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Archive for the ‘Criminal Law’ Category

What constitutes Contempt of Court?

The exception in s. 127 of the Criminal Code will be triggered where Parliament or a legislature has provided a legal foundation for the court’s power to issue contempt orders, defined the circumstances in which a person will be found in contempt, and provided a specific punishment or mode of proceeding. On the basis of R. v. Clement,… Read More »

The Police May be Listening

Section 184.4 of the Criminal Code permits a peace officer to intercept certain private communications, without prior judicial authorization, if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the interception is immediately necessary to prevent an unlawful act that would cause serious harm, provided judicial authorization could not be obtained with reasonable diligence.  In principle, Parliament may craft… Read More »

Self‑induced intoxication and the Defence to an offence against the bodily integrity of another person

A court must consider the specific principles that govern the insanity defence in order to determine whether s. 16 Cr. C. is applicable. If that defence does not apply, the court can then consider whether the defence of self‑induced intoxication under s. 33.1 Cr. C. is applicable if it is appropriate to do so on… Read More »

Political Decisions now reviewable by the Courts – What happened to Parliamentary Supremacy?

The discretion vested in the Minister of Health is not absolute:  as with all exercises of discretion, the Minister’s decisions must conform to theCharter.  If the Minister’s decision results in an application of the CDSA that limits the s. 7 rights of individuals in a manner that is not in accordance with the Charter, then the Minister’s discretion has… Read More »

The Offender’s Ability to Pay a Court Fine

The legislative purpose behind s. 734(2) of the Criminal Code is to prevent offenders from being fined amounts that they are truly unable to pay, and to correspondingly reduce the number of offenders who are incarcerated in default of payment. A court may impose a fine only if satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the offender has the… Read More »

Italian Seismologists to Stand Trial on Manslaughter Charges

September 28th, 2011 by Joseph Marcus In what has been described as a “medieval-style attack on science,” Italian prosecutors have charged six seismologists and one public official with manslaughter for their role in an earthquake that devastated the town of L’Aquila. The 6.3-magnitude earthquake took the town by surprise on April 9, 2009, resulting in over… Read More »

Questioning Our Judges

John D. Whyte Marshall Rothstein at the parliamentary committee hearing to review his nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada. (February 27, 2006) The retirements later this summer from the Supreme Court of Canada of Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron give Prime Minister Stephen Harper his third and fourth Supreme Court appointments. Both the retiring justices… Read More »

The truth about Canadian crime rates

BY JOHN MACFARLANE CRIME RATES have been declining in Canada for decades, as a result of demographics rather than policy initiatives. Here, as in other countries, most crimes are committed by young men, and because we have been producing fewer children of either gender there are not as many young men to commit them. According to Statistics… Read More »

The Prosecution Rests, but I Can’t

By JOHN THOMPSON New Orleans I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row. I’ve been free since 2003, exonerated after evidence covered up by prosecutors surfaced just weeks before my execution date. Those prosecutors were never punished. Last month, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to overturn a case… Read More »

Let’s build opportunity, not prisons

Globe and Mail Published Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 7:30PM EST With Canada poised to spend untold billions of dollars expanding its prison system, it’s worth looking at what else that money might buy in national projects that invest in the country’s most important capital, its people. Assuming Canada had extra billions in a time of large deficits,… Read More »

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