Welcome to our National and International Criminal Law Blog


In 1970 I came to Toronto from Montreal to attend Osgoode Hall Law School. The exigencies of moving here and paying for the courses required that I work.

One of the first jobs that I acquired that Fall was with the firm of Jackson Smith & Associates, originally known as David Jackson & Associates ("Jackson").

I had initially applied for work as a door-to-door canvasser (who would you vote for, etc.) but when my employer found out that I had some public relations experience, I was retained to do a report for the (then) Minister of the Solicitor General of Canada and the Foundation for Human Development, entitled "The Police Function in our Changing Society".

Eventually that led to several other assignments.

Acquittals in deaths of Indigenous victims

Nobody deserves to die - even when they are committing a crime.

Normally those who do the killing are subjected to prosecution and if convicted, held to account.

Nevertheless, since Biblical times, it has been recognized that there are exceptions and justifications for certain killings.

Canada's Criminal Code ‎reflects such defences - and it is up to a jury to decide whether or not the accused has successfully invoked any of them.

What seems to be overwhelmingly misunderstood is the role that a jury plays in a homicide trial. Canadians seem to believe that what they see on American television shows is reflective of the Canadian justice system.

It is not.

Facing allegations of investment or securities fraud

The protection of investors is the motivation behind many laws related to securities and investment opportunities. While many investors are savvy and well-educated about the products available, there are certain instances where some may not have a complete understanding of the complex legalities governing securities.

If you work in trading or advising in Toronto or the surrounding areas, it would benefit you to know that law enforcement and Canadian Securities Administrators zealously investigate allegations of misconduct against investors. The penalties are high and a conviction for wrongdoing, or oftentimes just the allegations alone, could affect many areas of your personal and professional life. Avoiding common methods of deception is advisable, and seeking immediate legal assistance if you are ever the subject of an investigation could be critical to your future best interests.

Understanding the extradition process and where to seek help

Worldwide, crime crosses borders, and it is a problem that requires multinational solutions. Sometimes, alleged participants in criminal activities end up across borders from the country where the incidents took place. This complicates investigations, and it led to the development of extradition agreements, which are tools to bring about international cooperation. Canada has treaties with countries like the United States when it comes to investigations and prosecutions to contain cross-border crime.

If you are the subject of an extradition request by another country, it will naturally be a frightening experience, as you could potentially face severe consequences, including an extended period of incarceration.

The acquittal of Gerald Stanley

The trial of Gerald Stanley for the shooting of Colten Boushie was, in a sense, a "dull", very simple, single-issue trial.

It wasn't a "who dunnit", there was no quarrel over the basic facts‎ and the legal issues - differentiating murder, from manslaughter, from a not guilty verdict - were straight-forward.

Why then the publicity and the national attention? Because a white man was acquitted of shooting an aboriginal man, and the jury pool and selection process resulted in no aboriginal jurors.

Physiotherapist responsibilities and fighting misconduct charges

Like most other medical professionals in Canada, you probably worked most of your life to acquire a license to practice as a physiotherapist. It would likely be unsettling to have to cope with allegations of unethical actions or misconduct. You might have much more to lose than others in non-professional occupations in the event of a conviction for a criminal charge or a misconduct violation.

Every complaint is serious, even those without any merit. Taking the wrong step at this time can have a severe impact on your career. As a licensed professional, you must adhere to exceptionally high standards of care to your patients, and regulatory bodies typically monitor those standards and investigate any allegations of professional misconduct.

Extradition ? Bail ? Disappearance ?

One of the most despairing legal situations that a person can possibly face is the prospect of being forcibly taken from Canada to a foreign country - and subjected to what may well be a Kafkaesque justice system that operates under unfamiliar rules, before alien judges, in a possibly unknown language, and can lead to hardship and the deprivation of liberty in a prison far from home.


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