Criminal Law

Special bail hearings keeping individuals jailed unnecessarily

Ontario defendants are being held in custody for unreasonable periods because prosecutors subject many to “special bail” hearings, says Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia. Read more

Change of venue bids different for small-town retrials

There are four main considerations when bringing a change of venue application for retrials, says Toronto criminal lawyer Tyler Smith, whose firm recently made such a request. Read more

The problem with probabilistic genotyping of DNA

There is a concern that a new DNA testing tool being used by Ontario’s Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) will gain credibility with jurors it’s not yet earned, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jill Presser, who will be a guest panellist during the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA) Fall Conference. Read more

The presumption of guilt in bail hearings

By Joseph Neuberger Recent changes to the bail hearing provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada, for those accused of domestic violence, including assault and sexual assault, the government has created a reverse onus for anyone with a previous, related conviction. Read more

Benefit of U.S. border crackdown on marijuana questionable

“Absurd” U.S. federal cannabis policies are in the spotlight again as Canadians are reportedly being barred from the United States for admitting to long-past marijuana use, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jacob Stilman. Read more

Police investigating own alleged misconduct ‘offensive’

Reports of years-long delays in investigating allegations of criminal behaviour by Quebec police against Indigenous people should be concerning to all Canadians, as they point to evidence of a broader, more systemic problem in the way the province’s authorities deal with complaints, says Alberta Indigenous rights litigator Leighton Grey. Read more

U.S. case could alter Canadian opioid crisis strategy: Dale

The manslaughter conviction of a U.S. doctor resulting from his prescribing of opioids could be the “catalyst” in the creation of a special narcotics prosecutors office in Canada, Toronto criminal lawyer Laurelly Dale tells The Lawyer’s Daily. Read more

Attack on the rules of evidence in sexual assault cases

By Joseph Neuberger The justice system depends upon public faith to give it legitimacy and that faith must remain intact for both the complainants of crime and the accused. Read more

Cross-training can improve justice system collaboration

Judges and lawyers need greater exposure to the expertise held by corrections, probation and social service providers on offender rehabilitation, says Oshawa criminal lawyer Lawrence Forstner. Read more

SCC to rule if sex offender registry unfair to mentally ill

Sex offenders who have been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder (NCRMD), and received an absolute discharge from the Ontario Review Board (ORB), may soon be permitted to have themselves removed from sex offender registries, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel. Read more

Tough bail conditions to follow overturned murder conviction

Expect strict bail conditions to be set for a Moncton woman whose first-degree murder conviction has been overturned by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, Toronto criminal lawyer Christopher Hicks tells the CBC. Read more

Computer sleuthing can be key to strong defence: Daviau

Gathering the evidence necessary to clear a person wrongfully accused of child pornography charges is a matter of knowing how and where to find it, says Toronto criminal lawyer Lindsay Daviau, who has successfully defended multiple clients in such cases. Read more

Human trafficking legislation far too broad: Zita

An Ontario Court of Appeal decision in a sexual exploitation case shows how wide a range of activities is criminalized by Canada’s human trafficking legislation, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita. Read more

Justice system must accept reality of opioid crisis: Goldlist

The opioid crisis gripping this continent stretches from the hands of dealers to the arms of addicts — and to the pockets of the manufacturers, Toronto criminal lawyer Jordana Goldlist writes in The Lawyer’s Daily. Read more

Do you know the rules about cannabis edibles in Canada?

By Sarah Leamon As of this month, Canada has legalized edible cannabis products, including vaping and topical products, across the country. Read more