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. Anthony‑Cook, 2016 SCC 43

[1] Resolution discussions between Crown and defence counsel are not only commonplace in the criminal justice system, they are essential. Properly conducted, they permit the system to function smoothly and efficiently.

[2] Joint submissions on sentence — that is, when Crown and defence counsel agree to recommend a particular sentence to the judge, in exchange for the accused entering a plea of guilty — are a subset of resolution discussions.[1] They are both an accepted and acceptable means of plea resolution. They occur every day in courtrooms across this country and they are vital to the efficient operation of the criminal justice system. As this Court said in R. v. Nixon, 2011 SCC 34 (CanLII), [2011] 2 S.C.R. 566, not only do joint submissions “help to resolve the vast majority of criminal cases in Canada”, but “in doing so, [they] contribute to a fair and efficient criminal justice system” (para. 47).

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R v Ndhlovu, 2016 ABQB 595

[75] I note that in 20 years the offender can make an application to be removed from the registry. However, I cannot presume that at that time he will be granted such an application. Therefore, I am treating this application as a challenge to a lifetime registration.

[76] I find that the offender subject to a SOIRA order is deprived of his liberty, and, in particular, that a SOIRA order for life to be imposed on Mr. Ndhlovu will deprive him of his liberty for the balance of his life.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R v Vanasse, 2016 ABCA 329

[22] The respondent’s conversation with the employee at the paint store in which he concealed the real reason for the damage to his vehicle is an aggravating factor. The sentencing judge erred in concluding that it was not. Even Dr Heiner acknowledged that the respondent had the ability to reason and make decisions when he was at the paint store.

[23] Accordingly, the sentencing judge erred in principle in failing to consider as aggravating the respondent’s attempt to conceal the real cause of damage to his vehicle. This error led to a sentence which was not proportionate because it lessened the moral blameworthiness of the offender.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision Morasse v. Nadeau‑Dubois, 2016 SCC 44

[1] Au printemps 2012, des manifestations étudiantes importantes et soutenues ont lieu dans la province de Québec sur la question de hausses projetées des droits de scolarité universitaires. Les hausses sont annoncées dans le cadre du budget présenté par le gouvernement provincial. Plusieurs organisations étudiantes opposées à ces hausses organisent des manifestations en réaction au projet.

[2] Les manifestations paralysent plusieurs établissements postsecondaires et des cours sont annulés dans plusieurs d’entre eux. Des organisations étudiantes tiennent des votes « de grève ». Des lignes de piquetage sont formées sur les campus de plusieurs universités et cégeps.[1] Des étudiants et des enseignants sont empêchés de pénétrer dans les édifices où doivent se donner les cours. En conséquence, plusieurs injonctions sont demandées pour limiter ces entraves et aider à faire en sorte que l’année scolaire se poursuive.

(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.


  1. Peggie Fitzpatrick

    The 2011 version of SOIRA needs to be reviewed by Parliament and tossed out or rewritten as it represents an egregious breach of Charter rights re liberty, cruel and unusual punishmentfor, etc. for those who are not deemed by a judge to present an undue risk to public safety. The judge needs to have discretion in these matters as the triers of facts and who see first hand how all facts in a case interrelate.