Young man accused of sexual assault on Toronto bus Month: January 2013

Month: January 2013

Young man accused of sexual assault on Toronto bus

There are certain crimes that stir up strong emotions within Toronto and there is no doubt that sex crimes can raise negative feelings. Being accused of a sexual assault, for example, comes with more than the threat of serious consequences. Someone fighting sex crimes allegations will also have to deal with the negative social impact of being considered a sexual offender, even if he or she has not be convicted. It is highly recommended that anyone in Toronto accused of sexual assault seek out a criminal defence lawyer immediately. For someone to be prosecuted for a sex crime, however, there should…

When Paths Cross: A look at the interplay between Foreign Law and Domestic Law in Extradition Cases

Within Canadian criminal law the most significant intersection of domestic and foreign law is in the areas of extradition and the extra-territorial application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms2 to investigations and proceedings regarding Canadian nationals. Extradition proceedings and investigations that extend beyond the Canadian border involve unique issues and demand experienced counsel to help guide and effectively represent clients who are subject of these proceedings. This paper will review in brief detail some the of unique evidentiary issues and the interplay of both Canadian and foreign law.

Conscriptive Evidence, Real Evidence, Good Faith, Bad Faith – What does it all mean?

On July 17, 2009, the Supreme Court released R. v. Grant and three other companion cases, reformulating how courts ought to deal with evidence obtained in breach of the Charter. A fulsome reconsideration of this important issue has been long overdue in the wake of confusion arising from the Court's last major treatise on the subject in1997, R. v. Stillman. As the Chief Justice and Justice Charron noted in Grant, "existing jurisprudence on the...exclusion of evidence is difficult to apply and may lead to unsatisfactory results." [ 1] In Stillman, Justice Cory, writing for the majority, held that when the accused is…

The Rise and Fall of Evidence to the Contrary: A Brief History

Introduction Although charges of impaired/over 80 have decreased in the past two decades, these driving offences currently constitute 12% of all cases on the dockets of lower courts. With approximately 15,000 impaired/over 80 cases being heard every year in the low courts, these offences represent the largest category of offence currently being tried in this court. Parliament first introduced the offence of "driving while intoxicated" in 1921 but it was not until the late 1950's that law enforcement officials began to use breath testing devices as an evidentiary tool for the prosecution of impaired driving. Provision of breath samples were…

BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS, What you going to do – Police Disciplinary Reports and Disclosure

By John J. Navarrete For years, criminal defence lawyers across Canada have been told by their Crown Attorney counterparts that a third party record application was required in order to obtain police disciplinary records in defence of their clients. For years, criminal defence lawyers have argued, mostly unsuccessfully, that an officer's prior improper conduct was relevant to the police investigation and essential to making full answer and defence. On January 16, 2009, the Supreme Court of Canada finally released their decision in R. v. McNeil (originally argued on March 19, 2008.) This is the first significant decision out of the…

Who Polices the Police? Not the Court of Appeal!

The Ontario Court of Appeal in the recent case of Regina v. Harrison, 2008 ONCA 85, has given a license for police to trample on individual rights so long as the fruits of their conduct yields evidence of a crime. Under what appears to be a new form of analysis of s. 24(2) of the Charter, as long as the Crown can establish that the admission of the impugned evidence is necessary to continue the prosecution, the harm to the reputation of the administration of justice from excluding the evidence would be greater than that from admitting it, and thus,…


By Leora R. Shemesh Given the prevalence of gang and gun related homicides, exclusion of illegally obtained evidence has become difficult if not impossible to achieve on a section 24(2) Charter analysis. It is submitted, however, that we should not determine rights based on moral panic respecting the issue. Commonly, compelling Charter Applications are advanced on section 8 and/or section 9 violations, wherein officers detain young black men on city streets, in vehicles or in apartment complexes, and then subject them to an investigative detention and subsequent search of their pockets, person - and discover a firearm. Judges are often…

Keep it in – Minor Breaches of the Charter are Okay with the Court

There is no doubt that impaired driving is a serious social issue affecting Canadians across Canada. The consequences of a conviction for impaired driving can have long lasting implications for an individual. This is partly why impaired driving cases account for the largest percentage of cases litigated in the Provincial courts. Charter jurisprudence has matured within this context. Consequences for Charter breaches such as the right to speak with counsel of choice, or an unreasonable seizure of breath have traditionally resulted in exclusion of the breath readings with little analysis of s. 24(2). A recent decision of Mr. Justice Ducharme…

WHEN TO TALK AND NOT TO TALK: Voluntariness in the Context of Drinking and Driving

Defending impaired driving and over 80 cases often involves a challenge to the actions of police officers holding up their conduct to the scrutiny of the Charter. One such area is the right to remain silent and to advise from counsel. Technology has yielded digitally recorded real time evidence showing the interaction between the police and the detainee while in the police station. This has a dual affect. All actions of the detainee are captured for all to see at a trial but similarly the officers are constrained in their actions, thereby resisting making any threats or promises to induce…

R. v. Khelawon, 2006 SCC 57 – Clarifying Hearsay, Again

This recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada has once again attempted to clarify how lower courts are to deal with issues of necessity and reliability in the determination of whether an out-of-court video taped statement ought to be admitted into evidence at trial. The issue often arises in domestic violence cases where a complainant does not wish to attend court or proceed to trial after having given the police a video statement under oath. When the complainant fails to attend court or is otherwise unavailable, the Crown can bring an Application to admit the statement for the truth…


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