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Archive For Entries On Criminal Law

The Paradox of Certainty: Retrospective Application of New Self-Defence Provisions in R v Evans

Courts have often struggled to interpret the application of newly enacted law on events that occurred prior to the law’s enactment. The British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) tackled the interpretation of retrospective application in R v Evans, 2015 BCCA 46 [Evans]. This decision marks the first consideration by an appellate court on whether the […]

A Decrease of Judicial Discretion In Action: R v Szostak

The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) recently denied leave to appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario (“ONCA”) in R v Szostak, 2014 ONCA 15. In this case Mr. Szostak appealed from his sentence of 6 years imprisonment, while the Crown appealed the decision of the trial judge to not impose […]

R v Campione: Nature of “Moral Wrongness” for NCR Defences Affirmed at ONCA

In R v Campione, 2015 ONCA 67 [Campione], the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) affirmed its earlier understanding and formulation of the concept of “moral wrongness” as it relates to NCR defences. The appeal provided the Court an opportunity to clarify the nature of a specific inquiry under section 16(1) of the Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, and […]

Presenting‘s Third Annual Golden Gavel Awards

And the Nominees Are… After a four-year hiatus, we at thought it time we revive our public announcement of our list of nominees for the prestigious Golden Gavels, formerly known as the OZZY. Unfortunately,’s editors have not yet secured the funds to rent out the Dolby Theatre for the annual Golden Gavel awards ceremony. […]

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 (“ONCA”) 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 […]