Federal Appeal


Criminal Law

Prisons and prisoners


Regulation

Independent chair reasonably applied modified objective standard for applicant’s conduct

Correctional service officers found and seized four gallons of liquor in applicant’s cell. After discovery of liquor, applicant asked to be placed in administrative segregation for fear of safety. Applicant pleaded not guilty to disciplinary offence and raised defence of duress. Applicant testified that inmates used his cell to manufacture liquor, forcing him to keep it in his cell in exchange for reduction of debts he contracted while in prison and that he saw no other way out but to accept liquor. Applicant was convicted of offence. Applicant’s application for judicial review was granted. Attorney General of Canada appealed. Appeal allowed. Independent chairman did not err in failing to analyze last three criteria in modified objective standard of defence of duress. Independent chair reasonably applied modified objective standard for applicant’s conduct. Applicant knew solution but ignored it when he breached establishment rules by keeping prohibited liquid mixture in his cell. Independent chairman concluded that applicant knew and could seek protection, because that it exactly what he did once seizure was made.

Canada (Procureur général) c. L’Espérance (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 7426, 2016 CAF 306, Noël C.J., Johanne Trudel J.A., and Boivin J.A. (F.C.A.); reversed (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 12, 2016 CarswellNat 1950, 2016 FC 19, 2016 CF 19, Sylvie E. Roussel J. (F.C.).

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