Use of Force Expert Workshop

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Use of Force Expert Workshop


Date: June 5-8, 2018 (4 days)
Time: 08:00 - 16:00
2010 Glen Dr, Vancouver, BC  V5T 0B1
Price: $500 (CAD)

See below for additional information.

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This 4-day course includes 16 hours of specialized training in the forensic analysis of digital video of use of force incidents and 16 hours of specialized training in the role of an expert witness in use of force analysis, authoring use of force opinion reports, the process of being qualified as an expert witness for court purposes, and courtroom testimony as an expert witness. Presenters include retired members of the judiciary, practicing lawyers who utilize use of force expert opinions, the Coroners Service (BC), the Department of Justice, and court-qualified use of force experts.

This 4-day workshop will develop the knowledge, skills and report writing skills essential to the successful and professional development of a Use of Force Expert opinion, including the ability to forensically analyze a variety of video sources of a use of force incident. At the conclusion of the course the candidate will have the tools to qualify as an expert witness in the field.

Candidates for this course should be incumbent or former use of force instructors with a keen interest in furthering their education toward the goal of becoming a court-qualified use of force expert in criminal and civil matters, coroners inquests, human rights tribunals, and Police Act (BC) investigations.


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Ravi Hira Q.C.

Ravi Hira Q.C., is a partner at Hira Rowan LLP. Prior to founding Hira Rowan LLP in April 2016, Ravi was a partner at another boutique litigation firm in downtown Vancouver.
Ravi was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998. He was Crown Counsel from 1982 to 1988 and a Commissioner with the British Columbia Securities Commission from 1992 to 1994. Ravi was a Director of the British Columbia Law Institute from 1997 to 2004 and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Criminal Law and Reform and Criminal Justice Policy as well as an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association National and Provincial Council. He was appointed by the Attorney General of British Columbia and the Law Society of British Columbia to the List of Special Prosecutors from 2007 to 2015.

Ravi’s practice consists exclusively of counsel work. It includes complex commercial litigation cases, criminal defence cases, prosecutions on behalf of the Attorney General of British Columbia, and administrative law cases relating to professional discipline, political ethics, public inquiries, and other regulatory matters. Ravi has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Canada.

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David Butcher Q.C.

Mr Butcher began his career as a prosecutor with the Department of Justice in 1985, practised as an associate and then partner at a mid sized regional law firm from 1989 until 2003, and joined what is now Wilson Butcher in 2003.

While a prosecutor, he had conduct of hundreds of minor and a small number of major cases. He has defended a significant number of serious criminal offences, including murder, sexual assault and drug conspiracies. He was counsel in R. v. Stone [1999] 2 SCR 290, one of the leading cases on automatism, and R. v. Lavallee, Rackel and Heintz 2002 SCC 61, in which the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Criminal Code provisions respecting the search of law offices was unconstitutional.

He has represented hundreds of police officers facing allegations of professional or criminal misconduct and civil litigation. He is now regularly retained by police agencies in a wide range of matters before the courts and administrative tribunals, including inquests.

He has also acted as counsel for participants in a wide range of public inquiries, including the RCMP Public Complaints Commission into the policing of the APEC Conference in 1997, the BC Utilities Commission Public review of the Kemano Completion Project, the Braidwood Inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski, the Oppal Missing Women’s Inquiry and the Cohen Fraser Sockeye Inquiry.

He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010.

He has been a frequent speaker at legal and industry conferences, and for more than a decade taught the Advanced Advocacy Course at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law.

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Carol Baird Ellan is a Canadian federal politician, lawyer, and retired judge, and the former Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia. Appointed Chief Judge on July 14, 2000 at age 43, she was the second youngest chief judge in BC history and the first female chief of the BC Provincial Court.

Baird Ellan currently lives in North Vancouver with her husband Tim, with whom she practiced law and family mediation under the firm name Ellan Community Law. They both also volunteer with and serve as the Northwest Region representatives for Retrouvaille International, a marriage support charity. They have five adult children who live in the Vancouver area.

After the end of her term as Chief Judge, Baird Ellan declined to pursue the customary elevation to Supreme Court and elected to resume sitting as a judge in her community of North Vancouver. During her 7 years presiding there, she published more than 300 decisions in the criminal, small claims and family spheres.

In 2012, Baird Ellan retired from the Provincial Court bench and resumed practice as a lawyer, concentrating in family law and family mediation. She worked primarily for low income clients at nominal rates, or pro bono, assisting clients who were unable to afford the customary legal fees.

In February 2015, Baird Ellan received the nomination of the New Democratic Party of Canada in the federal riding of Burnaby North—Seymour in the 2015 federal election.

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Joel A. Johnston

Joel is a recently-retired (2013) 28-year police veteran with a background in General Patrol, Foot Patrol, Crowd Control and Traffic Enforcement. He specialized in Use of Force research, design, development & training delivery, and Emergency Response (ERT) with the Vancouver Police Department. He served from 1990 – 1998 as the Use of Force Coordinator for the VPD – with a cadre of 28 control tactics instructors, he was responsible for all officer safety, arrest & control tactics, and use of force training for the Department.

He was promoted to Sergeant in 1998 and took over as operational Squad Leader of one of the Department’s four fulltime Emergency Response Team squads. He became the Training Coordinator for ERT in 2004 and the Acting Officer-in-Charge in 2005. He was seconded to the British Columbia Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General as the Provincial Use of Force and Municipal Emergency Response Teams Coordinator from 2005 - 2011. Joel is a highly-decorated police officer, having been awarded numerous Chief Constables’ Commendations, the 20-year Exemplary Police Service Medal, the City of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Police Service Medal, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Service to Canada.

Recognized as a Use of Force Subject Matter expert witness by the Courts across Canada, Joel is a multiple-published author, presenter to numerous national and international conferences, consultant, and certified Instructor in numerous defensive tactics systems, less lethal weapons and firearms systems. He has been a member of numerous Working Groups with the US (NIJ) National Institute of Justice (Tactical Operations, Excited Delirium Syndrome, Less-Lethal Technologies, etc.). He has been a member of numerous Canadian Police Research Center (CPRC) Working Groups (Vascular Neck Restraint, Conducted Energy Weapons, Excited Delirium Syndrome, etc.) He has been a member of numerous RCMP National Working Groups (Excited Delirium Syndrome, Conducted Energy Weapons, Patrol Carbine, Incident Management Intervention Model, Subject Behaviour-Officer Response Reporting, etc.).

Joel is a founding member of the Canadian Law Enforcement Forum (CLEF) – an advisory body to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) on use of force and related matters. He is a Canadian Director of the International Law Enforcement Forum on Minimal Force Options. He is a Force Response Options Instructor-Trainer for the Province of British Columbia and was a primary consultant for the Province of British Columbia’s Advanced Security Training program and Manual. He has presented and instructed officer safety and use of force-related subject matter internationally.


Grant Fredericks is a Certified Forensic Video Analyst and a contract instructor at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. He is the owner of Forensic Video Solutions and is an instructor for the Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA). As a consultant for Major Crime and Joint Forces Operations involving video evidence, Grant has provided technical assistance for high‐profile investigations in the UK, Canada, the United States and in many other jurisdictions around the world.

Grant was the Technical Manager for a large-scale criminal investigation in 2011 involving over 5,000 hours of video evidence, directing the work of fifty forensic video analysts from the US, Canada and the UK. His work won the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) top award for Technical Advances in a Criminal Investigation. Grant is a consultant to the US Department of Justice, the IACP and the National Institute of Justice and is a co‐author of the standards document Digital Video Systems Minimum Performance Specifications for Digital In‐Car Video Recording Systems for US law enforcement agencies. Grant is a former police officer and coordinator of the Vancouver Police Forensic Video Unit in Canada.

Course Objectives:

  • Investigators will discover issues relating to the interpretation of video evidence in Use of Force cases,
  • Investigators will demonstrate a competency to accurately and reliably examine digital video evidence for the purpose of furthering a criminal investigation,
  • Investigators will learn how to accurately synchronize video sources, including proprietary digital video files,
  • Investigators will demonstrate a proficiency in conducting basic image capture processes;
  • Investigators will learn to accurately produce subclips of relevant video data from larger video files;
  • Investigators will demonstrate appropriate knowledge of digital video compression in order to accurately interpret the reliability of video evidence;
  • Investigators will test, define, and articulate the technical limitations of proprietary digital video players;
  • Investigators will demonstrate techniques to determine accurate image refresh rates for the purpose of determining timing and other issues relating to the perception of motion and force,
  • Investigators will demonstrate a proficiency in the use of both free-ware and specialized COS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) software for the purpose of producing reliable images and to write accurate investigation reports using embedded video and still images.
  • Investigators will learn expedited techniques to quickly produce reliable copies of video evidence that will be easily playable in industry standard players for disclosure and trial presentation,
  • Investigations will gain an understanding of industry standards for the admissibility of video evidence, and for the presentation of video evidence in court.

Brad Fawcett is a 28 year police veteran. He served as a fulltime use of force instructor for 16 years, both at the Vancouver Police Department and the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). Brad holds instructor certifications in a variety of force options and has researched, developed, and implemented a variety of use of force operator and instructor courses. He has presented at international use of force conferences on a variety of use of force matters and has been published several times on diverse topics including perception and recall, training, equipment, simulation-based qualifying, and inferential knowledge. Brad is a sessional instructor (ethics and professional communications) in the Law Enforcement Studies Diploma program, JIBC. He has authored expert opinions and testified as an expert in non-firearms prohibited weapons, street weapons, and weapons concealed by design, and use of force matters in all levels of court up to and including the Supreme Court (BC) and at coroners inquests throughout British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, labour relation hearings, and public inquiries.