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Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 14th Edition
By: Don Stuart, B.A., LL.B., Dipl. In Criminology, D. Phil., Steve Coughlan
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Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 14th Edition continues to focus on tools students must acquire to be effective criminal lawyers.

Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 14th Edition continues to focus on tools students must acquire to be effective criminal lawyers, including critical skills. The aim is to explore substantive principles and the trial context: the adversary system, how elements of crime are proved, principles of act and fault, legal justifications and excuses and sentencing principles. Integrated throughout is a consideration of the impact of the Charter. The focus is on major sources: the Criminal Code itself and key judicial decisions. Learning is facilitated by notes, questions, problems and general review questions.

Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 14th Edition has been thoroughly updated and re-edited. Legislative changes considered include  the new offence to criminalise the purchase of sex, anti-terrorism provisions enacted in Bill C-51 and limiting the partial provocation defence to murder. Also addressed are current Federal bills to remove Criminal Code provisions declared to violate the Charter, repeal anachronistic provisions, complex legal burden and reverse onus provisions, to amend sexual assault laws and to return to discretion not to award victim surcharges.
Major new Supreme Court court decisions include:

  • Tatton:  arson is a crime of general intent to which voluntary intoxication is no defence    
  • K.R.J.: Oakes test for demonstrably justifying Charter violations under section 1
  • Carter: prohibiting assisted suicide as overbroad
  • Nur, Lloyd: cruel and unusual s. 12 Charter standard against mandatory minima.

Other major decisions are:

  • Barton (Alta. C.A.): calling for new model jury instructions for sexual assault
  • Cormier (N.B. C.A.): new defence of person and property
  • Willis (Man. C.A.): duress no defence to murder
  • Campione (Ont. C.A.): meaning of “wrong” in s. 16.
About the Author

Don Stuart is Emeritus Professor of Law at Queen’s University. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Criminal Reports (Thomson Reuters) and of the National Judicial Institute, Criminal Law Essentials eletter (sent to over 1200 judges). He is author of Canadian Criminal Law: A Treatise, 7th ed. (2014) and Charter Justice in Canadian Criminal Law, 7th ed. (2018) and co-author of Learning Canadian Criminal Law, 14th ed. (2018) and Evidence: Principles and Problems, 12th ed. (2018), all published by Thomson Reuters.

Steve Coughlan has been at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University since 1992, where he teaches criminal law and criminal procedure, among other subjects. He has received a number of awards for his teaching, including the Dalhousie Alumni Association Award of Excellence for Teaching and the Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teacher Award. He is a co-editor of the Criminal Reports and of the National Judicial Institute's Criminal Law Essentials e-Letter. Prior to joining the faculty at Dalhousie he worked for the Law Reform Commission of Canada Criminal Procedure Project and for the Metro Community Law Clinic.