This week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the following appeals this week, including the high-profile set of cases looking at the issue of alleged jury tampering by the Crown in a series of Ontario criminal cases:

March 13 — Federal Court — St.Michael Trust Corp., as Trustee of the Fundy Settlement v. R. and St.Michael Trust Corp., as Trustee of the Summersby Settlement v. R.

Taxation: The Fundy Settlement was settled by a resident in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and had Canadian beneficiaries. The trustee is a corporation resident in Barbados. When the Fundy Settlement disposed of shares it owned in a Canadian company, the purchaser remitted amounts to the Canadian government on account of potential tax from the capital gains. The trustee sought to have the withheld amount returned, claiming an exemption because tax would only be payable in the country where the seller resides and the trustee claims the Fundy Settlement is a Barbados resident. The Minister of National Revenue claimed the tax exemption didn’t apply because the Fundy Settlement was a Canadian resident. The trustee then appealed the assessments on behalf of the Fundy Settlement, which the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed.

The second case relates to the Summersby Settlement.

March 14 — Ontario — Ibrahim Yumnu v. R. and Vinicio Cardoso v. R.
March 15Tung Chi Duong v. R.
(3 separate appeals from same case)

Criminal law: The jury vetting cases. Ibrahim Yumnu, Vinicio Cardoso, and Tung Chi Duong were convicted of first-degree murder. On appeal, it was disclosed that the Crown took part in jury vetting in Barrie, Ont. The Crown had used police officers to obtain information on prospective jurors and didn’t disclose the information to the defence. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, stating that the Crown’s failure to disclose the information to the defence did not affect the fairness of the trial. There are publication bans and sealing orders in the cases.

March 15 — Ontario — James Peter Emms v. R.

Criminal law: This case also relates to jury vetting. James Peter Emms was convicted of fraud relating to the sale of office furniture. The Ontario Court of Appeal found there was no miscarriage of justice and dismissed the appeal. There is a sealing order in the case.

March 15 — Ontario — Troy Gilbert Davey v. R.

Criminal law: This case also relates to jury vetting. Troy Gilbert Davey was convicted of the first-degree murder of a police officer. Davey accused the Crown of jury vetting but his appeal was dismissed. There is a sealing order in the case.

March 16 — Ontario — R. v. Marius Nedelcu

Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Marius Nedelcu took the victim for a ride on their employer’s motorcycle. The victim, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, suffered permanent brain damage after the motorcycle crashed. Nedelcu was charged with dangerous and impaired driving causing bodily harm. He was also sued by the victim and his family. In discovery, Nedelcu claimed he couldn’t remember what happened that evening but at trial he provided a detailed account of the accident. The Crown sought leave to cross-examine Nedelcu on his discovery evidence, which the trial judge approved. The issue on appeal is whether civil discovery evidence can be used to impeach the credibility of an accused who chose to testify.

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