Recent Developments in Canadian Criminal Law
Criminal Law Journal, Vol. 40, pp. 33-48, 2016
16 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017
Date Written: 2016
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
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