AuthorKent Roach
Absolute disc harge: a disposition in which no conviction is recorded.
It is available if there is no minimum penalty, the offence is not pun-
ishable by life or fourteen years’ imprisonment, and the judge deter-
mines that it is in t he accused’s best interests and not contrary to the
public intere st.
Absolute liability: an offence for which the accused is guilty once it is
proven that the prohibited act, or actus reus, was committed a nd re-
gardless of the exi stence of any fault, including negligence.
Actus reus: the prohibited act in a crimina l or regulatory offence. Proof
of the actus reus may also include the requirement that the prohibited
act be voluntarily and consciously committed by t he accused.
Aiding or abetting: intentiona lly assisting or encouraging a cr ime and,
by doing so, becoming a party to the crime.
Appellate court: a court that reviews the accused’s conviction or acquit-
tal at trial. In summary conviction matters, appeals are usually heard
by superior courts, while in ind ictable matters, appeals are heard by
the provincial court s of appeal. Courts, such as the Supreme Court of
Canada, which hear sub sequent appeals are also called appellate court s.
Arbitrariness: A principle of fundamental justice that is infringed by a
law that does not advance or is inconsistent with its objective.

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