Intoxication as a Defence

One of the first things you learn in criminal law is that the law should only punish conduct that is voluntary. In other words, something someone was trying to do. You also learn pretty early that each offence has an actus reus (the action) and mens rea (intent)...

Entrapment and drug offences

Entrapment is a widely used, but commonly misunderstood, term. The Supreme Court of Canada has recently affirmed the longstanding test for entrapment initially outlined in R. v. Mack in 1988 and given guidance on how that test applies to undercover operations...

Latest on Distracted Driving

A cell phone that can’t be used remains an “electronic device” for the purposes of a distracted driving ticket according to the Court of Appeal in R. v. Tannhauser, 2020 BCCA 155.  The Motor Vehicle Act states that “[a] person must not use an electronic device while...

Burden of Proof

The presumption of innocence is the golden thread running through the Canadian Criminal Justice System. It is a fundamental principle of justice. As such, it is critical in any trial in which an accused person testifies that the analysis of the evidence follows an...

Lost Evidence

The Crown has an obligation to disclose all relevant information in its possession. Disclosure is an essential component of the right to full answer and defence and as a result has been recognized as a principle of fundamental justice under s. 7 of the Charter of...