WDW225 Exam Booklet - Summary and Cases

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
William Watson

1. SOURCES OF CRIMINAL LAW Criminal Law 2 types: 1) Substantive (a) Definitions of criminal offences (CC) (b) General principles of CL (c) Constitution (esp. the Charter) 2) Adjectival (a) Criminal procedure (b) Criminal evidence (c) Sentencing (d) Trial Practice 1. CONSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT A. Division of powers (1)Creation of Offences (2)Prosecutors, Police, and Prisons Constitution Act , 1867 Division of Powers -- Federal -- s.91(27) Criminal law matters, incl. Crim. Pro. s.91(28) Penitentiaries Provincial -- s.92(6) Public and reformatory prisons in and for the province s.92(13) Property and civil rights in the province s92(14) Administration of Justice in the province (includes prosecuting criminal offences and policing; maintenance of provincial courts) s.92(15) provinces may impose punishment by fine, penalty, or imprisonment to enforce provincial laws Prosecutions Federal govt is responsible for prosecuting all federal offences that are not criminal offences Policing divided long the same lines: RCMP handle all cases involving non-criminal federal laws (Narcotics Control Act, e.g.) Prisons s. 91(28) feds control penitentiaries (2 years +) -- s. 92(6) provinces control prisons (less than 2 years) (3)Trials and Trial Courts 1. Courts (1) Provincial Courts -- All criminal cases are heard by provincial courts (except SCC) Indictable offences more serious offences 3 types (1) offences which fall in the absolute jurisdiction of the Provincial Court (2) where the accused has an election to choose mode of trial (judge, jury, etc.) (3) regulatory offences Summary conviction offences less serious max. sentence 18 months, max. fine $2000 -- always tried in Provincial Court (2) Superior Courts -- controlled by provinces but judges appointed by federal govt (s.96) -- Sup. Crts. Try 2 types of offences: 1 www.notesolution.com (1)Indictable offences within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sup. Crts (s.469 offences) (e.g., piracy, treason, murder, etc.) (2)Indictable offences where accused elects trial by judge and jury 2. Appeals -- appeal of summary offence goes to Sup. Crts.; Appeal of indictable offence goes to Court of Appeal Grounds for appeal: (1) Verdict unreasonable or not supported by the evidence (2) Miscarriage of justice (3) Error in law CC s.686 Notwithstanding the error in law from the trial, there has been no miscarriage of justice and the conviction stands 2. STATUTORY SOURCES True crimes Criminal Code of Canada (since 1892); other federal statues (Narcotics Control Act, e.g.) Quasi-criminal offences Provincial legislation, regulations, etc. 3. COMMON LAW SOURCES 1. A. Common Law Offences R. v. Sedley (1663) (p. 1) Streaker public morality was offended the Courts role was to determine what conduct was to be punished, not relying on statute. Frey v. Fedoruk (1950) (SCC) (p. 2) Peeping Tom was detained by private citizen. Peeper sued for unlawful confinement. Peeping tommery not an offence in CC at the time, and there were no reported common law cases. SCC held that a rule or conduct must be a recognized offence, either codified or by authority of some reported case. New criminal cases are for Parliament to create, not the courts. 3. Problems with Common Law Criminal Offences (1) Ambiguous Laws (a) People dont know if theyre breaking the law (b) Deterrence factor is ineffective if people dont know that what theyre doing is wrong (2) Who makes the laws? Unelected judges or elected officials? Policy issues. (3) Non-Retroactivity cant retroactively decide what is criminal, i.e., I commit an act and the judge decides afterward (at trial) that it is a criminal offence (now Charter s.11g) CC s.8(2), s.8(3), and s.9(a) Hold that common law defences are still valid in Canada, but there are no more common law offences 1. B. The Use of Common Law Principles in Statutory Interpretation R. v. Jobidon (1991) (SCC) (p. 13) Two guys decided to duke it out in the parking lot of a bar. They both agreed to the fight. Jobidon punched the victim once in the face, knocking the victim unconscious. Jobidon then threw a series of punches to the head, one of which ultimately killed the victim. Two issues came from the case: (1) Do common law limitations on consent apply to s. 265 (Assault) of the CC?, and (2) Can mutual consent to a fist fight protect a participant from being convicted of assault as a result of the fight? Majority of the SCC rules that (1) Common law limitations can restrict or negate the legal effectiveness of consent in certain types of cases, and (2) The effect of these limitations is such that adults cannot consent to receiving serious hurt or non-trivial bodily harm, even though they consent to the application of force in a fist-fight or brawl. II. Vagueness, Overbreadth & Strict Construction. 1. VAGUENESS AND OVERBREADTH Laws that are too vague: do not give citizens fair notice (vagueness). If Laws are overly broad they place no limits on enforcement discretion (overbreadth). Thus either situation violates section 7 of the 2 www.notesolution.com
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