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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. Duncan, 2013 ONCJ 160

1. “You should get out of town”, the man said.

2. And so began the journey that resulted in my path intersecting with Matthew Duncan’s path. And thence to these reasons, with a slight detour through territory that might have confused Lewis Carroll.

3. I suppose that I should clarify that there was no menace in the man’s directive to me to get out of town. He was a friend and a colleague in two careers. His suggestion had been that he and I should change positions for a fortnight, giving him exposure to the realities of the northern reaches of Toronto, while I would enjoy a similar change of environment in the more sylvan environs of Niagara Region. I might even see a few plays in the evenings, he pointed out.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Craig, [2009] 1 SCR 762, 2009 SCC 23

[1] Abella J. — The issue in this appeal is how to apply the forfeiture provisions for offence-related real property under ss. 16(1) and 19.1(3) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c. 19.* Two interpretive approaches are possible. Neither is free from difficulty, but one is, it seems to me, generally fairer than the other.

[2] The first approach views forfeiture orders as an aspect of an interdependent global punishment. This approach, which conceptually combines the forfeiture order with terms of imprisonment or other aspects of a sentence, leads almost inevitably to less jail time for those who have property available for forfeiture than for those who have none, on the theory that the accused has been sufficiently punished through the forfeiture order.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R v Lam, 2016 ABQB 489

[113] But that is not the only place where improvement is possible and necessary. This matter underwent two significant adjournments prior to its ultimate scheduled 2017 trial. The first occurred in March 2015 and resulted in the trial date being shifted from June 2015 to June 2016: a year’s delay. As that date approached and disclosure issues persisted, the trial was once more delayed from June 2016 to September 2017: a delay of 15 months. This is sometimes called “institutional delay”, the time required for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to find a new time slot for a particular matter. Even though the Lam proceeding clearly was at this point badly delayed, the Court was unable to reschedule a trial in under 15 months. This was worse than the previous delay of 12 months. Even though the threat to Mr. Lam’s constitutionally mandated right to a timely trial had increased, the Court’s response went the opposite direction. Why?

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision Québec (Procureure générale) c. E.D., 2016 QCCA 536

[36] La Cour suprême précise que la déférence inhérente à la norme de la raisonnabilité implique que la cour de révision doit respecter le processus décisionnel au regard du droit et des faits et tenir dûment compte des conclusions du décideur administratif[30].

[37] S’inspirant des enseignements de la Cour suprême dans les arrêts Dunsmuir[31] et Khosa[32], le juge Morissette rappelle que « la cour chargée de la révision judiciaire ne peut substituer la solution qu’elle juge elle-même appropriée à celle qui a été retenue, mais doit plutôt déterminer si la solution retenue fait partie des “issues possibles acceptables pouvant se justifier au regard des faits et du droit” »[33].

(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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