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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 Watson, 2018 ABQB 832

[37] Further, in my view, the automatic one year suspension to which Mr. Watson has been subject should be subtracted from the mandatory minimum prohibition that would otherwise be imposed. To fail to do so would be to inflict a form of double punishment on him. One must presume that this was not Parliament`s intention; where the interaction between the Criminal Code provision and the provincial legislation results in an unjust punitive effect, the sentencing issue must be resolved in favour of the accused and tailored to his individual circumstances: Wust at paras 22, 34.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Lloyd, 2016 SCC 13

[1] Parliament has the power to proscribe conduct as criminal and determine the punishment for it, and judges have the duty to apply the laws Parliament adopts on punishment to offenders. But individuals are also entitled to receive, and judges have a duty to impose, sentences that are constitutional having regard to the circumstances of each case that comes before them. Sometimes a judge’s duty to apply a mandatory minimum sentence provision conflicts with the judge’s duty to impose a sentence that does not violate the guarantees of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In this appeal, the Court is once again confronted with the problem of how the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence can be reconciled with the imperative that no person shall be punished in a manner than infringes the Charter.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R v Named Person X, 2018 ABQB 827

[15] The Accused seeks the assistance of his defence counsel at the in camera disclosure hearing. The Accused says that he acted as a confidential informant in relation to the investigation that resulted in the charges against him. He purports to waive the informer privilege in writing. This waiver has been provided to the Crown, in the context of seeking related disclosure, namely, the SHNs.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was El-Alloul c. Procureure générale du Québec, 2018 QCCA 1611

[67] Il s’ensuit que les justiciables ont le droit d’exprimer leurs croyances religieuses sincères, y compris en matière vestimentaire, et les tribunaux doivent accommoder l’exercice de ce droit en salle d’audience dans la mesure où on ne porte pas ainsi atteinte à un intérêt public prépondérant. La liberté d’expression religieuse ne s’éteint pas à la porte d’une salle d’audience.

[68] Freedom of conscience and religion may rightly be restricted in a courtroom if the exercise of that right conflicts with or harms an overriding public interest, provided any such limit is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. But the basic constitutional right remains intact, including in the confines of a courtroom.

(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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