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Archive For Entries On Criminal Procedure

R v Crevier: Police Informants and the Balancing Act of Challenging Warrants

Police representatives often speak about the difficulties of soliciting information from the public about crimes that have taken place. Fear and a “don’t snitch” culture are common explanations for why this problem exists. In 2009, Kenneth Mark was gunned down after testifying as a witness in an attempted murder trial. His tragic story is a […]

A Exclusive Interview: R v Spencer One Year Later

A New Hurdle To Protecting Our Children? A Perspective from the Toronto Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit Last year, published two key articles about the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling on Internet privacy. See Jordan Casey’s summary here and Stuart Wood’s analysis here. After its release, R v Spencer, [2014] 2 SCR 212 [Spencer] […]

R v Rodgerson: How to Instruct a Jury on Post-Offence Conduct

The Facts In 2008, Jason Rodgerson met Amber Young at a bar in Oshawa. According to Rodgerson, after consuming alcohol and ecstasy together, he and Young engaged in consensual sex at his home. Rodgerson then lost interest in Young and wanted to return to the bar. Tensions escalated when Young asked to be compensated for […]

A Prosecution “Littered With Errors”: Drugs and Guns in R v Shia

In R v Shia, 2015 ONCA 190 [Shia], the Court of Appeal for Ontario considered an appeal from a finding of guilt and an absolute discharge from a drug-related offence. Interestingly, the prosecution included a number of errors, with some attributable to every party involved, including the presiding justice. In a short and incisive decision, the Court […]

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, 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 Jordan – the nature and significance of […]

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 […]