This week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the following four appeals this week:

Nov. 8 — Ontario — Ewaryst Prokofiew v. R.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Ewaryst Prokofiew and a co-accused were charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government of $3.25 million by pretending to sell heavy equipment to generate HST that they didn’t submit to the government. Prokofiew was convicted and his appeals were dismissed. The Charter issue in question relates to the trial judge’s charge to the jury.

Nov. 8 — Ontario — R. v. Amandeep Banwait

Criminal law: Amandeep Banwait’s appeal of his first-degree murder conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. At issue is whether the trial judge improperly instructed the jury on the relationship between planning and deliberation and murder as defined in the Criminal Code.

Nov. 9 — British Columbia — Randy Leigh Roy v. R.

Criminal law: Randy Roy was convicted of dangerous driving causing death based in part on the 2006 case R. v. Beatty. The Supreme Court of Canada then reversed Beatty and clarified the mens rea element of dangerous driving. The Court of Appeal applied the curative proviso and dismissed the appeal, ruling that Roy had the mental capacity to be convicted of dangerous driving. There are several judicial questions  raised in this case, including the application of the curative proviso.

Nov. 10 — Quebec — Johan Sarrazin v. Attorney General of Quebec

Criminal law: Johan Sarrazin, a well-known businessman, was charged with sexual activity with a minor, possession of cannabis, and assault. He was released while awaiting trial but then arrested and charged for breaching his conditions. He was confined in prison where he was assaulted by several inmates. After two months, the initial charges against him were dropped. He sued the public authorities for negligence. At issue is whether his Charter rights were violated and if he’s entitled to compensation.

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