R. v. Daviault (H.), (1994) 173 N.R. 1 (SCC)

JudgeLamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateSeptember 30, 1994
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1994), 173 N.R. 1 (SCC);64 QAC 81;JE 94-1531;93 CCC (3d) 21;33 CR (4th) 165;[1994] CarswellQue 10;118 DLR (4th) 469;173 NR 1;[1994] SCJ No 77 (QL);[1994] 3 SCR 63;24 CRR (2d) 1;24 WCB (2d) 586;1994 CanLII 61 (SCC)

R. v. Daviault (H.) (1994), 173 N.R. 1 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

....................

Henri Daviault (appellant) v. Her Majesty the Queen (respondent)

(23435)

Indexed As: R. v. Daviault (H.)

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.

September 30, 1994.

Summary:

Daviault was in a state of advanced voluntary drunkenness when he sexually assaulted a woman. He was charged with sexual assault. Daviault could not remember having assaulted the woman. The Court of Québec (Grenier, J.), in a judgment reported [1991] R.J.Q. 1794, acquitted Daviault because he had raised a reasonable doubt as to whether he was intoxicated to the point of automatism hence a reasonable doubt as to whether there existed the minimal intent required for sexual assault. The Crown appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported [1993] R.J.Q. 692; 54 Q.A.C. 27; 80 C.C.C.(3d) 175; 19 C.R.(4th) 291, allowed the appeal. Daviault appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada, Sopinka, Gonthier and Major, JJ., dissenting, allowed the appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 3125

Trials, due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings - General - In this sexual assault case, the Crown invoked the rule in R. v. Leary (S.C.C.) that affirmed a jury charge that drunkenness was not a defence to a general intent offence - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed this argument because the rule in Leary violated ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Charter in that it substituted the mens rea of getting drunk for the mens rea of committing the offence - The court stated that "to deny that even a very minimal mental element is required for sexual assault offends the Charter in a manner that is so drastic and so contrary to the principles of fundamental justice that it cannot be justified under s. 1 ..." - See paragraphs 38 to 47.

Civil Rights - Topic 4949

Presumption of innocence - Evidence and proof - Removal of element of intent - In this sexual assault case, the Crown invoked the rule in R. v. Leary (S.C.C.) that affirmed a jury charge that drunkenness was not a defence to a general intent offence - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed this argument because the rule in Leary violated ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Charter in that it substituted the mens rea of getting drunk for the mens rea of committing the offence - The court stated that "to deny that even a very minimal mental element is required for sexual assault offends the Charter in a manner that is so drastic and so contrary to the principles of fundamental justice that it cannot be justified under s. 1 ..." - See paragraphs 38 to 47.

Criminal Law - Topic 33

General principles - Mens rea or intention - Crimes of specific intent v. crimes of general or basic intent - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the distinction between crimes of specific intent and crimes of general intent - See paragraphs 13, 110 to 123.

Criminal Law - Topic 96

General principles - Insanity, automatism, etc. - General - Daviault was in a state of advanced voluntary drunkenness when he sexually assaulted a woman - He was charged with sexual assault - Daviault could not remember having assaulted the woman - The trial court acquitted Daviault because he had raised a reasonable doubt as to whether he was intoxicated to the point of automatism hence a reasonable doubt as to whether there existed the minimal intent required for sexual assault - The matter was appealed - The issue was: does evidence of extreme self-induced intoxication, tantamount to a state of automatism, constitute a basis of defence to a general intent offence such as sexual assault? - The Supreme Court of Canada answered the question in the affirmative and ordered a new trial.

Criminal Law - Topic 113

General principles - Insanity, automatism, etc. - Intoxication - Daviault was in a state of advanced voluntary drunkenness when he sexually assaulted a woman - He was charged with sexual assault - Daviault could not remember having assaulted the woman - The trial court acquitted Daviault because he had raised a reasonable doubt as to whether he was intoxicated to the point of automatism hence a reasonable doubt as to whether there existed the minimal intent required for sexual assault - The matter was appealed - The issue was: does evidence of extreme self-induced intoxication, tantamount to a state of automatism, constitute a basis of defence to a general intent offence such as sexual assault? - The Supreme Court of Canada answered the question in the affirmative and ordered a new trial.

Droits et libertés - Cote 3125

Procès, application régulière de la loi, justice fondamentale et audiences équitables - Affaires criminelles et quasi-criminelles - Généralités - [Voir Civil Rights - Topic 3125 ].

Droits et libertés - Cote 4949

Présomption d'innocence - Preuve - Suppression de l'élément d'intention - [Voir Civil Rights - Topic 4949 ].

Droit criminel - Cote 33

Principes généraux - Mens rea ou intention - Distinction entre les crimes d'intention spécifique et les crimes d'intention générale - [Voir Criminal Law - Topic 33 ].

Droit criminel - Cote 96

Principes généraux - Aliénation mentale, automatisme, etc. - Généralités - [Voir Criminal Law - Topic 96 ].

Droit criminel - Cote 113

Principes généraux - Aliénation mentale, automatisme, etc. - Intoxication - [Voir Criminal Law - Topic 113 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Bernard, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 833; 90 N.R. 321; 32 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Leary, [1978] 1 S.C.R. 29; 13 N.R. 592, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Quin, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 825; 90 N.R. 389; 32 O.A.C. 229, refd to. [para. 2].

R. v. Théroux (R.), [1993] 2 S.C.R. 5; 151 N.R. 104; 54 Q.A.C. 184, consd. [para. 7].

R. v. Parks, [1992] 2 S.C.R. 871; 140 N.R. 161; 55 O.A.C 241, refd to. [para. 8].

R. v. Rabey, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 513; 32 N.R. 451, consd. [para. 8].

R. v. George, [1960] S.C.R. 871, refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. Swietlinski, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 956; 34 N.R. 569, refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. Chase, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 293; 80 N.R. 247; 82 N.B.R.(2d) 229; 208 A.P.R. 229; 37 C.C.C.(3d) 97, refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. O'Connor (1980), 4 A. Crim. R. 348 (H.C.), refd to. [para. 15].

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Majewski, [1977] A.C. 443 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 16].

R. v. Kamipeli, [1975] 2 N.Z.L.R. 610 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Kamipelli - see R. v. Kamipeli.

R. v. Chretien, [1981] S.A. 1097, refd to. [para. 23].

R. v. Penno, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 865; 115 N.R. 249; 42 O.A.C. 271; 59 C.C.C.(3d) 344, refd to. [para. 34].

R. v. Whyte, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 3; 86 N.R. 328, consd. [para. 41].

R. v. Vaillancourt, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 636; 81 N.R. 115; 10 Q.A.C. 161; 68 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 281; 209 A.P.R. 281; 60 C.R.(3d) 289, refd to. [para. 42].

R. v. Revelle, [1981] 1 S.C.R. 576; 39 N.R. 485, refd to. [para. 44].

R. v. DeSousa, [1992] 2 S.C.R. 944; 142 N.R. 1; 56 O.A.C. 109; 76 C.C.C.(3d) 124, refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Creighton, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 3; 157 N.R. 1; 65 O.A.C. 321, refd to. [para. 46].

R. v. Swain, [1991] 1 S.C.R. 933; 125 N.R. 1; 47 O.A.C. 81; 63 C.C.C.(3d) 481, refd to. [para. 49].

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Beard, [1920] A.C. 479 (H.L.), consd. [para. 51].

R. v. Chaulk and Morrissette, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 1303; 119 N.R. 161; 69 Man.R.(2d) 161, refd to. [para. 63].

R. c. Charest (A.) (1990), 28 Q.A.C. 258; 76 C.R.(3d) 63; 57 C.C.C.(3d) 312 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 80].

Ciciola c. R., J.E. 90-629 (Que. C.A.), refd to. [para. 80].

Northern Ireland (Attorney General) v. Gallagher, [1963] A.C. 349; [1961] 3 All E.R. 299 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 90].

Bratty v. Northern Ireland (Attorney General), [1963] A.C. 386; [1961] 3 All E.R. 523 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 90].

R. v. Martineau, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 633; 112 N.R. 83; 109 A.R. 321; 58 C.C.C.(3d) 353; [1990] 6 W.W.R. 97; 79 C.R.(3d) 129; 76 Alta. L.R.(2d) 1; 50 C.P.R. 110, refd to. [para. 106].

R. v. Doherty (1887), 16 Cox C.C. 306, refd to. [para. 113].

R. v. Tolson (1889), 23 Q.B.D. 168 (C.C.R.), refd to [para. 113].

People v. Hood (1969), 462 P.2d 370 (Cal. Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 122].

R. v. Pappajohn, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 120; 32 N.R. 104, refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Sansregret, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 570; 58 N.R. 123; 35 Man.R.(2d) 1; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 223, refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Laybourn, Bulmer and Illingworth, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 782; 75 N.R. 271, refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Robertson, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 918; 75 N.R. 6; 20 O.A.C. 200, refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Osolin, [1993] 4 S.C.R. 595; 162 N.R. 1; 38 B.C.A.C. 81; 62 W.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Moreau (1986), 15 O.A.C. 81; 26 C.C.C.(3d) 359 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Murray (1986), 75 N.S.R.(2d) 361; 186 A.P.R. 361; 31 C.C.C.(3d) 323 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 124].

R. v. Revelle (1979), 39 N.R. 486; 48 C.C.C.(2d) 267 (Ont. C.A.), affd. [1981] 1 S.C.R. 576; 39 N.R. 485, consd. [para. 126].

R. v. Hartridge, [1967] 1 C.C.C. 346 (Sask. C.A.), refd to. [para. 127].

R. v. Malcolm (1989), 58 Man.R.(2d) 286; 50 C.C.C.(3d) 172 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Mailloux (1985), 12 O.A.C. 339; 25 C.C.C.(3d) 171 (C.A.), affd. [1988] 2 S.C.R. 1029; 89 N.R. 222; 30 O.A.C. 358, refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Hilton (1977), 34 C.C.C.(2d) 206 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Cooper, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 1149; 31 N.R. 234; 51 C.C.C.(2d) 129, refd to. [para. 130].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 31]; sect. 7, sect. 11(d) [para. 4].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 613(1)(b)(iii) [paras. 26, 32].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 16 [para. 3]; sect. 686(1)(b)(iii) [para. 26]; sect. 691(2)(a) [para. 75].

Authors and Works Noticed:

American Jurisprudence (2nd Ed. 1981), vol. 21, Criminal Law, para. 155 [para. 90].

Beaumont, S.J., Drunkenness and Criminal Responsibility -- Recent English Experience (1976), 54 Can. Bar Rev. 777, pp. 782 to 783 [para. 56].

Berner, S.H., Intoxication and Criminal Responsibility (1975), generally [para. 39].

Canada, Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, Interim Report (1970)(The LeDain Interim Report), c. 3, generally [para. 39].

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Recodifying Criminal Law (1986), Report 30, vol. 1, p. 30 [para. 135].

Cavender, S.J., The Lords Against Majewski and the Law (1989), 21 Bracton L.J. 9, pp. 13 ff. [para. 56].

Colvin, Eric, A Theory of the Intoxication Defence (1981), 59 Can. Bar Rev. 750, generally [paras. 55, 117]; p. 768 [para. 119].

Covington, S.S., Alcohol and Family Violence, In Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco: An International Perspective -- Past, Present and Future, Proceedings of the 34th International Congress on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (1985), vol. 1, p. 24 [para. 39].

Dashwood, Alan, Logic and the Lords in Majewski, [1977] Crim. L.R. 532, pp. 539 to 541 [para. 56]; 591 [para. 55].

Farrier, David, Intoxication: Legal Logic or Common Sense? (1976), 39 Modern L. Rev. 578, pp. 580 to 581 [para. 56].

Gardner, Simon, The Importance of Majewski (1994), 14 Oxford J. Legal Stud. 279, generally [para. 55].

Goode, Matthew, Some Thoughts on the Present State of the Defence of Intoxication (1984), 8 Crim. L.J. 104, generally [para. 56].

Great Britain, Law Commission, Intoxication and Criminal Liability (1993), Consultation Paper No. 127, pp. 4, notes 14, 15, 16, 18 [para. 39]; 34 [para. 54]; 60 to 63 [para. 57]; 67 [para. 39].

Healy, Patrick, Case Comment on R. v. Penno (1992), 71 Can. Bar Rev. 143, generally [para. 56].

Healy, Patrick, R. v. Bernard: Difficulties with Voluntary Intoxication (1990), 35 McGill L.J. 610, pp. 625 ff. [para. 56].

McCord, David, The English and American History of Voluntary Intoxication to Negate Mens Rea (1990), 11 J. Legal Hist. 372, generally [para. 88]; p. 378 [para. 10].

Mewett, Alan W., and Morris Manning, Criminal Law (2nd Ed. 1985), pp. 21 ff., 76, 101 [para. 56]; 214 to 215 [para. 19].

Mitchell, Chester N., The Intoxicated Offender -- Refuting the Legal and Medical Myths (1988), 11 Int. J.L. & Psychiatry 77, p. 89 [para. 39].

Orchard, G.F., Criminal Responsibility and Intoxication -- The Australian Rejection of Majewski, [1980] New Zealand L.J. 532, generally [para. 56].

Orchard, Gerald, Surviving without Majewski -- A View from Down Under, [1993] Crim. L.R. 426, pp. 429 to 430 [para. 56].

Quigley, Tim, A Shorn Beard (1987), 10:3 Dalhousie L.J. 167, generally [para. 10].

Quigley, Tim and Allan Manson, Bernard on Intoxication: Principle, Policy and Points in Between -- Two Comments (1989), 67 C.R.(3d) 168 [para. 56]; pp. 171 to 173 [para. 59].

Quigley, Tim, Reform of the Intoxication Defence (1987), 33 McGill L.J. 1, pp. 5 to 9 [para. 56].

Quigley, Tim, Self-induced Intoxication and Criminal Responsibility (1984), 58 Aust. L.J. 70, generally [para. 56].

Quigley, Tim, Specific and General Nonsense? (1987), 11 Dalhousie L.J. 75, pp. 100 to 103, 119 to 120 [para. 56].

Saskatchewan, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, Legal Offences in Saskatchewan: The Alcohol and Drug Connection, Research Report (February 1989), p. 8 [para. 39].

Schabas, Paul B., Intoxication and Culpability: Towards an Offence of Criminal Intoxication (1984), 42 U.T. Fac. L. Rev. 147, pp. 151 to 154 [para. 56].

Singh, R.U., History of the Defence of Drunkenness in English Criminal Law (1933), 49 L.Q. Rev. 528, generally [para. 88].

Smith, George, Footnote to O'Connor's Case (1981), 5 Crim. L.J. 270, pp. 276 ff. [para. 56]; 277 [para. 57].

Smith, J.C., and Brian Hogan, Criminal Law (7th Ed. 1992), pp. 37 ff. [para. 7]; 218 to 232 [para. 56].

Stuart, Don, Canadian Criminal Law: A Treatise (2nd Ed. 1987), pp. 363 to 383 [para. 56].

Thornton, Mark T., Making Sense of Majewski (1981), 23 Crim. L.Q. 464, generally [para. 55].

United Kingdom, Home Office, Department of Health and Social Security, Report of the Committee on Mentally Abnormal Offenders, Cmnd. 6244 (1975), pp. 18.51 to 18.59 [para. 135].

Virgo, Graham, The Law Commission Consultation Paper on Intoxication and Criminal Liability -- (1) Reconciling Principle and Policy, [1993] Crim. L.R. 415, pp. 418 to 420 [para. 56].

Wolff, Lee, and Brian Reingold, Drug Use and Crime (1994), 14:6 Juristat 1, pp. 5 to 8, 13 [para. 39].

Counsel:

Giuseppe Battista, for the accused;

Claude Provost, for the Crown.

Solicitors of Record:

Shadley, Melançon & Assoc., Montreal, Que., for the accused;

Claude Provost, Montreal, Que., for the Crown.

This appeal was heard on February 4, 1994, by Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The judgment of the Supreme Court was delivered in both official languages on September 30, 1994 and the following opinions were filed:

Lamer, C.J.C. - see paragraph 1;

La Forest, J. - see paragraph 2;

Cory, J. (L'Heureux-Dubé, McLachlin and Iacobucci, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 3 to 69;

Sopinka, J., dissenting (Gonthier and Major, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 70 to 137.

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