Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (May 16 – June 12, 2020 inclusive).


Criminal Law: Entrapment
R. v. Ahmad, 2020 SCC 11(38165)(38304) (joint reasons for 2 appeals)

Police cannot offer a person who answers a cell phone the opportunity to commit an offence without having formed reasonable suspicion the person using that phone, or that phone number, is engaged in crime. A bare tip from an unverified source that someone is dealing drugs from a phone number cannot ground reasonable suspicion. In a phone conversation, an opportunity is established when an affirmative response to the question posed by the officer could satisfy the material elements of an offence. In a “dial-a-dope” context, in which the initial interaction between police and target occurs entirely over the phone, the exercise centres on determining whether words spoken by police constitute an opportunity to commit trafficking. Police can make exploratory requests of the target, including asking whether they sell drugs, without providing an opportunity to traffic. An opportunity is provided only when the terms of the deal have narrowed to the point that the request is for a specific type of drug and, therefore, the target can commit an offence by simply agreeing to provide what the officer has requested. In some cases, a request to purchase a specific quantity of drugs will suffice.

Leaves to Appeal Granted

Criminal Law: Murder One; Fresh Evidence
C.B.C. v. S.F.O., 2019 MBCA 122 (38992)

Clarification re fresh evidence in a homicide trial.

Torts: Medmal
Armstrong v. Ward, 2019 ONCA 963 (39049)

Did medmal occur here in this surgical case.

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