Book: 2018 Criminal Practice and Procedure

Patrick Ducharme's book: 2018 Criminal Practice & Procedure
2018 Criminal Practice & Procedure, by Patrick Ducharme

Print date: March 31, 2018

Patrick Ducharme’s 2018 Criminal Practice and Procedure is the definitive guide to understanding procedural, evidentiary and substantive criminal law principles. It refers to new appellate decisions impacting these areas of law up to and including its date of publication in March 31, 2018. Although prepared for third year law students, it also serves as an excellent, up-to-date, authoritative consideration of Canadian criminal law, a beneficial tool to all criminal law practitioners, regardless of their level of experience.
 
It is written by an experienced practitioner whose writing style is sharp and to the point, without legalese. It follows Lord Balfour’s admonition: talk English, not law. Ducharme clarifies complex legal principles using concise language. Even difficult concepts, such as the co-actor’s exception to the hearsay rule, are explained precisely, understandably, using the language of a seasoned trial lawyer like flashing lights on a dark night.

 

Minimum Age for Criminal Conviction in Canada

Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme
Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme

In Canada, the minimum age for a criminal conviction is twelve.

Section 13 of the Criminal Code of Canada (“the Code”) provides that no person shall be convicted of an offence while that person was under the age of 12. Age is measured by chronological age and not according to intellectual capacity.1 Although the Code exempts a child from criminal liability, an adult may still be found to be a party to an offence committed by someone less than 12 years of age.2

References:

1 R. v. Sawchuk, (1991), 66 CCC (3d) 255 [1991] 5 WWR 381 (MBCA)

2 R. v. D. (R.C.), 1991 Carswell Ont 2215

This is a short excerpt from Patrick Ducharme’s book, 2018 Criminal Practice and Procedure, which is scheduled to be printed by April 30, 2018.

Overview of Canadian Criminal Procedure

In the criminal justice system, jurisdiction is the legal power by which a court is authorized to preside over the hearing of a particular offence and accused. A Superior Court of a Province or Territory has original and plenary jurisdiction in all criminal matters unless its jurisdiction is expressly prohibited by statute. Additionally, a Superior Court has an inherent supervisory role to remedy procedural unfairness. All appellate courts, by their very nature, have jurisdiction only to hear appeals where that jurisdiction is expressly conferred upon the appellate court by statute.

Even the consent of an accused cannot confer jurisdiction upon a court where such jurisdiction does not exist by statute or common-law. An accused person is permitted to waive compliance with common-law requirements on procedural or evidentiary matters, as long as that waiver is express and informed. Our courts have consistently found a true waiver requires a demonstration that the accused is aware of the consequences of the waiver.1

1 R. v. Clarkson, [1986] 1 SCR 383 (SCC).

This is a short excerpt from Patrick Ducharme’s book 2018 Criminal Practice and Procedure.

Appeal judges must decide if Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre guards waited too long for trial in inmate Adam Kargus’s death

The London Free Press.

TORONTO – The fate of two London correctional staffers charged in the death of an inmate rests in the hands of three judges now weighing complex legal arguments in the midst of a shifting Canadian justice landscape.

The faith in the justice system of a mother who lost her son is in their hands, too.

“To my last breath, when I join my son, that’s how long I will be on it,” a determined Deb Abrams said outside the Ontario Court of Appeal Wednesday.
Continue reading “Appeal judges must decide if Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre guards waited too long for trial in inmate Adam Kargus’s death”

EMDC: Lawyers for jail workers implicated in inmate Adam Kargus’s death argue long process breached rights

The London Free Press.

Two former correctional staff at London’s provincial jail, their cases caught up in a fight over justice delays, will learn next month if they’ll go to trial over the death of inmate Adam Kargus.

Patrick Ducharme. Photo Credit: Windsor Star
Patrick Ducharme. Photo Credit: Windsor Star

The province and lawyers for the two will argue in Ontario’s highest court whether the long delay between being charged and the start of the trial breached the rights of the accused to a fair trial.

Many of the arguments rely on arcane, he-said, she-said calculations over what side caused the long delay.

Continue reading “EMDC: Lawyers for jail workers implicated in inmate Adam Kargus’s death argue long process breached rights”

Sarnia’s Veolia Environmental Services, manager Anthony Lavoratore acquitted of criminal negligence charges in fatal 2014 work explosion

Patrick Ducharme
Patrick Ducharme

Sarnia’s Veolia Environmental Services, manager Anthony Lavoratore acquitted of criminal negligence charges in fatal 2014 work explosion

A Sarnia business and one of its managers have been acquitted of criminal negligence charges in a 2014 workplace explosion that killed one worker and hurt five others.

Friday, Justice Deborah Austin ruled there wasn’t proof beyond a reasonable doubt to hold Veolia Environmental Services or a manager, Anthony Lavoratore, guilty – though she stated the company didn’t provide a safe work environment. Continue reading “Sarnia’s Veolia Environmental Services, manager Anthony Lavoratore acquitted of criminal negligence charges in fatal 2014 work explosion”

Complaint filed against judge and Crown

Patrick Ducharme. Photo Source: AM800 News
Patrick Ducharme. Photo Source: AM800 News

A complaint has been filed against a judge and a Windsor, Ont. Crown attorney for an “inappropriate social outing” that took place during an ongoing criminal trial they were both working on.

The aunts and primary caregivers of the accused in the case — Andrew Cowan — submitted the complaint, claiming Crown attorney Thomas Meehan and Ontario Superior Court Justice Kelly Gorman met for drinks the evening after the jury had rendered its guilty verdict. Cowan was convicted of second-degree murder.
Continue reading “Complaint filed against judge and Crown”

Judge Dismisses Mistrial Request in Andrew Cowan Murder Case

A murder trial in Windsor, made even more unusual by revelations of a late-night rendezvous between the judge and prosecutor, is headed to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Superior Court Justice Kelly Gorman Monday dismissed an application for a mistrial in the case of Andrew Cowan, convicted by a jury in August of second-degree murder. Gorman, the judge who heard Cowan’s case and who is now being accused of impropriety for fraternizing with the assistant Crown attorney who prosecuted Cowan’s case, ruled she does not have the jurisdiction to declare a mistrial after a jury has returned a verdict.

That jurisdiction, Gorman ruled, lies with the court of appeal. Continue reading “Judge Dismisses Mistrial Request in Andrew Cowan Murder Case”

Woman acquitted in Goodwill hit-and-run of cyclist

Windsor Star.

A woman accused of stealing donated items, then running down a man in a Goodwill parking lot in Windsor last year, was found not guilty Wednesday.

Heather L. Michano, 29, had been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, assault with a weapon and theft for the Sept. 25, 2016, incident at Goodwill Industries on McDougall Avenue. Police arrested her after surveillance cameras captured video of a woman in a Toyota Corolla drive into the parking lot, rummage through items strewn on the pavement near a donation bin, then drive away striking a man on a bicycle. Continue reading “Woman acquitted in Goodwill hit-and-run of cyclist”