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Archive For Entries On Criminal Procedure

Any Jury Inquiry Must Both Be Fair and Appear to Be Fair: R v Kum

The sanctity of the jury process must be maintained, said the Ontario Court of Appeal in a January decision. As well, an accused should not be deprived of the common law right to be tried by twelve people unless there are serious reasons for discharging jurors. In R v Kum, 2015 ONCA 36, the appellant […]

In Juries We Trust: R v Magno

The Ontario Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) decision in R v Magno, 2015 ONCA 111 [Magno], affirmed the law surrounding judges’ Vetrovec warnings in cases where co-conspirators serve as both witnesses against an accused and as independent corroboration for one another’s testimony.  The appellant (“Magno”) appealed from trial convictions on charges of conspiracy, arson […]

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 […]

Safeguarding Online Anonymity: R v Spencer Revisited

Last month, TheCourt.ca senior contributing editor Jordan Casey analyzed R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, a case that clarifies the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) position on what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy in the digital age. This post further explores one of the themes touched on by Casey—the nature and significance of the […]

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 […]

Supreme Court Sets High Bar for Prosecutorial Abuse of Process: 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 […]

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 [White]. 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 […]

R v Vu: The SCC Rules that Computers Require Distinctive Treatment under Section 8 of the Charter

In R v Vu, [2013] 3 SCR 657 [Vu], a landmark decision regarding section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [Charter], the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that specific prior authorization is needed to search individuals’ computers and similar devices.

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, RSC 1985, c […]

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 […]