The Lawyer's Daily is now Law360 Canada. Click here to learn more.

Supreme Court of Canada


Friday, May 05, 2023 @ 11:28 AM

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Trial within a reasonable time - Exceptional circumstances - Stay of proceedings

Appeal by Hanan from a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal affirming his convictions for manslaughter, discharging a firearm with intent to wound and possession of a restricted firearm without a license. On December 24, 2015, Hanan was charged following the shooting of two individuals. The day before the start of the trial on November 5, 2018, the Crown advised it had encountered significant issues which could delay the start of the trial. ... [read more]

Friday, April 28, 2023 @ 1:06 PM

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

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. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 @ 12:31 PM

Appeal decision addresses, dismisses role of DNA transference DNA

There was a time when a criminal forensic investigation relied on little more than analysis of fingerprints or blood types. Then came our reliance on DNA to prove or disprove theories of criminal conduct. Crime-scene DNA testing began in the 1980s, when forensic investigators used samples of blood or semen to produce DNA profiles. But in 1997,an article in Nature concluded that secondary DNA transfer was possible. Early studies didn’t always take into account that DNA might be transferred from one object to another. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 25, 2023 @ 8:55 AM

Ontario Court of Appeal decision affirms identification of accused police lineup

There is no doubt that a man named “Jordan” shot another man, Sean Smith, in a rooming house in Peterborough in March 2017. According to a news report published in the Peterborough Examiner at the time the matter went to trial, Smith was in town selling drugs. ... [read more]

Friday, April 21, 2023 @ 11:15 AM

Appeal Court decision proves why inmates might prefer federal over provincial jail time Fences

What constitutes a harsh sentence? The majority of a three-judge panel of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal allowed a Crown appeal where a provincial court judge imposed a sentence under two years to be served in a provincial reformatory (R. v. Jimmy 2023 SKCA 28). Instead, the majority held that justice was served by imposing a federal penitentiary term. On first glance it appears that Sterling Jimmy lost. However, it can be argued he got the better of the deal. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 20, 2023 @ 8:15 AM

Appeal Court illustrates online dating dangers Broken Screen

The traditional concept of criminal law posits that there are two parties: a victim and a perpetrator. Police catch the wrongdoer; the arrest and conviction follow. The offender serves out a sentence imposed by the court and social order is restored. Our trial and appeal courts work under this paradigm. The problem is that it’s a fiction. Sometimes the distinction between victim and offender is blurry. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 @ 1:53 PM

Automatism does not always prove lack of mens rea, B.C. Court of Appeal finds Smokehead

Once again, an appellate court has determined that the outrage vented after the Supreme Court of Canada decided R. v. Brown 2022 SCC 18, was uncalled for. It continues to be the case that the floodgates for an automatism defence to murder are not swung open when an accused claims lack of mens rea due to self-induced intoxication. ... [read more]

Monday, April 17, 2023 @ 2:43 PM

Appeal Court decision rests on jury’s view of criminal record Shhhhhh.jpg

The seminal Russian theatre director Konstantin Stanislavsky said, “Keep in mind a person says only ten per cent of what lies in his head. Ninety per cent remains unspoken.” While theatre audiences may revel in discerning subtext, appellate court judges are less likely to comprehend what takes place in a jurors’ minds by simply reviewing what the trial judge instructed a jury to perform in the charge at the trial’s conclusion. ... [read more]

Friday, April 14, 2023 @ 1:35 PM

DIVISION OF POWERS - Provincial jurisdiction - Determination of jurisdiction

Appeal by Murray-Hall from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal that set aside Superior Court judgment and declared ss. 5 and 10 of the Cannabis Regulation Act constitutionally valid and operative. The federal Parliament passed legislation relating to cannabis. Following this, provinces and territories passed their own legislation. Murray-Hall challenged the constitutional validity of ss. 5 and 10 of the Cannabis Regulation Act (Act) enacted by Quebec which completely prohibited any possession of cannabis plants and the cultivation of cannabis for personal purposes in a dwelling-house. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2023 @ 12:57 PM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Roadside screening test - Breathalyzer or blood sample demand - Failing or refusing to provide breath or blood sample

Appeal by the Crown from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal that set aside a judgment of the Quebec Superior Court and overturned a guilty verdict. Constables received a call from trail patrollers informing them that an individual, Breault, was driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) while intoxicated. They were informed the driver was about to leave the area on foot. On the scene, Breault stated he had one beer but had not been driving. ... [read more]