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Lecture 8

JRN 105 Lecture 8: Law in Journalism

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JRN 105
Lisa Taylor

JRN 105: Law in Journalism Part 1 Disclaimer: Everything that follows is accurate generally speaking Outline of the Canadian courts Open court principle: Citizens are allowed to view court proceedings on all levels Two Main Branches of Court • Criminal: Under federal jurisdiction and person is charged for criminal cts such as murder • Civil: under provincial jurisdiction and covers cases such as suing companies or persons Judges • Appointed and paid by government but don’t officially work for government • Judgers have security of tenure • Independence ensures a judge can make rulings that might offend government Jurors • Trial by jury is a right for anyone charged with a serious crime • Jurors= tier of fact but judge instructs them on the appropriate law to be applied • Jurors’ verdict must be unanimous and failure to agree will result in new trial • Jurors don’t have input into sentencing Crown Prosecutor • They act for the state • Present the case against those charged with crimes Defence Lawyers • Ethically bound to represent her client to the best of her ability • Role is to test the Crown’s case against the accused every step of the way Provincial Courts • Range of courts including small claims, traffic courts, probate court and criminal court • Provincial criminal court is called the Ontario Court of Justices • All criminal matters begin in the Ontario Court of Justice Superior Courts • Known as Ontario Superior Court of Justice • Hears the more serious of criminal charges, it also hears all civil matters other than those small enough for a small claims court • Appeal division of provincial superior courts hears appeals of both criminal and civil trials Supreme Court of Canada • Court of last resort • All lower court judges must following rulings of the SCC • Tough to get the Supreme Court of Canada to even hear a case Arraignment • Accused first appearance in court • Always happen in the provincial courts • Judge usually reads the charge • Accused will almost always ask for adjournment to consider the allegations and options Election and Plea • In provincial court there is always a plea at this stage • If plea is guilty, a sentencing date is set • If the plea is not guilty, a trial date is set • If accused moves to superior courts no plea • Provincial courts instead set a date for preliminary hearing the provincial court Disclosure of Crown evidence • Accused has the right to review the evidence against them before they elect and plea • Crown must give the accused the entirety of its case file including evidence that could exonerate the accused • Accused does not have to disclose any information to th CROWN UNDLESS THEY INTEND to rely on an alibi Bail hearing • Charter gives accused persons the right not to be denied bail without reasonable cause • Most defendants are released with the promise to appear • The Crown may opt to “show cause” for keeping the accused in custody or for setting a bail amount • An accused may also be sent for psychiatric examination • Bail hearing are usually covered by a sweeping publication ban-a;; you can report is that a hearing was held, whether the person was released and what conditions, if any, she is subject to Preliminary Hearing • Provides a review of the evidence so the accused knows the case they are facing and the judge can determine whether there’s enough of a case t go to trial • The threshold is low • The accused usually doesn’t present evidence • The accused can also choose to bypass the preliminary hearing and proceed directly to trial Plea Bargain • Accuse may
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