Criminal Law

Oland trial demonstrates DNA not always absolute proof

Dennis Oland’s acquittal on a second-degree murder charge in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his multimillionaire father, Richard, should serve as a reminder to police and Crown prosecutors about the limitation of DNA evidence, says Toronto criminal lawyer Laurelly Dale. Read more

Failure to meet Gladue requests results in stay of charges

Toronto lawyer Tyler Smith foresees an increase in applications to stay charges in cases involving Indigenous offenders in light of recent cuts to legal aid in Ontario. Read more

Forstner considers pre-trial motion on closed-circuit TV

Defendants in poorly equipped courthouses are being placed at a disadvantage when witnesses testify via closed-circuit television, says Oshawa criminal lawyer Lawrence Forstner. Read more

Police need more than just a tip before a warrantless search

The Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) has sent a strong message to police that they can’t take anonymous tips at face value but must investigate them further, says Ottawa criminal lawyer Céline Dostaler. Read more

SCC dissent in rape shield case ‘speaks volumes‘: Zita

The “stark dissent” in a recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruling that involves the right of the accused to explore the sexual history of the complainant could influence how defence lawyers approach rape shield provisions in the future, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita. Read more

Leamon creates ‘judgment-free zone’ in criminal practice

Establishing a personal connection with every client is fundamental to a successful defence strategy, says B.C. criminal defence lawyer Sarah Leamon. Read more

Attack on right to make full answer and defence in sex assault trials

By Joseph Neuberger Growing public and media attention on the way sexual assault trials are conducted has increased the scrutiny upon defence lawyers and how these trials are conducted, with a focus on the way a complainant experiences the trial process. Read more

Reflecting on evolution of murder trials over five decades

Drawing on five decades of experience in representing people accused of murder, Toronto criminal lawyer John Rosen says Ontario’s judicial system has evolved into one of the best in the world. Read more

Five things you need to know if you've been charged with assault

By Sarah Leamon Facing an assault allegation can be scary. The process of being investigated and arrested can be a daunting one. Read more

It’s conviviality outside courtroom – all business inside

Lawyers should maintain good relations with colleagues but not at the expense of strong courtroom advocacy, says British Columbia criminal lawyer Dr. Gary Botting. Read more

Christopher Hicks' media roundup

Toronto criminal lawyer Christopher Hicks is frequently called upon by the media as a trusted source for their news stories, particularly in high-profile criminal matters. Read more

Supreme Court reminds police of arbitrary detention rules

A recent court decision should remind police that they cannot just walk onto someone’s property and demand to see identification or randomly detain someone they believe is involved in illegal activity, says Toronto criminal lawyer Melody Izadi. Read more

New (and arguably absurd) drinking and driving offences

By Joseph Neuberger and Christopher K. Assié The new amendments to the Criminal Code have changed the drinking and driving landscape significantly. Read more

SCC dissenting voices speak volumes in sexual assault case

It’s significant that the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) found a trial judge erred in not allowing a line of questioning surrounding the pregnancy of the complainant in a sexual assault case, says Toronto criminal lawyer Joseph Neuberger. Read more

Judges need flexibility to deliver sentence that fits crime

Mandatory minimums lead to an imbalance in the justice system since they remove judicial discretion in sentencing, says Toronto criminal lawyer Sarah Malik, citing a 2018 Ontario Superior Court of Justice case where she helped to convince a judge that three such sentences were too onerous and violated the Charter. Read more