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LAWS 2301 (120)

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Carleton University
LAWS 2301
Diana Young

Lecture 3 CrownAttorney - The CrownAttorney (as a minister of justice) has to provide disclosure (to the defense), even before the Charter was made • They are supposed to be impartial, and therefore the accused must have a fair trial • If the Crown has information that is helpful to the accused, the Crown must hand it over to the defense - If they don’t provide full disclosure in time, the case can be dismissed - They are supposed to screen cases. Ex: if the case strong enough to go to trial? - If it is not strong enough, they may withdraw the charges - There has been (often) an element of non-disclosure in wrongful conviction cases Defense lawyer - Does not have the obligation to disclose case/information to the Crown attorney - He has the advantage of having all the information - Why? • Because the Crown has more resources than the defense • Because of client lawyer privileges  Ex: if client says he has done it, the defense lawyer cannot tell the court that he is guilty  Everything you say to your lawyer stays in the defense lawyer’s office. Need to have an open discussion with your defense lawyer  They sometimes find incriminating evidence they don’t want the Crown to know • If your client is facing serious charges, you often have to do interviews/investigations of your own  Ex: interview own witnesses - Their job is to defend their client as best as they possibly can - All lawyers are considered to be officers of the court - Must stay within the law and a code of ethics (lawyer’s code) • You cannot mislead/lie the court • Cannot put a witness on the stand which you know will lie • Are not supposed to disclose info to the police and crown. • You cannot actually actively conceal physical evidence from the police or the Crown • There are limits to client confidentiality  Ex: if person gives you a gun they committed a crime with, you cannot take it, because you would be obstructing justice Guilty plea - Guilty plea from the innocent • Sometimes by ‘advice by counsel’(for lesser sentences) • Mistake as to facts/law • Strength of case (against them) • Attention from public/fame (ex: Mark Karr admitted to killing JonBenet, but he didn’t) • Police coercion • Avoid financial burden of the process cost • Time and stress • Protecting people who actually committed the crime • Multiple offences (ex: 1 more B&E is nothing, I already have 6) - Legal aid program will sometimes have the affect of encouraging false guilt pleads because they make it advantageous to plead guilty, a lot of people going through system are often people who cannot hire own lawyers and need legal aid and there is limited amounts of money, specifically to pay legal aid for their time to do a good job preparing for trial, these legal aid lawyers tend to persuade accused into pleading guilty because they get paid almost the same amount of money, but do not have to do all of the work. - The crown attorney is not supposed to accept a plea if they know it was forces or if they know they are innocent - Often times, people plead guilty before the lawyer has the full disclosure - Legal aid • People who get drawn into the system, usually lower income/status, who may be more likely to commit crime, don’t have the money to hire a lawyer • In legal aid, there is a limited amount of money • If you plea
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