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Court of Quebec Criminal Code of Canada Criminal justice Quebec Rulings

Employer found guilty of manslaughter following fatal work accident

A general contractor has been found guilty of manslaughter after one of his employees was killed by being buried in a trench, marking the first time in Quebec that a breach of provincial occupational health and safety legislation served as the basis for a manslaughter conviction under the Criminal Code.

Why it matters: It is extremely rare for employers to be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter.

What's next: The contractor is scheduled to be sentenced in May. “I’m eagerly looking forward to the sentence – that’s where we will see what kind of message the courts will send,” said a health and safety lawyer. “If he ends up in prison, that to me will have much more of an impact than a guilty plea.”…

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Crime Quebec Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Failure to protect solicitor-client privilege leads to acquittal of alleged Mafiosi

Two alleged Montreal Mafia leaders were acquitted of gangsterism and drug trafficking charges after Quebec Superior Court excluded wiretap evidence gathered by a joint police task force because they failed to put in place sufficient measures to prevent the interception of conversations between lawyers and clients.

Why it matters: The decision provides guidance on electronic surveillance, castigates police for failing to do enough to protect solicitor-client privilege, and warns that it would be imprudent to view his ruling as an inducement to consider law firm as safe havens to conspire and plan crimes.…

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Criminal justice Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Quebec Court of Appeal provides comprehensive guidance over Jordan in two rulings

A Montreal man who was charged with killing his wife but whose case was the first Quebec murder case to be stayed following the landmark Jordan ruling will not face a new trial, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled after issuing a concurrent and “very important” decision that clarifies and provides practical guidance on the application of the landmark Jordan decision.

Why it matters: The legal community is still grappling with the landmark Jordan ruling, and this is yet another effort to spell out clearer guidelines. Or as a criminal lawyer put it: “Jordan is going to be a continuous process, of refining and interpreting." …

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Crime Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Errors by trial judge prompts new trial for woman convicted of killing her two daughters

A Quebec woman, who was found guilty of first degree murder of her two young daughters in 2013, will face a new trial after the Quebec Court of Appeal found the trial judge made a series of glaring errors when instructing the jury.

What was said: “It is astonishing that the coordinating judge of the Superior Court handed the responsibility of such an important and difficult case to a judge whose management seemed to exceed her professional skills,” said a noted Montreal criminal lawyer.…

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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 Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

New murder trial ordered following judge’s inadequate instructions

The Quebec Court of Appeal ordered a new trial of a man convicted of killing three people because the trial judge provided inadequate instructions to the jury over the weight that should be given to post-offence conduct and because he failed to warn the jury that the testimony of the prosecution’s expert went beyond the bounds of his expertise.

The ruling, the second time in six years that the Quebec appeal court set aside a murder conviction and ordered a new trial because of testimony provided by psychiatrist Sylvain Faucher, highlights pervasive concerns about expert bias and examines the credence that should be given to post-offence conduct, according to criminal lawyers.…

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Business Court of Quebec Quebec White-collar crimes

Montreal man ordered to pay largest fine ever issued for Quebec securities offences

A Montreal man was fined $11.2 million, the largest fine ever issued in Quebec for securities offences, and sentenced to a three-month jail sentence for fraudulent penny stock practices commonly referred to as “pump and dump” scheme.

Jean-François Amyot is among one of five people and two companies that plead guilty to charges laid against them by the Quebec financial watchdog, Autorité des marchés financiers, nearly three years ago during a trial earlier this year.…

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Regulator sanctions five financial advisors

The disciplinary committee of the Chambre de la sécurité financière has had a busy month, sanctioning at least four members in the past month.

The CSF is a unique body in Canada. It maintains and oversees the discipline, training, and ethics of 32,000 professionals practicing in group savings plan brokerage, financial planning, insurance of persons, group insurance of persons, and scholarship plan brokerage. In all Canadian provinces except Quebec, mutual fund dealers and representatives are subject solely to securities regulatory organizations like the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

Sylvain Letang, a financial security advisor from the Gatineau region, was immediately but provisionally stricken off the roll after he allegedly placed himself in a conflict of interest by borrowing $92,3000 from clients. It is alleged that he also misappropriated $5,000 from a client.…

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Criminal justice Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Spotlight Supreme Court of Canada

Quebec appeal court to hear appeals in two Jordan cases

Nearly a year to the day when the Supreme Court of Canada issued its landmark Jordan ruling, the Quebec Court of Appeal announced that a five-judge panel will hear an appeal late this summer of a decision to stay a murder charge against a Sri Lankan refugee even though the accused has been deported back to his homeland.…

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Criminal justice Quebec

Delays in criminal trials cut by nearly half in Quebec

A 20-year old man from Western Quebec who was accused of assault causing bodily harm while he was a teenager is the latest to have benefitted from a stay of proceedings due to unreasonable delays.

More recently still, a week after Khalid Gakmakge was refused a stay for a 2011 murder he is accused of committing, a Sri Lankan man charged with killing his wife in Quebec five years ago has been deported after the charge against him was stayed because his constitutional right to a timely trial was delayed.

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark R. v. Jordan decision a year ago, approximately 1,766 motions to stay because of unreasonable delays have been filed across the country, with 204 having been granted and 333 dismissed, according to figures obtained by Canadian Press. The remainder are either before the courts, forsaken by defence, or resolved on other grounds.

While the figures may appear to be disturbing, a Dalhousie University law professor who conducted a review of stay applications in the six months following the Jordan, found that there has only been a slight increase in the number of applications filed, most of whom have taken place in Ontario.…

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