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Archive For Entries On Criminal Law

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 […]

Sentencing Firearms Convictions Without Mandatory Minimums: R v Smickle

In 2012 Justice Anne Molloy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the law mandating three-year mandatory minimum sentences for possession of a loaded, prohibited firearm was unconstitutional. Instead, the respondent, who had been convicted of possession of a loaded, prohibited firearm contrary to section 95 of the Criminal Code, was given a […]

Op-Ed: A Glimmer Of Hope For Juveniles Sentenced To Life Without Parole

On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court released its monumental decision in Miller v. Alabama ((2012) 132 S. Ct. 2455). The Court held that a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) for any offender who committed his offence while under the age of 18 is contrary to the eighth […]

With Divided Medical Evidence in NCR Case, ONCA is Deferent to Jury: R v Downs

The not criminally responsible (NCR) regime is currently the subject of media and public scrutiny, with the proposed reforms of Bill C-14 (formerly C-54; Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act) in the Senate. In the recent decision of R v Downs, 2014 ONCA 20 [Downs], the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) reviewed a case in which an […]

Supreme Court Throws Out Acquittal and Clarifies Offence of Uttering Threats in R v McRae

The accused was charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm pursuant to Criminal Code s. 264.1(1)(a) after stating that he would rearrange the face of a Crown prosecutor and kill the witnesses who had informed against him. The statements were made to fellow detainees while the accused was being held in a […]

R v Singh: The Ontario Court of Appeal Holds that Choreographed Beatings Warrant a Stay of Conviction

The Ontario Court of Appeal has laid down a zero tolerance policy on police beating of suspects to obtain confessions. In R v Singh (2013 ONCA 750), the court held that a suspect’s conviction for robbery should be stayed because the police subjected him to repeated beatings during his interrogation. The trial judge dismissed the […]