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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. Samaniego, 2022 SCC 9

[1] Managing a criminal trial is a demanding task. This trial was no exception. It devolved into a nine-day, highly contested jury trial over a seemingly straightforward issue: whether Mr. Samaniego and/or his co-accused, Mr. Serrano, had possession of a handgun. The experienced trial judge had her hands full keeping the proceedings on track. Without her patience and her overriding concern that all parties be treated fairly, it almost certainly would have resulted in a mistrial. Cut-throat defences led to bickering among the parties; time estimates were honoured more in the breach than in the observance; and the jury was repeatedly required to leave the courtroom while the trial judge dealt with case management and evidentiary issues, many of which were attributable to the manner in which the main Crown witness was cross-examined by Mr. Samaniego’s trial counsel (“trial counsel”).

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Ffrench, 2022 ONCJ 134

17. The legal principles applicable to these issues can be stated in a nutshell: The stopping of a motorist will be lawful and not arbitrary if it is made on reasonable grounds or if it is made without grounds for a proper traffic purpose[4] that is not a ruse or pretext.[5] However even if the stop satisfies these requirements, it will be invalidated and a violation of section 9 if it is tainted by racial profiling to any degree: R v Humphrey 2011 ONSC 3024 (CanLII), [2011] O.J. No. 2412 paras 79 – 109; R v Brown 2003 CanLII 52142 (ON CA), [2003] OJ No 1251; Peart vs PRP 2006 CanLII 37566 (ON CA), [2006] OJ No 4457; R v Dudhi 2019 ONCA 665 (CanLII), [2019] O.J No 4333; and R v Sitladeen 2021 ONCA 303.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R v Zacharias, 2022 ABCA 112

[47] New issues on appeal can be allowed where there is a sufficient evidentiary record to decide the new issue on appeal: Dow Chemical Canada ULC v NOVA Chemicals Corporation, 2020 ABCA 320 at paras 63-64. It must also be established that, if the issue had been raised at trial, the other party (here, the Crown) would not have adduced further evidence on it: Jacobs at para 25. Importantly, where there is an adequate factual foundation for an appeal court to decide the new issue and there would be no prejudice to the other party, an appeal court may have a duty to determine the new issue if refusing would result in unfairness: R v Travis, 2014 ABCA 217 at paras 3-4; Guindon v Canada, 2015 SCC 41 at para 37. This point is all the more important when the liberty of the subject is at stake on appeal: Jacobs at para 28.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was André-Bélisle c. Audet, 2022 QCTAL 7423

[48] La pierre angulaire en droit de louage résidentiel au Québec est le droit au maintien dans les lieux des locataires[1]. Aussi, la reprise du logement étant un cas d’exception, il convient, lorsqu’on l’exerce, de procéder légitimement, avec sérieux et raisonnablement.

[49] La bonne foi se présume, tel que stipulé à l’article 2805 C.c.Q. Il appartient à la partie invoquant la mauvaise foi, en l’occurrence la locataire, d’en faire la preuve par prépondérance, comme requis par les articles 2803 et 2804 C.c.Q[2].

(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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