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DIGITAL PRIVACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE – R. v. Marakah 2017 SCC 59

On December 7, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision on digital privacy. In the age of digital communications, this decision from our highest court was long overdue.  Prior to the decision in R. v. Marakah, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled there was no privacy interest in a text once it […]

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The Jordan Decision: Unreasonable Trial Delays

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenched civil rights in the Canadian Constitution.  The Charter plays an integral role in criminal law. Section 11 of the Charter protects rights in relation to criminal and penal matters, codifying fundamental concepts considered pillars of the criminal justice system.  To name only a few of the rights […]

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Have You Been Charged with Public Mischief?

Television programming and film are replete with examples of characters making false accusations and lying to police during investigations. Perhaps to divert authorities from themselves or to protect someone they know. But what you often don’t see is the consequences of these actions. Being intentionally deceitful to law enforcement has serious consequences.  You can be […]

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Can Police Enter Your Home Without Permission?

Can the police enter and search your home without your permission?  Can you tell them to “come back with a warrant,” as is often seen on American television and film? The subject requires some clarification in the Canadian context. You are entitled to privacy in your own home, but there are several circumstances in which […]

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Why You Need a Lawyer Following a Domestic Violence Charge

Being charged with a criminal offence can be devastating.  Many people believe that because they are innocent, they do not require a lawyer, or that a lawyer is an unnecessary expense.  This is usually a mistake.  A big mistake. The criminal justice system is not always sympathetic or understanding.  The consequences of being found guilty […]

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Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act

Last week, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (the Act) received Royal Assent and became law in Canada. This change in the law has the potential to save lives while our country currently faces an opioid crisis.  The recent opioid crisis seems largely tied to Fentanyl and its growing popularity amongst drug users.  Needless to […]

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Facing a Drug Charge

Recent news headlines on drugs have been split between the Liberal government’s promise to legalize marijuana and the wave of drug overdoses related to fentanyl use. These issues, despite their many facets, are surprisingly straightforward when compared to complex drug investigations and take-downs that also grace the front page of the Toronto Star.   Drugs are […]

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The Criminal Appeal Process in Ontario

A criminal conviction can be a significant and life changing event with wide-ranging negative consequences.  It is important to be aware that many criminal convictions can be appealed.  An appeal can be made against conviction, sentence, a verdict of unfit to stand trial, or a finding of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. […]

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Lawfully Filming Police

Few inventions in the past thirty years have had a greater impact on law enforcement than the video camera.  The realities of police violence can be hidden easily behind corroborated reports of police officers, until of course, events are captured on video.  The March 3, 1991 video taken of a group of Los Angeles police […]

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Cell Phones at the Border

Privacy in the digital world is of a growing and unending concern.  With the continually increasing amount of personal information stored on cell phones, from conversations with friends and loved ones, to banking; who can access this information has become incredibly important. The advent of the “smartphone” has made the information that can be stored […]

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