Focus On



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]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 5:37 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Overcoming resistance to commission of offence

Appeal by GV from his convictions for sexual assault, assault and choking. The complainant, who was high school friends with the appellant, testified at trial that the appellant hit her head against a wall before having sexual intercourse with her and that he choked her while doing so. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 @ 1:38 PM

Effect of suspended declaration of invalidity pre-empted by remedial legislation: B.C. Appeal Court Joven Narwal, Narwal Litigation LLP

The B.C. Court of Appeal has ordered new convictions for two men who had charges of living on the avails of prostitution quashed at trial, with a lawyer involved in the case saying it is the first time an appellate court has “squarely addressed” the effect of a suspended declaration of invalidity. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 @ 11:25 AM

Automatism decision should not be hall pass for misleading headlines | Andrew Puiras

In R. v. Sullivan 2020 ONCA 333, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently struck down s. 33.1 of the Criminal Code as unconstitutional. The case involved two men who either killed or injured relatives while in drug-induced psychotic states. The men could not rely on the defence of non-mental disorder automatism because s. 33.1 prohibits such a defence where the automatism is caused by self-induced intoxication. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

Task force aims to help modernize justice system and role of advocates Guy Pratte

Some of Canada’s greatest legal minds are coming together to contemplate the future of the country’s justice system beyond COVID-19. The Modern Advocacy Task Force, officially launched June 9 by The Advocates’ Society, will be made up of members from across the country and guided by a blue-ribbon advisory panel that will include former chief justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin and former Supreme Court of Canada justices Ian Binnie, Thomas Cromwell, Marie Deschamps, Clément Gascon, John C. Major and Marshall Rothstein. ... [read more]