2016 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist

Christie Blatchford  Life Sentence: Stories from Four Decades of Court Reporting – or, How I Fell Out of Live with the Canadian Justice System

Christie Blatchford
Life Sentence: Stories from Four Decades of Court Reporting – or, How I Fell Out of Love with the Canadian Justice System (Especially Judges)
Doubleday Canada

Christie Blatchford

Jury Citation

In a career spanning four decades, Christie Blatchford has become the supreme doyenne of Canada’s court reporters. With Life Sentence she gathers her long experience as a civilian infiltrator of the justice system, offering an unrelenting critique of a cloistered branch of government far less often queried than the executive and the legislature. The power of Life Sentence lies not only in its questioning, at times incredulous tone, but in the countless specific examples of the failings of our criminal law apparatus.

About the Book

Christie Blatchford asks the hard questions about judges playing with the truth through editing of criminal records, whitewashing of criminal records, and pre-trial rulings that kick out evidence the jury can't hear. She discusses bad or troubled judges, how and why they get picked, and what can be done about them. It was at the recent Mike Duffy trial she had the epiphany: That judges are the new senators, unelected, unaccountable and overly entitled. Yet unlike senators, they continue to get away with it because any questioning by government or its agents is deemed an intrusion onto judicial independence.

About the Author

Christie Blatchford was born in Quebec and studied journalism at Ryerson University. She began her career in 1972 at The Globe and Mail and has since worked at the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, and the National Post. Blatchford won a National Newspaper Award in 1999 for her column writing and a 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for her book Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army. She lives in Toronto.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


June 20 for books published between Jan 1 and June 19, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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