Focus On



Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 2:13 PM

Appeal Court decision highlights plight of accused in custody, says lawyer

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision offers a stark illustration of the constitutional black hole that continues to affect remand prisoners four years after R. v. Jordan’s imposition of trial time limits, says a Toronto lawyer. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 1:47 PM

Weekend jail denied, reserve residency violates Charter. Now what? Bushplane

R. v. Turtle 2020 ONCJ 429 is another refreshing decision rendered by Justice David Gibson. It opens up the possibility of finally making intermittent sentences (weekend jail), available to on-reserve Aboriginal offenders. The case is also a win for the most vulnerable: young Aboriginal mothers otherwise facing jail in a remote Northern community. A s. 15 Charter violation was found that was not saved by s. 1. This is a logical judgment, but we are left asking where do we go from here? There are 2,267 First Nations reserves in Canada — will the Crown be flying all those serving intermittent sentences back and forth each weekend? ... [read more]

Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 6:22 AM

COMPELLING APPEARANCE, DETENTION AND RELEASE - Judicial interim release or bail - Review of

Application by the Crown for a review of an order that granted the respondent bail pending trial. The respondent was charged with two counts of first degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 3:16 PM

Superior Court has jurisdiction over head of police union’s claim against ex-chief: Appeal Court Paul Champ

Ontario’s top court has reinstated a lawsuit brought by the head of the Ottawa Police Association (OPA) against the city’s former chief of police in a decision that will be welcomed by police unions across the province, according to the successful appellant’s counsel.   ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 10:26 AM

What Jane Goodall Act could mean for animals | Victoria Shroff

In part one of this article I wrote about the mighty Canadian federal animal protection Bill S-218, put forward by Sen. Murray Sinclair and supported by the bill’s namesake, Dr. Jane Goodall. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 9:23 AM

Cure worse than disease: Virtual jury deliberations during COVID Part Two | Nik Khakhar

As we discussed in the first article in this series, central to the institution of the jury is the expectation that they form their verdict exclusively based on evidence that has been admitted at trial. While the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Pan; R v. Sawyer, 2001 SCC 42  affirmed the principle of jury secrecy — which protects the content of jury deliberations from being used as evidence to overturn a verdict — the majority also maintained that information that is extrinsic to the trial is admissible on appeal. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 6:05 AM

POWERS OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE - Warrantless searches - Residence - Plain view exception

Appeal by Stairs from his conviction for possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 01, 2020 @ 1:56 PM

Ruling on forcing a virtual hearing for not criminally responsible accused sets precedent: counsel

An Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled that a not criminally responsible (NCR) accused woman cannot be forced to attend her annual Ontario Review Board (ORB) hearing by videoconference, but it remains unclear what impact the ruling may have on other remote judicial or adjudicative proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, say lawyers. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 01, 2020 @ 8:21 AM

Cure worse than disease: Virtual jury deliberations during COVID Part One | Nik Khakhar

On Oct. 10, Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court suspended jury selection for 28 days in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspots — Toronto, Brampton and Ottawa — while allowing in-person non-jury trials with 10 people or less to continue. Despite this allowance, Justice Morawetz maintained that proceedings should be carried out remotely as much as possible. By providing the option for hearings to be held via videoconferencing technologies such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, courts can ensure that cases suffer from minimal delays despite COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings. However, Ontario courts have been reluctant to allow jury deliberations to take place online. This contrasts with some courts in the U.S., such as Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, which have overseen some of the world’s first virtual jury trials.   ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 01, 2020 @ 6:41 AM

EVIDENCE - Methods of proof - Circumstantial evidence

Ruling to determine whether R. v. M.D. applied to evidence of complainant’s sexual activity sought to be adduced by the accused. The accused was charged with three sexual services offences and uttering threats. ... [read more]