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Defence of Automatism

The term "automatism" describes unconscious, involuntary behaviour. Automatism is a "defence" to criminal charges in the following sense: to convict an accused the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt both a prohibited act and fault.


Murdoch Case

The Murdoch Case was a Supreme Court of Canada case (1975) involving matrimonial property law. Historically, wives could only own property by having it placed in their names or by providing all or part of its purchase price.


Oakes Case

Oakes Case 1986, in which David E. Oakes was accused of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.


Zundel Case

The Zundel case (1992) centred on the constitutional validity of section 181 of the Criminal Code which prohibits the wilful dissemination of false news. Zundel had published a brochure entitled "Did Six Million Really Die?".


Book Review: Arctic Justice

ACADEMIC SCHOLARS are often loathe to admit to the large role chance plays in history, let alone in their own work. But Shelagh Grant makes no bones about literally stumbling over a remarkable episode in Canada's Arctic past.


Bartle Case

In the Bartle case (1994), Mr Bartle was arrested at 1:00 a.m. on a weekend for driving a vehicle while impaired. After failing the "Alert" road test, he was brought to the police station, where he was promptly informed of his right to consult a lawyer, including available legal aid services.


Stinchcombe Case

The Supreme Court delineated, in the Stinchcombe case (1991), the legal parameters of a full and complete defence, as guaranteed by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This had the effect of eliminating the legal uncertainty surrounding the disclosure of evidence by the Crown.


Hibernia Case

On 19 May 1982 the governor-in-council asked the Supreme Court of Canada whether Canada (the federal government) or Newfoundland has the right to explore and exploit the mineral and other natural resources of the seabed and


Fort Frances Case

In 1917, under the WAR MEASURES ACT, the government fixed the price and quantity of newsprint paper produced; subsequent legislation created the Paper Control Tribunal, which set retroactive prices through 1919, although wartime conditions had ceased.


R v Truscott

R v Truscott In 1959, 14-year-old Steven Truscott was convicted in adult court of the murder of 12-year-old Lynn Harper. Few cases in Canadian legal history have created so much controversy.


Tran Case

The Tran case (1994) was the first in which the Supreme Court dealt with the right to an interpreter. Tran was accused of sexual assault. At trial, he was assigned an interpreter because he spoke neither French nor English.


Saumur v City of Québec

The Supreme Court, by a 5-4 majority, upheld (1953) the province of Québec's power, challenged by JEHOVAH'S WITNESS Laurier Saumur, to authorize municipalities to prohibit distribution, without police permission, of all publications in the streets.


R v Coffin

R v Coffin In the summer of 1953 the bodies of 3 American hunters were found in a Gaspé forest. Wilbert Coffin, a local prospector, was charged with and convicted of the murder of one of them, Richard Lindsay.



Sinnisiak (d c 1930) and Uluksuk (d 1924), Inuit hunters from the Coppermine region of the NWT, were the first Inuit to be tried for murder under Canadian law.