Focus On



Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 4:41 PM

Ontario Superior Court of Justice unveils first phase of courtroom reopening

Starting July 6, Ontario will resume in-person proceedings at 56 Superior Court of Justice courtrooms in the first phase of its provincewide reopening. The specific court locations are detailed in a June 25 Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused, Media and Members of the Public. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 11:17 AM

Licence demerit system: Case in points coplight

Demerit points were introduced in Ontario in 1994 with O.Reg. 339/94 and O.Reg. 340/94. While people often speak of “losing points” it is actually an accumulation of points that occurs. Points accrue based largely on the perceived seriousness of the offence. For example failing to remain at an accident or failing to stop when directed by police carries seven points; careless driving and stunt driving ring in at six; most issues with signage carry two or three points; and variable offences like speeding vary in the points depending on the severity of the offence. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 10:32 AM

DEFENCES - Automatism - Intoxication

Appeal by the accused Sullivan and Chan from convictions. Chan, who became intoxicated after consuming magic mushrooms, killed his father and grievously injured his father’s partner. Sullivan, who became intoxicated after consuming a heavy dose of a prescription drug in a suicide attempt, repeatedly stabbed his elderly mother. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 8:44 AM

In defence of civil jury trials | Sam Goldstein

Attorney General Doug Downey floated legislative amendments recently that would eliminate some or all civil jury trials in Ontario. Eliminating jury trials is seen as a partial solution to the problem of court backlog exacerbated by the pandemic. The AG has said that the move is part of a broader effort to modernize this province’s justice system. Ontario is one of the few provinces that still allows civil jury trials for most cases. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 12:47 PM

Caution urged before releasing prisoners with dementia Elderinhandcuffs

Seven years ago, a B.C. judge sentenced a 63-year-old man with dementia to jail because there was no suitable place for him to live in the community (R. v. McPherson [2013] B.C.J. No. 2127). He required housing in a secure facility capable of handling dementia patients who posed a risk for violence and other inappropriate conduct, but at the time, such a placement was unavailable. Jail was the only alternative. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 5:35 AM

EVIDENCE - Admissibility - Hearsay rule - Exceptions

Appeal by the Crown from the respondent’s acquittal on charges of robbery, sexual assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats and unlawful confinement. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 4:40 PM

Nova Scotia courts release recovery plan

The Nova Scotia Judiciary has released a “living” recovery plan outlining safety strategies and protocols for its ongoing expansion of court services — including in-person hearings — during the COVID-19 health crisis. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 3:31 PM

Trudeau to help law students find internships, but stays firm on Meng Justin_Trudeau_sm

Extended opportunities for out-of-work students — including those studying law — and stronger language on why Canada cannot give in to Chinese demands to release Meng Wanzhou were featured in Prime Minister Justice Trudeau’s latest address to the nation. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 12:33 PM

Ottawa appoints judge to B.C. Supreme Court

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Hugh William Veenstra, associate counsel at Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 12:30 PM

B.C. Court of Appeal extends suspension of service and filing deadlines

The B.C. Court of Appeal announced it has extended the suspension of service and filing deadlines for existing appeals and chambers applications. ... [read more]