Charter Cases: Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence

Section 11(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

11. Any person charged with an offence has the right …

(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;

R. v. Mailhot, 2013 SCC 17

In a brief but meaningful decision rendered March 28, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada insisted on a new trial for Jean Philippe Mailhot, an accused individual whose right to a fair trial had been compromised by comments of the trial judge during the charge to the jury. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 11(f): Trial by Jury, Section 11: Legal Rights

R. v. N.S., 2012 SCC 72

Two accused persons stood charged with sexually assaulting N.S. When called to testify, N.S. stated that she wished to wear a niqab which covered her face, and which she insisted was a necessary part of her Muslim faith. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 2(a): Freedom of Religion, Section 2: Fundamental Freedoms, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Dineley, 2012 SCC 58

Dineley was heard as a companion case alongside R. v. St Onge Lamoureux and involved an analysis of whether legislative amendments to Canada’s impaired driving laws could operate retrospectively, thereby preventing the accused from calling an expert witness to cast doubt on Breathalyzer results. The amendments in question only became law during the course of Mr. Dineley’s trial. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 11: Legal Rights

R. v. St-Onge Lamoureux, 2012 SCC 57

The accused, Anic St-Onge Lamoureux, was charged with impaired driving and had sought at trial to advance a so called “Carter defence,” arguing that the Breathalyzer results obtained from her did not accurately represent her blood alcohol level. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 11: Legal Rights

R. v. Hill, 2012 ONSC 5050

Roland Hill challenged the constitutionality of Section 753(1.1) of the Criminal Code, arguing that it violated the presumption of innocence and principles of fundamental justice insofar as shifted the burden of proof onto convicted offenders to demonstrate that they should not be prosecuted as “dangerous offenders.” Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society, [1992] 2 S.C.R. 606

The Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society was charged with two counts of conspiracy to unduly prevent or lessen competition, as a result of its practices in selling and dispensing prescription drugs in 1986 and prior. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(a): Right to be Informed of Offence, Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 11: Legal Rights, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Rowbotham, 1988 CanLII 147 (ON CA)

In R. v. Rowbotham, ten Appellants challenged various convictions of conspiracy to import marijuana and hashish. Numerous grounds of appeal were argued, but what makes this a key case in Charter jurisprudence is the ground pursued by George and Laura Kononow, two unrepresented accused who argued that a lawyer should have been provided for them in order to protect their right to a fair trial. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 11: Legal Rights, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103

In R. v. Oakes, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a Court of Appeal decision striking down a clause of the Narcotic Control Act which presumed that an individual in possession of drugs had the intent to traffic. This reverse onus, the Court ruled, was contrary to the presumption of innocence in Section 11(d) of the Charter, and was not a reasonable limit on the legal rights of the accused and therefore could not be saved by Section 1. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(d): Presumption of Innocence, Section 11: Legal Rights, Section 1: Reasonable Limits