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Criminal Code of Canada

Charter of Rights and Freedoms Criminal Code of Canada Criminal justice Public law

Red zones violate rights of marginalized people, study says

“Red zones ” or “no-go” orders, conditions of release imposed by police or the courts in bail or probation orders that prohibit an individual from entering or being found within a specific place or area, have become increasingly pervasive but are costly, ineffective and violate people’s rights, concludes a new study.

Why it matters: “Legal actors are pursuing legitimate objectives such as preventing crime and trying to promote social reintegration of offenders in the case of probation orders,” said Marie-Eve Sylvestre, the report's lead researcher and a law professor at the University of Ottawa. “But they are unaware of how inefficient the system is and how little it achieves its objectives in terms of preventing crime.”…

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Crime Criminal Code of Canada Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Repeat drunk driving offender gets lenient sentence

A lower court ruling that sentenced a 61-year old Montreal alcoholic and repeat offender of impaired driving offenses to only 120 days of imprisonment and a lifetime driving ban was upheld by the Quebec Court of Appeal in a ruling that reaffirms the discretionary sentencing powers of trial judges, highlights the merits of individualized sentencing, and reiterates the weight that can be given to rehabilitation when sentencing.

“The ruling is important because it shows there is still a place for individualized sentencing, that people who may not be cookie cutter examples of a sentence can actually get something that is outside of the norm because obviously the sentence he got was quite lenient,” said Dylan Jones, a Montreal criminal lawyer. “It’s also important because it at least shows that if people are willing make efforts to change their lives for the better they can be rewarded for that.”…

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Barreau du Quebec Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms Criminal Code of Canada Public law Quebec Supreme Court of Canada Weekend reads

Controversial “dying with dignity” legislation brings discussion around euthanasia to the forefront

A landmark bill that has thrust debate around end-of-life care into the national political arena by legalizing medically assisted death in Quebec can withstand court challenges and even co-exist with provisions in the Criminal Code against assisted suicide and euthanasia, assert Quebec legal observers.

In a historic vote, after nearly five years of heart-wrenching deliberations across the province by a cross-party committee of the National Assembly that received 273 briefs and heard 32 experts as well as 239 individuals and organizations, about 80 per cent of Members of the National Assembly approved Bill 52, An Act Respecting End-of Life Care. Beyond providing guidelines to help patients who want to end their pain, the legislation sets protocols for doctors sedating suffering patients and aims to expand palliative care across the province.…

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Crime Criminal Code of Canada Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

New trial ordered in the notorious case of Guy Turcotte

When the Quebec Court of Appeal ordered a new trial in the notorious case of Guy Turcotte, the former cardiologist who was found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder in the 2009 stabbing deaths of his two young children, it took the exceptional step of overturning a verdict largely based on a ruling that was not yet rendered by the nation’s highest court, note legal experts.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, relying on guidance provided by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Bouchard-Lebrun, 2011 SCC 58, [2011] 3 SCR 575 issued five months after Turcotte’s murder trial, held that Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc David’s instructions to the jury were “deficient, which necessarily had a major impact on the verdict.”

“It’s not without precedence but it is rare that an appeal court will overturn a verdict based on a SCC ruling that was not issued at the time when the lower court decision was rendered,” observed Stéphane Beaulac, a law professor at the Université de Montréal, adding that it is equally rare for an appeal court to overturn a verdict of not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.…

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Access to justice Barreau du Quebec Court of Quebec Criminal Code of Canada Quebec Court of Appeal Quebec Superior Court

Law society urges improvements for people suffering from mental illness

The figures are disturbing . Barely five per cent of individuals facing a motion ordering their psychiatric confinement were represented by a lawyer before the Court of Quebec in the small town of Alma in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region...…

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Accounting Criminal Code of Canada Quebec Superior Court Rulings White-collar crimes

Former politician loses right to practice accounting

A former Quebec politician who served a six-month sentence after being found guilty of five counts of fraud and three counts of breach of trust by a public official recently lost a legal battle against the disciplinary committee of the Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants who had revoked his license for life. In a 17-page ruling, Quebec Superior Court Judge Claude-C. Gagnon dismissed Jean Fillion’s suit to overturn the sentence handed against him by the professional corporation. “He is seeking conclusions that neither more nor less attempt to rewrite history, rescind the negative effects on his reputation, legitimize actions he was found guilty of by previous rulings by the courts, and ultimately exonerate his name to facilitate his return back into the labour market,” said Judge Gagnon.…

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Charter of Rights and Freedoms Criminal Code of Canada Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Appeal court orders new trial after language rights not respected

For the third time since 2005 the Quebec Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal and ordered a new trial because of the failure to respect the language rights of an accused in a ruling that admonishes trial judges and Crown counsel for failing to protect them. In setting aside the guilty verdict of second degree murder delivered on June 2006 by a Quebec Superior Court jury, the appeal court found that the rights of Bertam Dow under under governing appellate case law interpreting s. 530.1 of the Criminal Code, and s.14 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were not respected, and hence the curative provisions of sub-section 686(1)(b) Cr. C. cannot be applied. “Trial judges and Crown counsel therefore have every interest in being alert to the existence of these rights by acting to protect them to avoid orders for new trials, even if, as in the case of Mr. Dow, defence counsel do not fully assert them,” said Judge Alan Hilton in a unanimous 26-page ruling in Dow c. R., 2009 QCCA 478. Even more striking, according to McGill constitutional law professor Robert Leckey, the ruling underlines the fact that it has never been necessary in…

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