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. Daviault, [1994] 3 SCR 63, 1994 CanLII 61 (SCC)

The facts of this case and the judgments below are set out in the reasons of Justice Sopinka. Although I agree with my colleague on a number of issues, I cannot agree with his conclusion that it is consistent with the principles of fundamental justice and the presumption of innocence for the courts to eliminate the mental element in crimes of general intent. Nor do I agree that self‑induced intoxication is a sufficiently blameworthy state of mind to justify culpability, and to substitute it for the mental element that is an essential requirement of those crimes. In my opinion, the principles embodied in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and more specifically in ss. 7 and 11(d), mandate a limited exception to, or some flexibility in, the application of the Leary rule. This would permit evidence of extreme intoxication akin to automatism or insanity to be considered in determining whether the accused possessed the minimal mental element required for crimes of general intent.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Morris, 2018 ONSC 5186

[52] My role is to give expression to that fear. To condemn the crime and those who do it. But it is not my role to give in to that fear. No matter how strongly it seizes the community’s psyche. Reason must control emotion in sentencing. Because in our system, a sentence is not just about the crime. It must be also about the offender. It must be about the particular facts of the case. A sentence must be multi-dimensional. It must be proportionate.

[53] As well, we have a problem with the disproportionate imprisonment of African-Canadians. This too is a serious problem. Sometimes the solutions to these two problems may seem to clash with each other. Gun crime calling for stiffer punishment. Longer jail sentences. The other problem calling for more moderation. More restraint. More creative solutions when creative solutions are right.

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3. Canadian Natural Resources Limited v Wood Group Mustang (Canada) Inc. (IMV Projects Inc.), 2018 ABCA 305

[151] It would be ironic if the non-settling tortfeasor, IMV Projects, was entitled to credit for the “over settling” with the settling defendants, but the contributorily negligent tortfeasor, CNRL, was not. Likewise, if the plaintiff over settled against one defendant, but under settled against another, there would be no justification for giving the non-settling defendant any credit until the plaintiff was fully indemnified for its losses. Sable Offshore confirms that plaintiffs should be encouraged to settle multiparty claims, even if they are contributorily negligent. The settling but contributorily negligent plaintiff in a Pierringer arrangement should not have to give credit to the non-settling defendant until it is fully indemnified for its losses.

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The most-consulted French-language decision was Institut Philippe Pinel de Montréal c. A.G., 1994 CanLII 6105 (QC CA)

AUTORISE, pour une période de deux ans à compter de la date de cet arrêt, l’appelant à traiter l’intimé contre son gré, en lui administrant des médicaments antispychotiques et les autres médicaments jugés nécessaires pour atténuer ou combattre les effets secondaires des premiers;

(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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