Focus On



Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 3:29 PM

Nova Scotia Supreme Court taking ‘first step towards our new normal’

Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court will move away from its essential services model put in place during the COVID-19 crisis and will begin allowing in-person hearings for non-urgent matters.     ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 1:40 PM

That’s the ticket: Traffic court tips Coplights

Something has happened. Being polite was not enough for police to just give your client a warning and a ticket has been issued. The first thing will be to determine what kind of ticket it is. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 1:08 PM - Last Updated: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 1:14 PM

Controversial Court of Appeal decision could lead to legislation aimed at ‘criminal intoxication’ Stephanie DiGiuseppe sm

In one of its most controversial and constitutionally rich decisions this year, the Ontario Court of Appeal has struck down s. 33.1 of the Criminal Code, effectively reinstating the difficult-to-prove defence of automatism caused by self-induced intoxication for violent offences, including murder and sexual assault. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 1:01 PM

Laws alone are only part of answer | Pamela Cross

Since Gabriel Wortman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia in April, there has been much talk about what needs to be done to stop anything like this from happening again. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 11:57 AM

Body camera cost debate is smokescreen | Kyla Lee

With the increased attention on violence by police against visible minorities, many are renewing the calls for mandatory body cameras for police forces. The theory is that if police are on camera and know that they are being filmed, they are less likely to engage in violence, racial profiling or use excessive force. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 9:45 AM - Last Updated: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 11:43 AM

‘Everything is on the table’ as Ontario eyes a return to courts, says attorney general Doug Downey

As Ontario moves toward a July 6 target date for resuming in-person proceedings amid COVID-19, Attorney General Doug Downey says his Ministry is consulting closely with two health experts and is even considering using gymnasiums to enable physical distancing. “Health and safety are at the centre of everything we’re doing,” he told Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA) president John Struthers during a June 4 CLA webcast. “People need to feel safe, as well as be safe.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 9:19 AM


Appeal by Pratt from summary dismissal of his habeas corpus application for his release from solitary confinement on the basis that it was unlawful. ... [read more]

Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 4:35 PM - Last Updated: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 9:04 AM

Trudeau endorses body cameras for RCMP, relaxes border controls for foreign family members abroad Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling for “bold measures” to fight anti-black and anti-Indigenous racism, including putting body cameras on RCMP officers and local police forces — a move that would require provincial and municipal collaboration in many parts of the country. ... [read more]

Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 4:06 PM

Ontario extends emergency orders, suspension of legal limitation periods

The Ontario government is extending all emergency orders currently in force under the province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 19 and the suspension of limitation periods and time periods in legal proceedings until Sept. 11. ... [read more]

Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 3:45 PM

Ramifications of Ontario Court of Appeal automatism ruling Tangledthoughts_sm.jpg

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has struck down s. 33.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada in the companion cases of R. v. Sullivan / R. v. Chan [2020] O.J. No. 2452 which were heard together because they raised similar the same issue. Section 33.1 dealt with non-mental disorder automatism. Automatism is an involuntary act. The court at para. 2 referenced Supreme Court decisions that automatism is “a state of impaired consciousness” where a person “ ‘has no voluntary control over that action” ’; The ‘mind does not go with what is being done.’ ” ... [read more]