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Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

Revamping law of prior consistent statements: R. v. Khan

An evidence revolution has been afoot for some years with the gradual ascendancy of a principled approach to admissibility in favour of the traditional rules-and-exceptions approach. Marking the latest milestone in the revolution is the new analytical framework for admitting prior consistent statements articulated by Justice Doherty in R. v. Khan, 2017 ONCA 114. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 7:27 PM

Prosecutors also need mandatory training on sexual assault, says senior Crown Ursula Hendel

Prosecutors are not adequately trained in the law and social context of sexual assaults, especially sexual assault trauma, says a senior Crown whose views about the crime changed after she experienced a traumatic incident as a student. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 4:42 PM

Crowns, defence counsel warn bail proposal would create huge trial delays Rick Woodburn

Proposed Criminal Code reforms that prosecutors and defence counsel warn will “exponentially” add to court delays by turning bail hearings into lengthy “mini-trials” are expected to be scotched by the majority Liberals — despite so far garnering significant cross-party support in both houses of Parliament. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 1:41 PM

N.L. budget gives additional funding to justice system

Newfoundland and Labrador's 2017 budget unveiled on April 6 includes increased funding for the justice system. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

PROCEDURE - Trial judge's duties - Charge or directions

Appeal by Foerster from conviction before a judge and jury for first degree murder. The 18-year-old victim failed to meet her friends as scheduled. She had sent and received several text messages while en route. A search ensued and the deceased was found unresponsive in a bushed area. Foerster died from her injuries the following morning. The cause of her death was determined to be diffuse bleeding in the brain caused by a series of blunt force injuries to the back of her head. Evidence of a hemorrhage in one of the victim's eyes was consistent with strangulation. Foerster's DNA was detected on a fingernail sample. Cell phone records showed that Foerster was in the area where the victim was found at around the time she sustained her injuries. The Crown and Foerster agreed that the last text message the victim sent to her boyfriend read "Beeing crreped", but was meant to read "Being creeped". Foerster admitted that he caused the victim's injuries. He stated that he hit her more than once with a metal flashlight and that he was involved in a scuffle with her that took them to the bushes where she was found. He also admitted that he choked the victim with a shoelace before fleeing the scene. He further admitted that he subsequently disposed of the flashlight, the shoelace and his coat in a dumpster several kilometers away. While Foerster admitted that he was guilty of culpable homicide, he contended that he was only guilty of manslaughter or second degree murder, and that the trial judge made numerous errors in charging the jury. ... [read more]

Friday, April 07, 2017 @ 3:36 PM

Ottawa appoints two judges to Ontario courts

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced judicial appointments to the Ontario Court of Appeal and Superior Court of Justice on April 7. ... [read more]

Friday, April 07, 2017 @ 9:57 AM

Courage under fire — five years at Supreme Court for Justice Moldaver Exclusive

After 44 years devoted to the criminal law, Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver still loses sleep over tough cases like R. v. Jordan — last year’s Charter blockbuster which aimed to speed up the sclerotic justice system but whose fallout led to the dismissal of some murder and child sexual assault charges. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 @ 4:53 PM

Private member’s bill would require sexual assault case training for judicial candidates Anne London-Weinstein

A private member’s bill coming before the Ontario Legislature will look to ensure that those recommended for a provincial court judge position have training on how to handle sexual violence and harassment cases. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 @ 12:43 PM

More eligible for legal aid in Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario raised the income threshold for eligibility for legal aid by six per cent on April 1, enabling 144,000 more Ontarians to qualify for assistance. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 @ 11:21 AM

Silence not the answer to Ottawa's police controversies | Michael Spratt

Short years before his assassination Robert Kennedy, who at the time was United States Attorney General, observed, "Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on." At the time Kennedy was of course embroiled in the fight against organized crime and police corruption. But his words apply equally well to the city of Ottawa’s police force. You see, there is a problem in Ottawa ­— our police force is embroiled in controversy. ... [read more]