Law of Criminal Attempt, Third Edition

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The third edition of Law of Criminal Attempt presents in-depth analysis of criminal attempt, an important branch of the criminal law since it determines the line between innocence and guilt, and between freedom and imprisonment. The special evidential and procedural considerations applying to the law of attempt are considered, as well as appropriate sentencing for an attempt relative to the target crime.

It includes discussions on:

  • The issues arising when the target crime is not completed or is voluntarily abandoned
  • What happens in circumstances where the accused is charged with attempt, but the Crown can prove the attempt succeeded
  • Special evidential and procedural considerations applying to the law of attempt
  • Appropriate sentencing for an attempt relative to the target crime

The general provisions criminalizing attempt are examined and the authors look at how other countries have dealt with this area of law. The instances of specifically legislated attempt offences in Canada are also detailed.

Case law highlights:

Since the publication of the second edition in 2000, the third edition incorporates the significant developments in the case law, including:

  • R. v. Savoury (2005 ONCA) the "Kienapple principle" bars convictions for both attempted murder and aggravated assault based upon same factual transaction
  • R. v. Déry (2006 SCC) no offence of attempting to conspire to commit an offence
  • R. v. Elliott (2010 BCSC) the difference in maximum sentences for attempted robbery and robbery reflects Parliament's intention that the completed offence is generally considered more serious and deserving of a longer sentence than an attempted offence
  • R. v. Sarrazin (2010 ONCA) attempts require proof of 'an intention to commit an offence'
  • R. v. Y. (N.) (2012 ONCA) conspiracy is complete upon proof of an agreement to carry out an unlawful act
  • R. v. Murphy (2013 SCC) to attract criminal liability as an aider or abettor to the offence of attempted murder, the accused must either share, or know of the specific intent of the principal to kill the victim
  • R. v. Ravindhraraj (2013 ONCA) question of "whether the mens rea for offences of attempt (other than attempted murder) includes recklessness is an unsettled area of the law."
  • R. v. Goldberg (2014 BCCA) 'acts beyond mere preparation' criterion applicable to offence of attempted murder

The book also contains a consolidated index for easy reference.


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