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Archive For Entries On Criminal Law

Catching the Wolf of Bay Street: R v Shin

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s (“ONCA”) decision in R v Shin, 2015 ONCA 189, upheld a drug trafficking conviction that followed from an extensive police investigation in the Greater Toronto Area (“GTA”). Brian Shin was arrested after he entered a stash house where police were waiting for him. Although the arrest violated Shin’s Charter rights, […]

A Right Without a Remedy? No Redress for Wrongful Conviction in Henry v British Columbia

Henry v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 BCCA 15, was recently granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”). In 1983, Mr. Henry was wrongfully convicted of 17 sexual offences, for which he spent more than 27 years in jail. He was declared a dangerous offender and would have been incarcerated for […]

Foreign Sentences Served in Canada: Khadr v Edmonton Institution

Omar Khadr’s journey through this country’s various courts will continue in May when the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) holds a hearing for the appeal of Khadr v Edmonton Institution, 2014 ABCA 225. Unlike earlier legal proceedings involving Khadr, this appeal is relatively less complex. The issue essentially boils down to whether Khadr should have […]

R v Grant: The Tale of Two Tests

On March 5, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”), in R v Grant, 2015 SCC 9 [Grant], unanimously dismissed the Crown’s appeal, concluding that the trial judge had erred in law in treating the evidence relating to the alleged abduction of P.W. as known third party suspect evidence and in requiring Mark Edward Grant […]

R v Araya: Court Clarifies Appellate Review of Jury Instructions

Before juries begin deliberations, the presiding trial judge imparts careful instruction on the relevant points of law. The accuracy and sufficiency of these instructions, which are, of necessity, often long and complex, are frequent grounds of appeal. In R v Araya, 2015 SCC 11 [Araya, SCC], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) ruled on the […]

Prosecution Found To Be “Making Things Up As It Went Along”: R v Auclair

In R v Auclair, 2014 SCC 6, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) denied leave to appeal from the Quebec Court of Appeal decision. In denying the appeal from R v Auclair, 2013 QCCA 671, the SCC also took the opportunity to highlight the “extraordinary and unique nature” of the situation that Superior Court Justice […]

Institutional Delay and the Charter: R v Jordan

The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) will have another opportunity to discuss how claims involving section 11(b) of the Charter should be assessed during the appeal of R v Jordan, 2014 BCCA 241. Section 11(b) of the Charter provides that a person charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time. […]

Defamation, Absolute Privilege, and Sexual Assault: Caron v A

In Caron v A, 2015 BCCA 47 [Caron], the British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) was tasked with determining whether complaints to the police should be protected by absolute privilege, and thus, not actionable for defamation. In concluding that qualified, not absolute, privilege applied, the BCCA supported the long-standing truth that protection of reputation is tied to the […]

R v Orr: Expert Evidence and “Soft” Science at the BC Court of Appeal

In R v Orr, 2015 BCCA 88 [Orr, BCCA], the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (“BCCA”) set aside the convictions of Mr. Franco Yiu Kwan Orr, who was charged with three violations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 [IRPA]. Although ultimately decided on narrow evidentiary grounds, the case raises interesting questions about the limits of […]

In Juries We Trust: R v Magno

The Ontario Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) decision in R v Magno, 2015 ONCA 111 [Magno], affirmed the law surrounding judges’ Vetrovec warnings in cases where co-conspirators serve as both witnesses against an accused and as independent corroboration for one another’s testimony.  The appellant (“Magno”) appealed from trial convictions on charges of conspiracy, arson […]