John Philpot is a senior criminal litigation attorney. Member of the Barreau du Québec since 1984, he has practiced Criminal Law in Montreal since 1984 and International Criminal Law since 1998.

Canadian Law

The defence in criminal law begins when the event occurs. A clear strategy from the start is often the best way to eliminate the problem or reduce its consequences.

John Philpot has conducted numerous trials in Canada before presided by a single judge or before a jury.

He can give you advice on all aspects of criminal and statutory charges.

Scope of practice in Canadian law:

  • crimes against the person
  • economic crimes
  • violations of immigration laws
  • cross-border crimes
  • murder and criminal negligence causing death
  • the importation of narcotics
  • drug trafficking
  • municipal law
  • drinking and driving
  • political causes
  • extradition
  • requests for provisional release
  • criminal appeals
  • tax fraud and related cases
  • immigration appeals; criminality
  • tax appeals

Mr. Philpot was the counsel for Mr. Gorka Perea Salazar whom Spain was trying to extradite to serve a sentence for alleged crimes committed in the Basque Country. 

He defended Miguel Angel Rodriguez Orejuela, allegedly head of the Cali cartel trafficking in narcotics, in an extradition case.

In defending an accused, the primary objective is to obtain a full acquittal. A second objective is to reduce the charges and eliminate the problems that may arise from a criminal conviction. Criminal charges can have serious consequences that affect the accused’s career, immigrant or citizen status, and travel abroad. A minor problem can have devastating effects.

Mr. Philpot has successfully appealed several sentencing cases, allowing clients to obtain the right of entry into the United States or to avoid deportation from Canada.

It is also important to avoid criminal charges. If there is a possibility of criminal charges, a person has every interest in contacting a lawyer, who may be successful in preventing charges from being laid or who would provide sound advice on whether to make a statement.

Me Philpot and his team are always available to provide the necessary attention quickly. He attaches great importance to the relationship between lawyer and client. Mutual trust and dialogue are the keys to success. The principles of the right to a fair trial and of the presumption of innocence are fundamental elements.

International Law

Mr Philpot is a pioneer of trials in international criminal law. He was appellate counsel for Mr. Jean-Paul Akayesu, the first person convicted in a genocide trial under International Law (ICTR). He was a leading player in the fundamental fight for the right to a lawyer of his choice in international criminal law. In 1998 and 1999, following a nine-day hunger strike by Mr. Akayesu and a three-day sympathy strike by 25 accused at the ICTR, the Appeals Chamber granted Mr. Akayesu the right to be represented by Me John Philpot. 

From 2002, Mr. Philpot represented Mr. Protais Zigiranyirazo, brother-in-law of the assassinated President of Rwanda, Mr. Juvénal Habyarimana. This was a political prosecution against a man who, according to the available evidence, is above suspicion, the charges being laid simply because he was an influential member of the late president’s family. Mr. Zigiranyirazo was acquitted in 2009 of all charges against him.

John Philpot acted in the Kenya case at the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Philpot has already testified as an expert in international human rights law and has organized numerous missions and conferences in the field of international law. He is a consultant to several organizations in international law issues. Indeed, international law has become an important issue in many conflicts in the 21st century.

It is important for lawyers to speak out on fundamental injustices relating to issues such as the right to a fair trial. Mr. Philpot is convinced that a significant number of defendants in international criminal law, and particularly at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, are fundamentally innocent, having been targeted by the prosecutor for political reasons.

It is imperative to take these questions to the courts as well as the before the main and alternative media.