice system, including proportionate sentences and rehabilitation.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1