THE COURT is the online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada.*

Archive For Entries On Criminal Law

Ontario Court of Appeal Strikes Down Federal “Tough-On-Crime” Legislation: R v Safazadeh-Markhali

In R v Safarzadeh-Markhali, 2014 ONCA 627, the Court of Appeal for Ontario struck down the legislative scheme surrounding sentencing and the credits granted for pre-sentence custody.

Prison Transfers Must Be Fair, Supreme Court Rules: Mission Institution v Khela

Earlier this year, in late March, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) sent a resounding message to federal prison wardens across the country that inmates’ freedoms cannot be limited lightly. In Mission Institution v Khela, 2014 SCC 24, a unanimous ruling of eight judges, the SCC made it clear that if you decide to further […]

A Case about Complete Denial of Access to Counsel: R v Taylor

In R v Taylor, 2014 SCC 50, Abella J. declared that section 10(b) Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated, which resulted in Jamie Kenneth Taylor’s “inability to exercise a meaningful and informed choice as to whether he should or should not consent to the taking of blood samples at the hospital” (at […]

A New Standard for “Mr. Big” Confessions: R v Hart  

R v Hart, 2014 SCC 52 [Hart], is about the admissibility of confessions elicited during “Mr. Big” operations, a relatively common sting tactic used by police across the country. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) found that confessions given during such operations are often unreliable and introduced a stringent new test for their admissibility as […]

The Supreme Court Clarifies Sentencing Rules: R v Summers

In 2009, the Conservative government introduced legislation called the Truth in Sentencing Act, SC 2009, c 29 (the “Act”). The Act, which came into force in 2010, amended the Criminal Code by capping the amount of credit judges were allowed to give prisoners for time served before the prisoners’ trials. While it had been routine for judges to […]

Secretly Poking Holes in Condoms Vitiates Consent to Sexual Activity: SCC in R v Hutchinson

After two trials and cycles through the appellate court system, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has dismissed the appeal in R v Hutchinson, 2014 SCC 19 [Hutchinson]. Building on the decision in R v Mabior, 2012 SCC 47 [Mabior], the Court in Hutchinson further clarified the law surrounding consent to sexual activity, holding that […]

Supreme Court Sets High Bar for Prosecutorial Abuse of Process in R v Babos

In R v Babos, 2014 SCC 16 [Babos], the issue was whether the Crown misconduct, in the form of intimidation and threats, was severe enough to warrant a stay of proceedings for the accused. A 6-1 majority of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has held that prosecutorial misconduct or abuse of process must be […]

Expert Evidence of Police Officers and the Curative Proviso in R v Sekhon

Ajitpal Singh Sekhon attempted to drive a pickup truck across the border from Washington State into British Columbia on January 25, 2005. He was flagged for secondary inspection by Canadian customs officials, which led to the discovery of 50 one-kilogram bricks of cocaine – valued over $1.5 million – hidden inside a secret compartment in […]

Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Drug Offences Struck Down by BC Provincial Court in R v Lloyd

After finding the mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession for the purpose of trafficking (contrary to s. 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act [CDSA]) violated s. 12 of the Charter (R v Lloyd, 2014 BCPC 0008 [Lloyd]) in January 2014, Galati J. of the Provincial Court of British Columbia has found that the […]

Constructive Murder Committed on 18th Birthday: Conviction Upheld and Law Clarified in R v White

In a particularly lengthy decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) dismissed the appeal of a conviction for first degree murder in R v White, 2014 ONCA 64. The appellant and two co-accused were convicted in 2009 for the tragic 2007 stabbing death of Brampton youth, Akila Badhanage. On appeal, the appellant White raised three […]