Law Review Unit 3

Law Review
Unit 3
Focus Words
- Any act or omission of an act that is prohibited and punishable by
federal statute Omission - failure to act in certain situations Criminal Code of Canada
- Federal statute that contains the majority of criminal laws passed
by parliament - Lists offences, sentences imposed, and procedures to follow General Intent
- desire to commit wrongful act, with no ulterior motive
Example, slapping someone because your angry
Criminal Negligence
- reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others, sometimes
causing serious injury or death. Neglect - doing anything or omitting to do anything Fundamental Principles of Criminal Justice
- Presumption of innocence - Burden of proof
- Beyond a reasonable doubt - Habeas corpus
- Right to a fair and speedy trial
- Equality before the law
- British Common law
3 Types of Criminal Offences
- Summary - prosecuted within six months, lowest level of courts, no
jury trial, accused need not be present, maximum $2000 or 6
- Indictable - no limitation for prosecution, choose trial by jury or
tried by jury (serious), accused must be present, maximum life
imprisonment Hybrid - both summary and indictable Intent
- State of mind in which someone desires to carry out wrongful
action, knowing result, reckless regarding the consequences
- General and specific 4 Conditions of a Crime
- act is considered wrong by society - act causes harm to society in general or to people who need
protection - harm must be serious
- remedy must be handled by the criminal justice system
3 Main Purposes of Criminal Law
- protect people and property - maintain order
- preserve standards of public decency Actus Reus
- “guilty act”
- demonstrates voluntary action, omission or state of being that is
prohibited by law Mens Rea
- “guilty mind”
- demonstrates that act was intentional, knowing, negligent,
reckless, willfully blind
- the guilty mind means one knows it’s wrong with no regard for the
consequences - Crown must prove intent, knowledge, criminal negligence,
recklessness, wilful blindness
Crown Prosecutor
- hired by government - faces judge and sits at one of two tables in the middle of the
- tries to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused
committed the offence - must follow the principle of disclosure
- can consult with police to decide whether or not to lay criminal
charges Jury Selection
1. potential jurors name from jury panel are randomly drawn
2. person drawn goes before the court and faces the accused
3. crown and defence may object to a potential juror
4. either counsel may make a challenge for cause 5. juror could be accepted as suitable and impartial but still
dismissed by Crown or defence with a peremptory challenge
1. a list of jurors is created from the electoral list of people living in
the area of the court
2. a selection committee is headed by the sheriff, picks 100-150
names from this electoral list (called jury panel)
3. people on panel are summoned to appear at the court by notice
(more people are called for more controversial cases to ensure
those who are biased can be eliminated)
4. jurors are expected to have no knowledge or skill in the law
5. excused from jury duty if you have person interest in case, unable
to speak the language at trial, surgery, vacation/examinations,
religious beliefs Advantages of Trial by Judge Only
1. judges are more predictable (not swayed by emotions)
2. many cases too technical for juries
3. judges must give a reason for their verdict 4. juries cost money 5. jury verdicts may rest more on persuasive lawyers rather than
facts and law
6. jurors may be unduly influenced by factors such as the attitude or
appearance of the accused Types of Evidence
1. Testimonial evidence - includes oral or written statements given to
police as well as court testimony by people who witnessed an
2. Physical evidence - refers to any material items that would be
present at the crime scene, on the victims, or found in a suspect’s
3. Trace evidence - refers to physical evidence that is found in small
but measurable amounts, such as strands of hair, fibres, or skin
cells. Ways Accused is Brought to Court
- arrest with a warrant
- arrest without a warrant
- promise to appear - appearance notice Perpetrator
- person who actually commits the criminal offence - preforming both ACTUS REUS and MENS REA of offence - when more than one person is directly involved in committing a
crime, they are co-perpetrators Parties to an Offence
- when offence is committed, not only can the person who actually
committed the crime be charged, but those persons who helped
either before, during, or after the offence may also be charged with
an offence in a crime
- crime of encouraging the perpetrator to commit an offence without
actually providing any physical assistance Accessory After the Fact
- when a person knowingly receives, comforts, or assists a
perpetrator escaping from the police Counselling
- crime that involves advising, recommending, or persuading another
person to commit a criminal offence
- a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not
- put back into custody
- a criminal offence that involved helping a perpetrator commit a
- person does not need to be present when the crime is committed Term Words
Indictable Offences
- More serious and more severe penalties that summary - Maximum penalty up to life imprisonment - Trial judge decides the actual penalty - Ex, Sexual offences, fraud
Party to a Common Intention
- The shared responsibility among criminals for any additional
offences that are committed in the course of the crime originally
intended to commit
- Example, six people hijack an armoured truck and one of the
shoots and kills the driver, all six could be charged with murder Arraignment
- First appearance in court
- Charge formally read in front of a Justice of the Peace
- Accused is advised to obtain counsel
- Crown might request a show-cause hearing Demonstrative Evidence
- evidence that is prepared by an attorney in an effort to assist the
trier of fact in visualizing or comprehending other evidence.
- ex. charts, maps, photographs, crime sketches
Jury Duty
- 12 selectors jurors are sworn in
JURORS OATH (informed by judge)
1. to base verdict solely on the evidence 2. come to decision in good conscience MUST NOT
- discuss case with non-jury members
- follow media reports about case
- disclose any information from jury discussions
- decision must be unanimous Chart
Stages in a Criminal Trial by Jury
1. accused is
2. jury is
5. crown examines
6. defence can bring
a motion for dismissal
7. Defence
presents opening
14. Jury returns
a verdict
3. judge addresses jurors, asking
them to appoint a foreperson
8. Defence
13. Jury
4. crown presents
opening statement
9. Crown rebuts
12. Judge gives
charge to the
10. Defence
11. Counsel
delivers closing