Recent Developments in Canadian Criminal Law

Criminal Law Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 33-48, 2016

16 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017

See all articles by Gerry Ferguson

Gerry Ferguson

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law

Benjamin L. Berger

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

This review canvasses and analyses a number of significant sentencing, substantive, procedural and evidentiary developments in Canadian criminal law. Recent political changes lead to hopes for a new course for criminal law policy in Canada, including rolling back of mandatory minimum sentences. This review examines the Supreme Court’s most recent statement on the constitutionality of mandatory minimums, and the broader implications of that decision. Topics covered in this article also include the striking down of the criminal prohibition against medically assisted suicide, enactment of reactionary prostitution offences, an affirmation of the strong presumption of subjective mens rea for crimes without express words of mens rea, clarification of the intoxication defence, a radical limitation on the defence of provocation by the former, tough-on-crime Conservative government, a reaffirmation that sexsomnia constitutes insanity rather than automatism, developments in the admissibility of confessions obtained through undercover “Mr Big” police operations, and abolition of spousal incompetence.

Keywords: Criminal Law, Mens Rea, Mandatory Minimum Sentences, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Sentencing

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Ferguson, Gerry and Berger, Benjamin L., Recent Developments in Canadian Criminal Law (2016). Criminal Law Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 33-48, 2016 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3027737

Gerry Ferguson

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 2300, STN CSC
McGill at Ring Rds (Fraser Bldg)
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3B1
Canada

Benjamin L. Berger (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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