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Conviction tossed over faulty jury charge

Thursday, July 07, 2016 @ 8:00 PM | By Michael Benedict

While it is rare to order a new trial because of a judge’s faulty jury instructions, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal did so recently despite the fact the defence raised no objections to the charge and was consulted about it beforehand.

“This is a significant judgment because trial judges have a large degree of discretion in their instructions, and the courts have recognized that jury charges need not be perfect,” says Nikos Harris, Allard School of Law professor at the University of British Columbia. “It...