Focus On



Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 3:34 PM

Ottawa proposes legislative changes to repeal some mandatory minimum sentences David Lametti, Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada

Members of Canada’s criminal law bar are largely welcoming proposed legislative reforms announced by federal Justice Minister David Lametti that would repeal some mandatory minimum sentences for drug and firearm-related offences, make conditional sentence orders more available and encourage greater use of diversion programs. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 12:52 PM

Judge denies B.C.’s request for injunction against churches challenging COVID-19 health orders

The chief justice of British Columbia’s Supreme Court has denied the province’s request for an injunction against three churches that have challenged the constitutionality of the province’s public health rules which prohibit in-person religious services. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 10:01 AM

No turning back from pandemic’s changes to justice system: CBA report CBA president Brad Regehr

When transmitting the first message to officially open the Baltimore to Washington telegraph line, Samuel Morse included a simple statement: “what hath God wrought?” The same question has likely passed through the minds of many people over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses and schools and forced many people into makeshift home offices. Canada’s justice system has not been immune from that change, with trials moving online and lawyers filing their documents electronically. And now the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) says it is time to make many of those changes permanent. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 6:19 AM

EVIDENCE - Witnesses - Credibility - Impeachment - Prior inconsistent statements

Appeal by Dupuis from her conviction, by jury, of manslaughter. The appellant’s former boyfriend died from a single stab wound to the chest. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 3:56 PM

Bill C-22 important step forward, allows judges to judge Men walking out of bird cage

On Feb. 18,  the federal government tabled Bill C-22, an Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The proposed amendments made in this Act are significant. It eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of offences. It allows judges to judge. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 1:12 PM

Ottawa acknowledges provincial jurisdiction, but will support municipalities wanting handgun bans

Federal public safety minister Bill Blair remains “hopeful” municipalities will one day be able to take advantage of proposed legislation allowing them to further restrict handguns, despite some provinces objecting to Ottawa giving such power to local governments. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 12:30 PM

California bar exam vs. Boston Marathon: Which is tougher? Woman at computer

Running the Boston Marathon (on a broken leg) was easier than passing the California bar exam. And less time consuming. On that positive note — the intent here is not to deter but rather to paint a realistic picture of what goes into writing — and passing — this agonizing exam from the perspective of a Canadian lawyer. The good news: it is possible. The bad: it will humble you to your knees.  ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 10:59 AM

B.C. Appeal Court suggests onus on Crown to prove defence delays Tony_Paisana

In dismissing the Crown’s appeal of a stay of proceedings in a case involving a seven-year delay between the time a man was charged and found guilty of sexual assault, the British Columbia Court of Appeal suggested in its Feb. 10 ruling, R. v. Virk 2021 BCCA 58, that the burden of proving defence delays rests with the Crown. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 8:29 AM

Made to measure: Mental health at Canadian law schools | Sharath Voleti

The legal profession is grueling and stressful, with many lawyers facing mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and addiction issues. Common refrains from lawyers include poor overall satisfaction and work-life balance, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the legal profession has taken important steps by providing supports such as the Member Assistance Program and raising awareness through continuing education programs. Comparatively little attention, however, has been paid to law student mental health. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 6:10 AM

POWERS OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE - Warrantless searches - Validity

Appeal by Reilly from his conviction on six counts of robbery and firearms-related offences. Another individual arrested for robbery identified the appellant as one of the four masked perpetrators and the robber who held a gun. ... [read more]