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December Criminal Law Round-up

As the final hours of 2016 tick away, I am delighted to announce that McElroy Law blog received a 'Clawbie' Canadian Law Blog Award for Best Practitioner Blog. Thanks to everyone who read, shared and provided feedback over the last year. Looking forward to 2017! 

As the final hours of 2016 tick away, I am delighted to announce that McElroy Law blog received a 'Clawbie' Canadian Law Blog Award for Best Practitioner Blog. Thanks to everyone who read, shared and provided feedback over the last year. Looking forward to 2017!

And without further ado, here are the highlights of criminal law from the last month:

News:

At the beginning of the month, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced that the province would be addressing trial delays by hiring more judges and Crown attorneys. The province will also launch a bail bed initiative to decrease the number of people awaiting trial in custody.

The Liberal government issued a much-anticipated report about marijuana in Canada. For a good break-down of the report, see Ben Kates' and Nader R. Hasan's article here: or read the full report.

Christie Blatchford provides a good overview of the best and worst stories in criminal law in the past year. (Although if you've been following the round-ups then you'll be up to speed on most of the cases.)

Cases:

The Court of Appeal in Ontario released two interesting Charter cases this month. In R v. Gowdy, the police had released information about the accused's HIV status. The Court found that this disclosure did not amount to a breach of his Charter rights, such that a stay of proceedings was warranted. The decision is written by Justice Watt, whose distinctive writing style is worth a read, but you can also find an overview of the case here.

Meanwhile, in R v. Donnelly, the Court decided that the treatment of Mr. Donnelly, who is HIV positive, and included delays in getting medication and mistreatment in custody, did not amount to a Charter breach. The Court found that even if there had been a breach, the lower court was wrong in reducing his sentence to outside of the mandatory minimum sentence under s. 24(1) of the Charter, given that the treatment was not 'exceptional' enough. ou can find some background of the case here.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

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