Criminal Law

Eliminating peremptory challenges puts judges in charge

Criminal Code reforms being rolled out this fall include the elimination of peremptory challenges — where trial participants can reject a certain number of potential jurors without stating a reason — which Toronto criminal lawyer John Rosen says will cause “chaos in the courts.” Read more

Ontario housing policy could have unforeseen consequences

It’s critical for the province to define what criminal offences are covered by its new policy that allows housing providers to permanently ban community housing tenants who have committed “serious crimes,” Toronto criminal defence lawyer Rashmi Kumar tells Law Times. Read more

Travelling now a potential ticket to trouble: Botting

Travelling anywhere in the world has become more dangerous in recent years, as high-profile arrests in Cuba and Canada show, says British Columbia criminal lawyer Dr. Gary Botting, who works extensively on extradition cases. Read more

All legal gun owners must learn to deal with stereotypes

Shooting can be an empowering sport for women, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jordana Goldlist, who is a licensed firearm owner, sport shooter and gun collector outside of her practice, a significant portion of which involves defending people charged with firearms offences. Read more

SCC peels back curtain on police actions as trespassers

The Supreme Court of Canada came down hard on the actions of police “as trespassers on private property” when it set aside a man’s drug and gun convictions, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jacob Stilman. Read more

Driving and the use of your phone

By Joseph Neuberger In December 2017, Ontario passed Bill 174 regulating the sale of recreational marijuana in the province. Under the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, there are changes to the distracted driving laws that came into effect on January 1, 2019. Read more

Ontario bail system in need of serious repair: Gadhia

After a brief period of reform, bail courts are reverting to their overly restrictive ways, says Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia. Read more

Help! How do I choose the ‘right’ lawyer?

By Sarah Leamon Choosing a lawyer can be extremely stressful. It’s not something that we do every day. Read more

Historic SCC hearings outside Ottawa ‘exciting’: Presser

Canadians should be pleased that the nation’s top court is holding proceedings outside of Ottawa for the first time, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jill Presser, who will appear before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) as part of this historic event. Read more

Allocate funding wisely for gun reduction strategy: Dale

The federal government’s pledge to provide $54 million over three years to support Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy (GGVRS) will not amount to much if the money is not allocated to the right resources, says Toronto criminal lawyer Laurelly Dale. Read more

Naked B.C. man who jumped in Toronto shark tank pleads guilty to mischief

TORONTO — A British Columbia man who stripped naked and jumped into a shark tank at a Toronto aquarium last year apologized for his actions Thursday as he pleaded guilty to mischief. Read more

Stigma of criminal activity lingers: Dunn

A criminal conviction brings an element of social stigma to those involved, but when information can live forever online, even being charged can affect your reputation indefinitely, says Calgary criminal lawyer Greg Dunn. Read more

Decision-making time should count towards Jordan deadlines

Judges should be required to deliver their decisions within deadlines set by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) or risk breaching defendants’ Charter rights, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jill Presser, who will appear before the nation’s top court this month representing an intervenor in an appeal involving the issue of delay. Read more

Relevance key in introducing evidence of past sexual history

The past relationship between the complainant and the accused cannot be introduced as evidence in sexual assault cases unless it is clearly shown to be relevant, says Toronto criminal lawyer Melanie Webb. Read more

Accord acknowledges Supreme Court independence: Hicks

An accord between Canada’s chief justice and its justice minister aimed at strengthening the independence of the Supreme Court is not legally binding but carries strong moral suasion, says Toronto criminal lawyer Christopher Hicks. Read more