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What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of October 9 – 16.

1. Meads v. Meads 2012 ABQB 571

[1] This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following descriptions: Detaxers; Freemen or Freemen-on-the-Land; Sovereign Men or Sovereign Citizens; Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International (CERI); Moorish Law; and other labels . . .

2. R. v. W.(D.) 2002 BCPC 96

[1] “Whoever is lying, I’m going to beat them up”; “If you say anything else, I’m going to beat you up”; “You’re dead”. When do school yard taunts cross over the line to become a criminal offence of threatening death or bodily harm? When does a teenager’s annoying behaviour towards a fellow student amount to an offence of criminal harassment? These questions must be answered in order to determine whether K.P.D. is guilty of one count: uttering a threat to Dawn Marie Wesley to cause her death or bodily harm on November 10, 2000; and whether D.W. is guilty of three counts: the same charge on November 9 and 10, 2000, and a further charge of criminal harassment of Ms. Wesley over the related five day period. I will set out the facts of this case, the law as it relates to threatening and criminal harassment, and then apply the law to the facts. As always, the ultimate question: has Crown proven guilt, beyond a reasonable doubt?

3. R. v. Prokofiew 2012 SCC 49

[1] The issue in this case is whether a trial judge is prohibited by s. 4(6) of the Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-5 (“CEA”), from affirming an accused’s right to silence. At trial, the Crown alleged that Mr. Prokofiew and his co-accused, Mr. Solty, participated in a fraudulent scheme involving the fictitious sale of heavy equipment to generate harmonized sales tax that was then not remitted to the federal government as required. The fraudulent nature of the scheme was never challenged. The involvement of Messrs. Prokofiew and Solty in the scheme was also conceded. The question for the jury was whether either or both accused were aware of the fraudulent nature of the scheme. Mr. Prokofiew did not testify, but was incriminated by Mr. Solty’s testimony. In his closing address, Mr. Solty’s counsel invited the jury to infer Mr. Prokofiew’s guilt from the latter’s failure to testify. The trial judge refrained from giving a remedial instruction to the jury about Mr. Prokofiew’s right to silence. . . .

The most-consulted French-language decision was in fact a three-way tie more or less for a trio of cases involving the same person: Trudeau c. Monty 2003 CanLII 5844; Commissaire à la déontologie policière c. Trudeau 2000 CanLII 22168; Commissaire à la déontologie policière c. Trudeau 2004 CanLII 59923. From the first of these:

[1] L’agente Stéfanie Trudeau, membre du Service de police de la C.U.M., en appelle du verdict de culpabilité prononcé contre elle le 4 octobre 2001, par le comité de déontologie policière du Québec (ci-après le Comité), de même que de la sanction imposée le 13 novembre 2001, relativement à la citation déontologique . . .

[41] Le Tribunal est d’opinion que nous sommes ici en présence de deux manquements déontologiques visant des concepts différents.

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