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Archive For Entries On Criminal Law

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.

Wakeling v United States of America: Supreme Court Upholds Wiretap Disclosure Provision

In Wakeling v United States of America, 2014 SCC 72, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) considered the constitutionality of the legislative scheme surrounding the disclosure of information collected through wiretaps to foreign governments. In a 3-1-3 split decision, the Court dismissed this challenge to the Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46. While grappling with […]

R v Wilis: “A Close Call” and Appellate Review of Unreasonable Jury Verdicts

Six days after hearing the appeal of R v Wilis, 2014 ONCA 178 [Wilis, ONCA], Justice Rothstein delivered the one paragraph decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Wilis, 2014 SCC 73 [Wilis, SCC]. Reproduced in full, it reads: The majority of the Court is of the view that the appeal should be dismissed for the […]

R v Chauhan: Sexual Assault, Consent, Intoxication and Honest but Mistaken Belief (Part II)

This commentary is the second part of a two-part series detailing and critiquing the decision of Thorburn J in R v Chauhan. The first part addressed the relevant facts, rules and analysis as it related to the first complainant in the case, A.C. The second part will address the second complainant, P.W. Unlike Thorburn J’s […]

R v Chauhan: Sexual Assault, Consent, Intoxication and Honest but Mistaken Belief (Part I)

This commentary is the first part of a two-part series detailing and critiquing the decision of Thorburn J in R v Chauhan. The first part addresses the relevant facts, rules and analysis as it relates to the first complainant in the case, A.C. The second part will address the second complainant, P.W. On September 25, […]

Consent and Sexual Assault Causing Bodily Harm: R v Zhao  

Can a person legally consent to sexual assault causing bodily harm? In the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in R v Jobidon, [1991] 2 SCR 714, there remains some confusion regarding how far to extend the broad proposition outlined in that case – namely, that bodily harm cannot be consented to. […]

Wilson v R: Guarding Against Standard of Proof Errors in Judge-Alone Trials

In Wilson v R, 2013 NBCA 38 [Wilson], the New Brunswick Court of Appeal provides a thoughtful judgment that develops the law of evidence surrounding the criminal standard of proof in judge-alone cases. In a unanimous decision, Richard JA of the Court of Appeal examines the trial judge’s reasons, locates a reasoning error previously recognized in judge-and-jury […]

The Ghomeshi Scandal: Prompting an Important Discussion on Sexual Assault

Jian Ghomeshi was fired from CBC on October 26, 2014 after CBC received evidence that he had caused physical injury to a woman. In response, Ghomeshi filed a $55 million lawsuit alleging defamation and breach of confidence against his former employer. He also submitted a union grievance alleging wrongful dismissal and defamation. Many legal experts […]

Live from the Supreme Court of Canada: The Unconstitutionality of Section 95 in R v Nur and R v Charles

On November 7, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) heard oral arguments for the case Her Majesty the Queen, et al v Hussein Jama Nur, et al [Nur] and Her Majesty the Queen, et al v Sidney Charles, et al [Charles] regarding the constitutionality of the section 95 Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46 […]

Revisiting “Mr. Big” Confessions: R v Mack 

In R v Hart, 2014 SCC 52 [Hart], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) set out a new framework for the admissibility of confessions elicited during “Mr. Big” operations. (I wrote about the decision in a previous post.) In this post, I will look at the companion decision in R v Mack, 2014 SCC 58 […]