Power of arrest and interim release only to be used when demonstrably in public interest to do so

Criminal Law - Bail, interim release and detention - Release by judge of Superior Court

Prisoner was subject to peace bond proceedings, after officer swore information against prisoner. Officer stated that prisoner was danger to commit serious personal injury offence, shortly after his scheduled release from prison. Hearing was scheduled by court, to take place after prisoner's scheduled release. Provincial court denied Crown's request for show cause hearing. Provincial superior court allowed Crown's application for judicial review, even though issue was moot. Provincial appeals court allowed prisoner's appeal, restoring provincial court's judgment. Crown appealed to Supreme Court of Canada from judgment of appeals court. Appeal allowed; judgment of Court of Appeal quashed. Statutory language in Criminal Code showed intent, for arrest and interim release provisions to apply to peace bond proceedings. Relevant provisions gave judge ability to order attendance of prisoner, without which other provisions were ineffective. Statutory scheme gave court power to make necessary modifications, on subject issues. Power of arrest and interim release were only to be used when it was demonstrably in public interest to do so. Modifications allowed peace bond defendant, to be treated as accused would be in criminal context. Detention would only be in place if defendant failed to enter into recognizance. Show cause hearing was justified.

R. v. Penunsi (2019), 2019 CarswellNfld 268, 2019 CarswellNfld 269, 2019 SCC 39, 2019 CSC 39, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); reversed (2018), 2018 CarswellNfld 12, 2018 NLCA 4, J.D. Green C.J.N.L., C.W. White J.A., and L.R. Hoegg J.A. (N.L. C.A.).

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