Focus On



Tuesday, April 07, 2020 @ 2:43 PM

Potential problems with Ontario trading freedom for security blackfingerprint

The Ontario government’s use of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act now requires that individuals identify themselves to police upon demand where a person is being charged with an offence under this Act. The reasoning behind this is to ensure that individuals are complying with emergency orders. Offences include working in non-essential jobs or failing to self-isolate if ordered during the COVID-19 panic. Failing to identify carries with it a fine of $750 to $1,000 depending on the charge. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 07, 2020 @ 1:12 PM

Exposed: What COVID-19 has taught us | Gary Joseph

The COVID-19 virus is a risk to all but specifically it targets and exposes the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. In the same way the pandemic has exposed our court system for what it is, an “elderly” system developed to service a 1970s population drowning in a media/web savvy 21st century. Our judicial and court leaders are struggling to make it work in an environment where failure is inevitable. The structure of our courts and the supports built around it are paper intensive and people intensive. They cannot adept quickly to the fast-changing environment. This is not a criticism of our judicial leaders but a sad refrain for those who long ignored the need to upgrade technology and facilities. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 07, 2020 @ 1:04 PM

SCC ruling opens door to attacks on use of sentencing ranges, starting points: defence counsel Daniel Song

Lower courts’ use of starting points for sentences is ripe for challenge at the Supreme Court of Canada, following recent comments from the top court in a landmark case on sentencing of sexual offences committed against children, suggests counsel for the intervener Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association (CTLA). ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 07, 2020 @ 11:52 AM

Alberta provincial court provides guidance on family law matters, warrants

The Alberta provincial court has issued new directions for self-represented litigants in family law matters as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 3:17 PM

Ottawa announces four judicial appointments for Ontario Superior Court

The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 6 announced four judicial appointments in the province of Ontario. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 1:51 PM

Ethical obligations for lawyers with COVID-19 | Kyla Lee

As a lawyer who is currently a presumptive positive for COVID-19, I have had to think about my ethical obligations to my clients. This includes planning in the event my condition worsens, ensuring my files are orderly and managed and maintaining adherence to quarantine obligations to protect my clients and staff from catching the virus. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 1:13 PM

New trial ordered for father in alleged sex abuse over judge’s treatment of factual error

An Ontario father will be retried for alleged sexual offences against his daughter after the Court of Appeal ruled a trial judge misapprehended evidence concerning his previous criminal record. According to the ruling in R v. W.M. 2020 ONCA 236, a trial judge originally sentenced the appellant to four years imprisonment after convicting him of sexual interference and sexual assault of his then-4-year-old daughter in 2015. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 12:12 PM

Rendering of accused by surety now done remotely at Nova Scotia court

In what is yet another step to create social distancing, Nova Scotia’s provincial court is having those no longer wanting to be sureties for accused make that request electronically rather than inside a courtroom. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 12:10 PM

Ontario Court of Appeal issuing ‘all-in-one’ release order for sureties during COVID-19

On April 5, Chief Justice George Strathy, of the Ontario Court of Appeal, released a practice direction regarding applications for bail pending appeal during the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 9:49 AM

EVIDENCE - Credibility of witnesses

Appeal by the accused from the dismissal of his appeal from conviction for sexual assault and sexual interference. The offences were allegedly committed during a bonfire party. ... [read more]