The legal reasoning of Newfoundland Court of Appeal Justice Malcolm Rowe is front and centre in a Crown appeal in a sexual spousal assault case the Supreme Court of Canada is scheduled to hear early in 2017.
The nominee for the Supreme Court is alleged by the Crown to have made a number of legal errors in a judgment issued this spring in R. v. S.B. Rowe wrote the majority decision, which declined to order a new trial for a man acquitted by a jury of assault, sexual assault and weapons charges.
Rowe, with Justice Charles White concurring, outlined several legal errors made by the trial judge, particularly in the application of s. 276 of the Criminal Code that resulted in a number of improper questions being put to the complainant. However, in the 2-1 decision, Rowe and his colleague upheld the acquittal because of what they said were inconsistencies in the trial testimony of the complainant.