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 Natewayes, 2015 SKCA 120

[1] Tasia Natewayes was charged with manslaughter in connection with a stabbing death that occurred during the course of a home invasion. She had driven a group of men to the house where the fatal attack occurred so they could assault Cody Vandall. The trial judge acquitted Ms. Natewayes of manslaughter but convicted her of break and enter for the purpose of committing an indictable offence. The judge entered the acquittal because she found that, although Ms. Natewayes had known the men intended to assault Mr. Vandall, she could not reasonably have foreseen the presence of the victim at the scene and the risk of harm to him.

[2] The Court is faced with two appeals. First, the Crown argues the trial judge erred in holding that Ms. Natewayes’ liability on the manslaughter charge depended on her foreseeing a specific risk of harm to the victim. Second, Ms. Natewayes submits the break and enter conviction was unreasonable and should be set aside.

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2. Doe 464533 v N.D., 2016 ONSC 541

[20] There can be little doubt that the decision by the plaintiff to provide the defendant with an intimate video of herself engages issues of confidentiality and privacy. They had a close personal and romantic relationship of some duration. It was on the basis of that relationship that she agreed to provide him with private images of her. The plaintiff’s decision to send the video was premised upon the defendant’s assurance that he alone would view it. His decision to share it publicly was a clear breach of the terms upon which it was communicated to him.

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3. R v Awer, 2016 ABCA 128

[127] In applying these principles to this case, Mr. Denison’s observations of DNA transfers do not guarantee their probative value. As the gatekeeper, it fell to the trial judge to evaluate his evidence. Yet the record reveals no concern with how Mr. Denison arrived at his observations. A proper gatekeeper scrutiny of Mr. Denison’s testimony required more knowledge about its context. In the absence of confirmation of how he made his observations, his statement should not be weighed as “scientific information”, but rather as a “mere impressionistic or anecdotal belief”. The following unanswered questions about Mr. Denison’s conclusory statement demonstrate its lack of probative value:

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The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Bédard, 2016 QCCA 807

[21] En conséquence, l’inférence tirée par le juge voulant que les intimés aient agi suivant l’avis reçu du sergent Girard constitue une erreur de droit qui commande l’intervention de la Cour. À partir de l’instant où l’autorisation de se trouver dans la résidence du plaignant était retirée, les intimés devaient quitter les lieux les lieux puisqu’ils ne détenaient aucun mandat, selon l’avis même du sergent Girard. Cet avis, en présumant qu’il émanait d’une « personne compétente en la matière », ce que conteste l’appelante, ne peut donc servir de fondement au refus des intimés d’obtempérer à la demande légitime du plaignant et à leur décision de procéder néanmoins à l’arrestation, ce qui constituait des voies de fait.

(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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