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CRM 308 (18)
Lecture 2

CCRM308 - Week 2: The Court System.docx

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CRM 308
Enzo Rondonelli

CCRM308 – Week 2: The Court System (The Players: The Jury) - Rarely will you be able to bring in fresh evidence; you need to convince the judges to allow the fresh evidence, usually opposed to by the Crown - First level of contact: Ontario Court of Justice (“the people’s court”) where most of the criminal charges (~95%) are dealt with and disposed of here, most of them by guilty plea • Two types of judicial officers: Justice of the Peace (lower) and a Justice/Judge • Difference: sash on the robe varies which indicates how they should be addressed in court – Justice of the Peace (“your worship”) wears a green sash & a Judge/Justice (“your honour”) will be wearing a red sash • JPs deal with bylaw matters, some criminal matters but mostly regulatory offences or highway traffic acts. They deal with two important aspects: sign search warrants and do the majority of bail hearings (not including those that deal with murder because those require a Judge/Justice). They don’t need legal training, and are strictly a political appointment. There is a private member’s bill coming along now where they want to change this: specific training for bail hearings or for tickets, etc. (The idea of hiring civilians is to get a cross-section of people to bring “common sense” so should this be changed?) • Justices go through an appointment process. You have to be a lawyer for 10 years, preferably with no disciplinary record and will be interviewed by a committee which will send the list of possibilities to the Attorney General who will decide the candidate to fill whatever vacancy is available. There is still a political aspect but the procedure ensures some fairness and no appointments are done by just being friends with the AG - Second level: Superior Court of Justice deal with a whole host of matters such as civil matters larger than small court, commercial litigation, medical malpractice like a generalist bench • Two types: Juries and Superior Court of Justice Judges • Juries are selected randomly among the public with no training • SCJJ are still appointed politically coming from an inner circle - Third level: Ontario Court of Appeal where you will sit in front of 3 judges, or a very high profile case where there may be 5 where majority rules • You can appeal to this court if you have gone through the other stages • The Crown can appeal if you have been acquitted through straight error of law • You are given an hour to appeal your client after reading all your material (factum, fact of case, etc.) and they will question you (most lawyers try to guess what questions will be asked during the trail in preparation) • Usually done by endorsement (95%) where they will come up with a decision on the spot  There are about 600,000 charges in a year alone • This is pretty much the last stop for clients; if they lose this appeal, they will have to apply (“seek leave”) and it will be up to the three judges in granting or declining to grant leave (we no longer have an automatic appeal). The application will be sent to them and you will receive a grant or deny (no reasons)  It needs to be of national importance (something broader than the client’s own case)  Leave of Appeals applications: 700 (about 70 get leave) - Fourth level: Supreme Court of Canada • You need Leave to Appeal (permission) to appeal to this court • Nine judges sit on this panel and they deal with about 70 cases a year - Ex of judges doing funny business: - Ontario Court of Justice: Even though the Crown was asking for a 12-month sentence; a Judge gives 18-months • Grounds for an appeal, putting the judges under a microscope - Judiciary Complaint Committee: do these complaints really get us anywhere? Let’s go with no… - Supreme Court of Canada: breakdown of 9 judges • Ontario and Quebec have 3 judges each due to size and uniqueness (common law, civil law, etc.) usually plucked f
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