Blog: In the News

From the Docket

Cocaine charges fail as no proof of control

A man is seated in the front passenger seat of a car. A clear plastic bag containing 6.2 grams of crack cocaine rests in plain view on the centre console between him and the driver.

Is that enough evidence to find the passenger guilty of possession of cocaine?

That’s the question a...Read More

Marijuana Case Highlights Charter Rights Test

Routine traffic stop A man exits a bar and drives away. Police pull him over for a sobriety check.

There’s no odor of alcohol and the driver says he had nothing to drink.

Police check his driver’s licence and vehicle documentation. All in order.

Odor of unburnt marijuana

While standing at the...Read More

Cursing the cops was not a crime

A man convicted of “cause public disturbance” for yelling obscenities at police has been acquitted on appeal. In a recent ruling, the Ontario Court of Appeal reaffirmed that merely mouthing off at police is not an offence.

The appeal was filed by Mr. Kukemueller who showered police with expletives when they entered onto his property...Read More

C-phones and arrest

Cell-phone searches and arrest

If you’ve just been arrested, can police search your cell phone?

The Supreme Court recently considered this issue and answered the question with a qualified “yes.”

The court considered the case of Kevin Fearon, who had been arrested following an armed robbery by two men in July 2009. The...Read More

When a lie is a crime

Avoid lying (to police). It could be a crime.

Police stop you and ask your name. You lie.

The question: have you committed the offence of obstruct peace officer?

An Ontario appeal court recently tackled this question and provided the following answer: it depends.

“Two-second” computer check

Using her police radio she ran a “two-second”...Read More



Commentary

Crown should toss beer-can mischief charge

The criminal law is a blunt instrument. It should be used with restraint.

This is a principle that should impel the Crown Attorney to drop the case against Ken Pagan who appears in Toronto’s Old City Hall court on November 24 on a charge of mischief for allegedly hurling a...Read More

Decriminalizing drug possession for personal use

Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana in 2017 marks a stark break from the country’s zero-tolerance drug policy and has prompted discussion about further liberalization. To minimize drug-related deaths, disease and crime, possession of small amounts of all drugs should be treated as a public-health issue, not a criminal one.

Drugs and...Read More



From the Legislature

Bill protects citizenship of terrorists, traitors and spies

Persons convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage will no longer lose their citizenship under proposed changes to the Citizenship Act. The changes are part of a Liberal government bill, now at first reading in the Senate, that will reverse legislation passed in 2014 by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Jail pending trial...Read More