The Supreme Court of Canada will hear five appeals this week, the second of its Spring session. Four deal with criminal cases —one Jordan case will see five provinces intervening in support of a more permissive view of delay — while the fifth concerns an aboriginal land claim.
April 24 – Ontario – Sciascia v. R.
Criminal law: The applicant, Joseph Sciascia, was tried simultaneously for summary conviction criminal offences and provincial offences, including under the Highway Traffic Act. On appeal, he argued that the court did not have the authority to try the offences at the same time. The summary conviction appeal court judge dismissed the appeals on the basis that the trial judge had jurisdiction in both matters, that the rules of procedure in both trials would essentially have been the same, and that Sciascia was not prejudiced by any differences in the applicable rules of evidence. The Court of Appeal found that it was an error for the joint trial to have occurred, but dismissed the appeal on the basis that the jurisdictional error could be cured by s. 686(1)(b)(iv) of the Criminal Code.