Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. R. v. Delchev, 2015 ONCA 381

[45] In explaining how I reach this conclusion, I first outline the approach to the review of prosecutorial discretion, including the threshold evidentiary burden that must be met by an accused person alleging an abuse of process based on the improper exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Second, I explain why the Crown’s offer and the circumstances in which it was made constitute a rare and exceptional event, analogous to the Crown’s decision to repudiate a plea agreement in Nixon. Finally, I go on to explain why the appropriate remedy in the circumstances is to send the matter back for a new trial where the issues of whether the appellant has proved an abuse of process and whether a stay is warranted can be pursued.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Lin v OTPPB, 2015 ONSC 3494

[57] If the PPM is proprietary and confidential, its treatment in these proceedings is rather puzzling. At the end of the meeting at which Lin’s employment was terminated, Lin was left with a copy of the PPM. He offered to return it but this offer was declined. He left Teachers’ with the document. Subsequently, after proceedings had been commenced, Teachers’ sought return of the document and an agreement was reached on how the document would be treated. Then, at trial, the PPM was filed as part of the exhibits. Teachers’ did not seek to have the document sealed. The proponent, whose Chief Financial Officer testified and referred to the document in open court, did not seek a sealing order. It may be that sensitivity over disclosure of the PPM had dissipated through the effluxion of time, but I heard no evidence to this effect. The PPM remains an exhibit in the court file, accessible by any member of the public who wishes to review or copy it.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Tatton, 2015 SCC 33

[1] This case requires the Court to determine whether self-induced intoxication is a defence to a charge of arson under s. 434 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46. The charge against the respondent, Mr. Tatton, arose out of a fire that destroyed the contents of his ex-girlfriend’s home. The fire began after Mr. Tatton, in a highly intoxicated state, placed a pan with oil on the stove, set the burner to “high”, and left the house to get a coffee at a nearby Tim Hortons. When he returned approximately 20 minutes later, the house was on fire.

[2] At trial, Mr. Tatton sought to rely on the defence of accident based on his drunkenness to rebut the intent required for the offence of arson. The trial judge found that he could do so, and a majority of the Court of Appeal agreed. For reasons that follow, I am respectfully of the view that the trial judge and the majority of the Court of Appeal erred. Intoxication short of automatism is not a defence to a charge of arson under s. 434 of the Code.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. c. Létourneau, 2014 QCCA 944

[10] Le 21 février 2005[1], l’intimée Létourneau, d’une part, et les intimés Blais et Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé, d’autre part, ont été autorisés à instituer un recours collectif en responsabilité civile contre diverses sociétés, dont l’appelante Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. Les premiers reprochent aux secondes des fautes qui seraient la cause des dommages subis par suite de leur consommation de cigarettes et de leur dépendance à ce produit. Ils exigent une réparation se chiffrant à plusieurs milliards de dollars, ainsi que des dommages punitifs substantiels.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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