Handling Summary Conviction Offences, 2020-2021 Edition

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On December 18, 2019, Bill C-75 amendments affecting the law of bail and the YCJA came into force. Bill C-5, An Act to Amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code received a second reading and was referred to Committee on February 19, 2020. The Bill would ensure that judges undergo training to learn about the myths and stereotypes associated with sexual assault cases. It would also amend the Criminal Code to ensure judges are putting their reasons on the record when they rule on sexual assault cases.

Case law updates include

  • R v. K.J.M., 2019 SCC 55, 2019 CarswellAlta 2416, [2019] S.C.J. 55 The Supreme Court held that there is no need to introduce a lower presumptive ceiling of unreasonable delay for youth matters.
  • Law Society of Saskatchewan v. Kapoor, 2019 SKCA 85, [2019] S.J. 315 The court considered a Rule of Professional Conduct stating that a lawyer must not deliberately refrain from informing a tribunal of any binding authority that the lawyer considers to be directly on point and that has not been mentioned by another party.
  • R. v. Kazman, 2020 ONCA 22, [2020] O.J. 136 The court found that trial judges may summarily dismiss Charter motions without hearing them on the merits where the broader interests of justice clearly demand it. It is unreasonable to expect that a trial judges deadlines can be ignored and that the trial judge will be obligated to set new deadlines.
  • R. v. Arsenault, 2020 ONCA 118, [2020] O.J. 673 While it is an absolute right of the accused to be tried in one of the official languages, the issue of forcing the accused to proceed to trial without counsel even though he was unable to find a lawyer to represent him in French was a question concerning the exercise of discretion, and not a question of violation of language rights. There was evidence that the accused had several opportunities to find a French-speaking lawyer but did not make any reasonable efforts to do so. This was due to his lack of diligence and an attempt to delay his trial. In these circumstances, it was reasonable for the trial judge to dismiss the adjournment request.
  • Jerace v. British Columbia, 2019 BCCA 320, [2019] B.C.J. 1735 The complainants youth court records may only be released if disclosure is permitted both under the YCJA and s.278.2(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. Section 123(1)(a)(iii) of the YCJA prohibits disclosure of youth records if disclosure is prohibited under any other Act. The disclosure of these records to the accused in a sexual assault trial is prohibited by s.278.12 (1) (a). Consequently, the accused must bring two discrete pre-trial applications. The first is an application to a youth court judge to obtain access to the youth record. If the youth court judge decides that the test for access under the YCJA has been met, the judge forwards the records under seal to the trial court, which will then decide, pursuant to the Criminal Code regime, whether the documents will be produced to the accused for use at trial.
  • R. v. Deering, 2019 NLCA 31, 2019 CarswellNfld 206, [2019] N.J. 168 The sentencing judge did not err in imposing the probation order a no go condition that the defendant not be present in a geographic area in the jurisdiction.


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Criminal law & procedure


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