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Ottawa Criminal Defence Law Blog

Tech and Privacy: Protecting Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure

In 2017, I spoke at a conference put on by SERENE-RISC, an organization that works on issues of cybersecurity and aims to protect people from cyber threats. There, I cleverly tricked all of the participants to learning about the Charter by giving an overview of the law around search and seizure as it relates to cell phones. The talk was broadly structured to address three main questions: Can the police search my phone? Can the police search my buddy's phone? And can the police search everyone's phone? 

September 2019 Criminal Law Round-up

This September, 90 days after it received Royal Assent, a number of the amendments contained in Bill C-75 come into force. These new provisions will change procedures in the Criminal Code, ranging from preliminary inquiries, juries, intimate partner violence and the re-classification of offences. You can read my overview of some of the changes here. Many of the changes could cause delays, according to Criminal Lawyer's Association president Michael Lacy.

Coming into Force: Changes in Criminal Law from Bill C-75

It has now been 90 days since Bill C-75 received Royal Assent, and many sections of the bill come into force today. The massive bill has far-reaching consequences for the procedures in the criminal justice system. Here are some of the changes that take effect as of September 19, 2019:

On Diversity in the Legal Profession

Yesterday, at Convocation at the Law Society of Ontario, the newly elected benchers debated the controversial Statement of Principles (SOP), which requires lawyers to tell the Law Society in an annual report that they have written a statement that outlines their commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). It's a minimal requirement - you don't have to disclose the statement, but simply say that you have one. Still, it has raised a flurry of opposition and debate, with opponents likening it to compelled speech and even thought control.

An overview of R v. Barton

The Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision in R v. Barton today. The case, which dealt with a myriad of issues arising from the murder trial of Bradley Barton, touches many areas of law, including use of prior sexual activity, honest but mistaken belief in communicated consent, accident and motive. The Court ultimately ordered a new trial on the count of manslaughter, given the errors, particularly with respect to the evidence of the complainant's sexual history, that has ripple effects that prejudiced the trial.  While there are many issues to discuss, this post will simply draw out a few of the key points of the decision. 

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