Supreme Court


Admitting evidence would not greatly undermine public confidence in rule of law

When police intercepted car driven by accused, latter attempted to flee police. Police rapidly got out of their car and asked several questions to accused who admitted that he did not have driver’s licence. Accused was arrested and charged with driving while prohibited by court order and with failure to comply with probation order. Accused unsuccessfully brought motion seeking to exclude evidence and was found guilty as charged. Accused appealed to Court of Appeal. Majority at Court of Appeal agreed with trial judge that evidence should not be excluded. Police officers were justified to take rapid actions when accused attempted to flee on foot. Admitting evidence would not greatly undermine public confidence in rule of law. Impact of breach on accused’s protected interest in informed choice was less significant. Evidence should not be excluded to preserve integrity of justice system. Rule against multiple convictions was inapplicable here because there were two separate criminal offences. Court of Appeal dismissed appeal. Accused appealed. Appeal was dismissed. Reasons given by majority at Court of Appeal were agreed with. Therefore, appeal should be dismissed.

R. c. Gagnon (Feb. 23, 2016, S.C.C., Cromwell J., Wagner J., Gascon J., Côté J., and Brown J., 36581) Decision at 124 W.C.B. (2d) 122 was affirmed. 128 W.C.B. (2d) 250.

cover image


Subscribers get early and easy access to Law Times.

Law Times Poll

Law Times reports that there is no explicit rule that lawyers in Ontario must be competent in the use of technology. Do you think there should be explicit rules spelling out the expectations of lawyers’ in terms of tech use in their practice?