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Criminal Trials

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The Rule in Browne and Dunn – The Confrontation Rule

The rule in Browne v. Dunn, also known as the confrontation rule, is rooted in concerns about trial fairness. The rule states that where a party, in criminal cases usually the defence, is advancing a theory that contradicts the evidence of the witness being questioned...

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The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Court

For many members of the public, the legal system may seem monolithic. Popular culture doesn’t always do a good job of distinguishing between the different kinds of law. We generally understand that there are judges, lawyers, and juries - and for many, that’s as far as...

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Jurisdictional Errors and Certiorari Applications

The scope of judicial review of certiorari is very limited, only allowing review where “it is alleged that the tribunal has acted in excess of its assigned statutory jurisdiction or has acted in breach of the principles of natural justice which, by the authorities is taken to be an excess of jurisdiction”. This limited scope of review reflects the limited screening purpose of the preliminary inquiry, only allowing review for jurisdictional error, and not mistakes of fact or law.

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Probative vs Prejudicial

The Probative vs Prejudicial nature of any piece of evidence is an issue that arises in almost every criminal trial in Ontario. For a trier-of-fact (either a Judge or members of a Jury) to consider any piece of evidence it must be material and relevant or it is...

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Ontario Courts Reopening for Criminal Trials

Ontario criminal trials are back in session. The Ontario Court of Justice resumed criminal case management matters as of November 30th. Due to COVID-19, cases were adjourned from March 16th to August 7th, and then again from August 24th to November 27th. All accused...

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What is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (BRD)?

Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (BRD) is the standard for convictions in a criminal trial. A court cannot find that the defendant is guilty of a crime unless the evidence satisfies this standard of proof. But what exactly constitutes Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? What...

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How Criminal Charges are Classified in Canada

How Criminal Charges are Classified in Canada

When you're facing criminal charges, it's important to understand how the courts and prosecutors classify criminal offences. This article will help you understand the severity of criminal offenses and what potential penalties you may face. In Canada, crimes are classified into three categories:...

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What is Domestic Violence? Is It Assault?

What is Domestic Violence? Is It Assault?

The conduct, behaviour and injuries associated with domestic violence can span a range of offences similar to ordinary assaults. Although domestic violence or domestic assault are not officially terms that are defined or mentioned in the Canadian Criminal Code, but intimate partner violence is and...

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What is an Absolute Discharge Under Canadian Law

What is an Absolute Discharge Under Canadian Law

What is an absolute discharge? Absolute discharges are a finding of guilt by a Judge, but no subsequent criminal conviction or criminal record. There is no punishment imposed by the court for absolute discharges. When a judge grants an absolute discharge the accused has no more obligations to the...

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