Focus On



Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 11:53 AM

Walking the self-determination walk | Ellis Ross

I’m a 55-year-old Aboriginal man born and raised on a reserve on the west coast of British Columbia. I had no intention or desire to be a leader but was always asked to step into these roles as I grew up. ... [read more]

Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 10:26 AM

Careless charges call for careful defence Coplight.jpg

Careless driving is the regulatory offence which fits between civil and criminal liability. It overlaps with both areas and gives rise to significant confusion. While criminal law exists to punish morally blameworthy acts and civil law exists to put people back in the position they were before incidents occurred, regulatory matters like careless driving exist to encourage good behaviour and work primarily to increase safety in otherwise risky activities that have useful social benefit. Driving is a highly regulated activity because of the high risks that exist. Regulation leads to predictability and safety.  ... [read more]

Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 9:52 AM

Lack of juror support adds to uncertain future for jury trials, says founder of commission Mark Farrant sm

As some judicial leaders question the future of civil juries, one jurors advocate is warning that the impact of COVID-19 could leave Canadian courts with a severe shortage of jurors when in-person trials resume, unless provinces provide improved support. ... [read more]

Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 5:45 AM

WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY - Offences and enforcement - Due diligence

Appeal by Kal Tire from its conviction under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to ensure that a truck was rendered sufficiently inoperative while being serviced by one of its employees. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 4:50 PM

Accused must subjectively know they are breaching bail for conviction, Supreme Court rules Justice Sheilah Martin

The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous ruling that convictions for breaching bail must be based on a “subjective” standard of fault rather than an “objective” one will curtail prosecutors’ haste in moving on such charges and force bail courts to focus on an accused’s circumstances and ability to comply, says a lawyer. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 3:45 PM

Ontario Provincial Offences Act proceedings expanding

As part of Ontario’s plan to reopen courts, starting July 6 early resolution guilty pleas pursuant to s. 5.1(8) of the Provincial Offences Act may proceed before a justice of the peace by audio or videoconference in some of the early resolution POA courts in the province. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 3:38 PM

Ontario in-person criminal trials slated to begin July 6

Some criminal trials and preliminary hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ) are resuming July 6 as part of the province’s gradual reopening of in-person proceedings. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 2:14 PM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against the administration of law and justice - Escapes and rescues - Breach of undertaking or recognizance

Appeal by Zora from a decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal affirming his convictions for failure to comply with a condition of a recognizance. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 9:32 AM

Ontario Appeal Court rules ‘meaningful inquiry’ required on offender’s ability to pay restitution Michael Spratt

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision “makes clear that the criminal justice system isn’t a civil recovery mechanism, and that the imposition of a restitution order that an accused will never be able to pay is essentially a financial life sentence and creates a debtors’ prison,” according to Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 7:56 AM

Criminal and immigration laws don’t just intersect, they can collide handcuffs_fingerprints_sm

A criminal record is always a serious matter but for non-citizens of Canada, it has potentially devastating and far-reaching consequences, beyond the term of punishment. ... [read more]