CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Remedies for denial of rights - Specific remedies - Stay of proceedings

Law360 Canada (April 28, 2023, 1:06 PM EDT) -- Appeal by the Crown from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal allowing the appeals of a judgment that dismissed Johnston and Haevischer’s applications for stays of proceedings. Following a dispute with Lal, a rival drug dealer, Johnston and Haevischer killed him along with five other people. Johnston and Haevischer were charged and found guilty of conspiracy to murder Lal and first degree murder of all six victims. Before convictions were entered, Johnston and Haevischer each made an application for a stay of proceedings alleging abuse of process and sought to introduce evidence in support of their applications. The Crown sought to have the applications summarily dismissed and requested a Vukelich hearing. The trial judge concluded the seriousness of the offences committed could not justify a stay of proceedings and, as such, an evidentiary hearing was unnecessary. She summarily dismissed the applications and convictions were entered. Johnston and Haevischer appealed. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeals, quashed the convictions, affirmed the verdicts of guilt, and remitted the applications for a stay of proceedings to the trial court. The issue before the Court was to determine the standard to be applied in deciding to summarily dismiss an application without hearing it on its merits. The Crown proposed the “no reasonable prospect of success” threshold....
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