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Domestic Violence During Coronavirus Pandemic

We have been instructed by health officials and politicians that home is the safest place to be while the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the world. But for many, home is a place of violence and fear. Self-isolation forces victims of domestic violence and their children into a much more dangerous environment – being locked in a house with their abuser.

April 7th, 2020|

Supreme Court Tells Drivers to Slow Down

The Supreme Court of Canada recently found that excessive speeding, even momentarily, can be a departure from a reasonable standard of care. Essentially, the Supreme Court is telling drivers across the country that even when briefly passing a semi-truck on a rural highway, it can establish the mens rea for dangerous driving.

April 3rd, 2020|

But I’m Waiting for My Lawyer to Call Back!

There has been significant debate in Provincial Court over the extent of police obligations to facilitate access to counsel. There is no set rule for what police must do and as with so much in criminal law, the factual matrix will determine the reasonableness of steps taken.

April 2nd, 2020|

No Secondary Right to Counsel for DRE Screening and Urine Sample

Being pulled over for impaired driving or DUI is stressful. In cases where a detainee is accused of impaired driving as a result of drugs, police will conduct a Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE). Given the power imbalance between detainee and police, the right to counsel is highly important before submitting to such tests.

March 30th, 2020|

How to Beat a Refusal Charge

Impaired driving is unique in that it is the only criminal offence in which you are forced to provide evidence against yourself and if you don’t, you will be charged with refusing to provide a sample of breath. When an individual is pulled over by the police on the side of the road, there is a significant power imbalance. Essentially, the police hold all the cards. There is little you can do other than follow along and comply with whatever the officer tells you to do, whether they are right or wrong. 

March 24th, 2020|

Witness Protection Records Ordered to be Produced

In a recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench case, the Court grappled with the issue of production of records related to a witness in a murder case who was accepted into the Federal Witness Protection Program (WPP), which was established under federal statute.

March 23rd, 2020|

Cell Tower Record “Dump” Admitted

A contentious and ongoing battle in criminal court is the investigative technique of police obtaining a court order for a tower dump compelling telecom companies to turn over the names and phone numbers of cellphone users whose signals pinged off a given tower during a particular period of time.

March 20th, 2020|

How To Protect Our Jails From Coronavirus

Public health agencies around the world are preparing for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has spread from China to multiple regions of the world. We now see more cases outside of China than inside, and we’re also hearing of cases inside the U.S. among people without known travel contact.

March 16th, 2020|

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