Supreme Court


Charter of Rights

RIGHT TO FAIR TRIAL
State made reasonable efforts to ensure representative jury roll

Accused charged with second-degree murder and convicted of manslaughter. Accused tendered fresh evidence demonstrating that Aboriginal people on reserves in region where trial took place were underrepresented on jury rolls. Single low-level government employee was responsible for ensuring representative jury rolls. Employee made efforts to obtain accurate lists of reserve residents but did not engage Aboriginal leaders to explore other causes of underrepresentation. Majority of Court of Appeal found breach of s. 11(d) and (f) of Charter and ordered new trial. Appeal allowed and conviction restored. State made reasonable efforts to ensure representative jury roll. Right to jury representativeness focuses on process and not ultimate composition of jury rolls.

R. v. Kokopenace (May. 21, 2015, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., Rothstein J., Cromwell J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Wagner J., and Gascon J., File No. 35475) Decision at 108 W.C.B. (2d) 207 was reversed.  121 W.C.B. (2d) 233.

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