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Archive For Entries On Criminal Law

R v Catton: Concerning Irreconcilably Inconsistent Verdicts

In R v Catton, 2015 ONCA 13 [Catton], the Court of Appeal for Ontario had to determine whether several verdicts returned by a jury were fundamentally inconsistent with one another. In a brief and incisive decision, a unanimous Court of Appeal quashed all five of the verdicts on appeal, ordering that two undergo a new trial and entering […]

Adultery, Alcohol & Consent: The ONCA Overturns Sexual Assault Conviction in R v Garciacruz

In R v Garciacruz, 2015 ONCA 27, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“OCA”) overturned a conviction for sexual assault. Akin to many cases, this one came down to consent and a conflict between the complainant and the appellant’s version of events. The trial judge made certain inferences that allowed her to hold that no consent […]

Live from the Supreme Court of Canada: Misdirection of the Jury on Post-Offence Conduct in R v Rodgerson

On January 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) heard oral arguments for the case Her Majesty the Queen v Jason Rodgerson [Rodgerson] regarding: firstly, whether or not the majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) in R v Rodgerson, 2014 ONCA 366 [Rodgerson, ONCA] erred in law by finding reversible error in […]

R v Buzizi: Part II – Test for Air of Reality and Role of the Judge in Applying the Test

This is the second part of a two-part series discussing the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R v Buzizi. Part II will address the application of the test for air of reality and the role of the trial judge in applying the test for air of reality. Part I addressed the analysis of both […]

R v Buzizi: Part I – The Defence of Provocation

This is the first part of a two-part series discussing the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R v Buzizi. Part I will address the analysis of both the majority and dissenting opinions with respect to the defence of provocation. Part II will address the application of the test for air of reality and the […]

Tipping the Scale for Unwarranted Arrests: R v Day

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) delivered a single-paragraph oral judgment in the matter of R v Day, 2014 SCC 74, dismissing an appeal from the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal (“NLCA”), 2014 NLCA 14 [Day]. The SCC’s affirmation of the appellate court’s decision seems to indicate that it is […]

R v Fearon: Cell Phones, Privacy, and the Supreme Court in the Digital Age

In R v Fearon, 2014 SCC 77 [Fearon], the Supreme Court of Canada considered the circumstances under which police officers can justifiably conduct a warrantless search of an arrestee’s cell phone or other digital device. Fundamentally, the decision required the court to assess and balance the public purposes served by effective law enforcement against the dignity and privacy […]

Consent is Neither Implied Nor Retroactive: R v Wilcox

In R v Wilcox, 2014 SCC 75, a paragraph-long oral judgment of the Supreme Court affirms the judgment of Quebec’s Court of Appeal, 2014 QCCA 321. In that decision, the majority of the Court of Appeal upheld a trial decision that found James Steven Wilcox guilty of aggravated sexual assault. The charge stemmed from Wilcox’s failure to disclose his HIV-positive status […]

R v WH: Incorrect Assessment of a Jury’s Verdict Regarding the Credibility of a Witness

In 2013, the Supreme Court on Canada (“SCC”) in R v WH, [2013] 2 SCR 180 [WH, SCC], ruled that the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal (“NLCA”) applied an incorrect test for reviewing a jury’s decision and, in carrying out its review of the jury’s verdict, failed to give sufficient deference to the jury’s […]

Aboriginal Underrepresentation in Jury Roll Construction: Her Majesty the Queen v Kokopenace

The Supreme Court of Canada’s (“SCC”) upcoming decision in Her Majesty the Queen v Kokopenace [Kokopenace] will clarify what steps provinces need to take in order to ensure that Aboriginal persons facing criminal charges are afforded the chance to have their cases tried by a representative jury.