Ontario Initiates Review of Motherisk Hair Analysis
The Honourable Susan Lang to Lead Independent Review
Ontario is initiating an independent review into the Motherisk hair analysis program, with the support of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
In October 2014, the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside a conviction on the basis of differing opinions among scientific experts about a particular hair-testing method previously used by the Motherisk laboratory.
As a result, Ontario is initiating an independent review that will examine:
- The adequacy and reliability of the immunoassay biochemical hair-testing method used by Motherisk between 2005 and 2010 in child protection and criminal proceedings
- Whether a further review should be undertaken regarding specific cases, or classes of cases, in which Motherisk's hair testing was used.
It is critical that the people of Ontario trust the integrity of the justice system. The findings of this review will determine whether further actions are necessary to ensure public confidence in the province's child protection system and the operation of the courts.
The Honourable Susan Lang will lead the independent review. Her report will be submitted to the Attorney General by June 30, 2015 and will be made public.
- The Honourable Susan Lang served as a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario from 2004 until 2013. She was a judge of the Superior Court from 1989 to 2004 and Toronto Regional Senior Judge from 1996 to 1999. She was educated at Queen’s University and Osgoode Hall law school. She is a senior fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto.
“As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to ensure the public confidence in our justice system is upheld. It is important that Ontarians have confidence and trust in our health care and justice systems, and that those systems remain accountable to the people of Ontario. The Honourable Susan Lang, a retired judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, has a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and a jurist. I have no doubt that a thorough review will be conducted into this matter.”