R. v. Finta (I.), 23 WCB (2d) 3

JudgeLamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Major, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMarch 24, 1994
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations23 WCB (2d) 3;88 CCC (3d) 417;70 OAC 241;165 NR 1;112 DLR (4th) 513;28 CR (4th) 265;(1994), 165 N.R. 1 (SCC);[1994] SCJ No 26 (QL);20 CRR (2d) 1;1994 CanLII 129 (SCC);JE 94-519;[1994] 1 SCR 701

R. v. Finta (I.) (1994), 165 N.R. 1 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Her Majesty The Queen (appellant) v. Imre Finta (respondent) and Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, League for Human Rights of B'Nai Brith Canada and Canadian Jewish Congress and InterAmicus (interveners)

(Nos. 23023; 23097)

Indexed As: R. v. Finta (I.)

Supreme Court of Canada

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

March 24, 1994.

Summary:

In 1988 Finta was charged with having committed war crimes and crimes against humanity (Criminal Code, ss. 7(3.71) to 7(3.77)). These offences arose out his alleged treatment of Jewish persons in Hungary during World War II. He was acquitted by a jury. The Crown appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, Dubin, C.J.O., and Tarnopolsky, J.A., dissenting, in a decision reported 53 O.A.C. 1, dismissed the appeal. The Crown appealed the acquittal and Finta cross-appealed, challenging the constitutional validity of the war crimes provisions.

The Supreme Court of Canada, La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé and McLachlin, JJ., dissenting, dismissed the appeal and the cross-appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 1038

Discrimination - Race and national or ethnic origin - Criminal matters - War crimes etc. - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct defined by s. 7(3.76) to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - It was argued that the legislation was contrary to ss. 7 and 15 of the Charter because it related only to acts or omissions performed by individuals outside Canada and because the provisions subjected an individual to prosecution based on an extension of jurisdiction founded on alleged crimes for which Parliament does not make its own government members and its own people in Canada criminally liable - The Supreme Court of Canada rejected these arguments - See paragraphs 223 to 225.

Civil Rights - Topic 3107

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Void for vagueness doctrine - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct defined by s. 7(3.76) to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that these provisions were not contrary to the Charter by reason of vagueness - See paragraphs 201 to 209.

Civil Rights - Topic 3125.2

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings - Retrospective legislation - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct defined by s. 7(3.76) to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - It was alleged that the retrospective character of the war crimes provisions violated ss. 7 and 11(g) of the Charter - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the provisions did not violate the principles of fundamental justice - See paragraphs 210 to 219.

Civil Rights - Topic 3125.3

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings - Legislation with extraterritorial effect - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1038 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 3130

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi- criminal proceedings - Delay - The accused allegedly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity contrary to the Criminal Code, s. 7(3.71) - The activities occurred 45 years ago during World War II - The accused sought a stay of proceedings, arguing unreasonable pre and post charge delay contrary to ss. 7, 11(b) and 11(d) of the Charter - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that there was no Charter violation on account of delay - See paragraphs 220 to 222.

Civil Rights - Topic 3136

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings - Right to be informed of alleged offence (Charter, s. 11(a)) - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct defined by s. 7(3.76) to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the war crimes provisions were not contrary to s. 11(a) - See paragraph 227.

Civil Rights - Topic 3165.4

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings - Denial of defences - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct defined by s. 7(3.76) to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - Section 15 provided that a person could not be convicted of an offence for obedience to laws imposed and enforced by persons in de facto possession of the place where the offence occurred - Section 7(3.74) however, removed the defence of obedience to de facto law for persons charged under s. 7(3.71) - The Supreme Court of Canada held that ss. 7(3.71) and 7(3.74) were not contrary to the principles of fundamental justice (Charter, s. 7) - See paragraphs 196 to 200.

Civil Rights - Topic 3265

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Accused's right to - "Within a reasonable time" - What constitutes - [See Civil Rights - Topic 3130 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 271

War crimes and crimes against humanity - General - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct defined by s. 7(3.76) to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada held that these provisions were not contrary to ss. 7, 11(a), 11(b), 11(d), 11(g) or 15 of the Charter - See paragraphs 196 to 228.

Criminal Law - Topic 272

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Interpretation of Criminal Code - Sections 7(3.71) to 7(3.77) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada interpreted the war crimes provisions - See paragraphs 1 to 195.

Criminal Law - Topic 273

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Intention - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada interpreted these provisions, discussing the issue of mens rea - The court stated, inter alia, that the requisite mental element of a war crime or crime against humanity required that the accused be aware of, or wilfully blind to, the facts or circumstances which would bring the acts within the definition of a crime against humanity or war crime - However, it would not be necessary to establish that the accused actually knew that his actions were inhumane or constituted war crimes - The court reviewed the trial judge's jury charge and held that he did not misdirect the jury on the mens rea issue - See paragraphs 71 to 100.

Criminal Law - Topic 273.1

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Actus reus - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada interpreted these provisions, discussing the physical elements or actus reus of these offences - See paragraphs 67 to 70, 91, 92.

Criminal Law - Topic 276

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Jury charge - Following the 1944 German occupation of Hungary, the new government passed anti-Jewish laws - A plan for removing Jewish persons from Hungary was incorporated in the Ministry of the Interior Order 6263/1944 (The Baky Order) - Finta was then a commander in an armed paramilitary public security organization - In 1988 Finta was accused in Canada of committing war crimes - Finta argued that he was acting under authority of the Baky Order - The trial judge put to the jury the international law defence of obedience to military orders, the police officer defence (Criminal Code, s. 25) and the common law mistake of fact defence - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed these defences and held that the trial judge correctly charged the jury - See paragraphs 101 to 163.

Criminal Law - Topic 276

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Jury charge - [See Criminal Law - Topic 273 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 278

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Defences - Section 7(3.71) of the Criminal Code deemed certain conduct to be war crimes and crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the defences available to a person charged under s. 7(3.1) - The court traced the history of and discussed in detail the international law defence of obedience to military orders - The court also discussed the availability of the peace officer defence (Criminal Code, s. 25) and the common law defence of mistake of fact - See paragraphs 101 to 150.

Criminal Law - Topic 278

War crimes and crimes against humanity - Defences - [See first Civil Rights - Topic 3165.4 and first Criminal Law - Topic 276 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 2801

Jurisdiction - General - The Criminal Code, s. 6(2), provided that no one shall be convicted of an offence committed outside Canada - Section 7(3.71) of the Code created an exception to the rule in s. 6(2) respecting war crimes or crimes against humanity - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the jurisdiction of Canadian courts to prosecute offences under the war crimes provisions - See paragraphs 56 to 66.

Criminal Law - Topic 2811

Jurisdiction - Jurisdiction over the offence - Territorial jurisdiction - [See Criminal Law - Topic 2801 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 4295

Procedure - Trial judge - Duties and functions of - Power to call evidence - The Supreme Court of Canada reviewed the discretion of a trial judge to call witnesses without the consent of the parties - See paragraphs 183 to 192.

Criminal Law - Topic 4295

Procedure - Trial judge - Duties and functions of - Power to call evidence - At a war crimes trial the Crown refused to call evidence challenging the accused's identity - Rather than making the defence call the evidence, the judge called the evidence himself, ruling that it was not part of the defence's case - The defence called no evidence and therefore addressed the jury last - The Ontario Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred, stating that preservation of defence's entitlement to address the jury last was not a proper consideration in exercising his discretion to call evidence - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the appellate court erred in its ruling, rather, the trial judge properly exercised his discretion to call the evidence - See paragraphs 179 to 194.

Criminal Law - Topic 4356

Procedure - Jury charge - Directions regarding intent or mens rea - [See Criminal Law - Topic 273 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 4357

Procedure - Jury charge - Directions regarding defences - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed when a trial judge must put a defence to the jury - See paragraph 160.

Criminal Law - Topic 4419

Procedure - Opening and closing addresses - Counsel - Closing address - Intemperate or improper statements - The accused was acquitted on charges that he committed war crimes and crimes against humanity respecting his treatment of Jewish persons during the German occupation of Hungary in World War II - On appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada discussed improper statements which were made by counsel in their closing addresses - The court held the directions given to the jury by the trial judge pertaining to the counsels' addresses remedied any prejudice that might have arisen - See paragraphs 164 to 170.

Evidence - Topic 1527

Hearsay rule - Exceptions and exclusions - Where admission of hearsay necessary and fair and evidence reliable - The accused was on trial for war crimes, arising from activities as commander at a concentration camp in World War II - At the accused's Hungarian trial in 1947-48, which was held in absentia, one Dallos testified that another person might have been in charge - Dallos died around 1963 - At trial the judge called the Dallos' evidence himself, holding that it was admissible because it was reliable and necessary, notwithstanding that it was hearsay - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the Dallos evidence was admissible - See paragraphs 171 to 178.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Finta (1989), 69 O.R.(2d) 557 (C.A.), refd to. [paras. 29, 249].

S.S. Lotus, Re (1927), Permanent Court of International Justice Publications, Series A, No. 9, 18, refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Balcombe, [1954] S.C.R. 303, refd to. [paras. 61, 265].

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. [paras. 63, 306].

R. v. Whyte, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 3; 86 N.R. 328; 64 C.R.(3d) 123; 6 M.V.R.(2d) 138; [1988] 5 W.W.R. 26; 42 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 29 B.C.L.R.(2d) 273; 51 D.L.R.(4th) 481; 35 C.R.R. 1, refd to. [para. 63].

R. v. Chaulk and Morrissette, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 1303; 119 N.R. 161; 69 Man.R.(2d) 161; [1991] 2 W.W.R. 385; 62 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 1 C.R.R.(2d) 1; 2 C.R.(4th) 1, refd to. [para. 63].

R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697; 117 N.R. 1; 114 A.R. 81; 1 C.R.(4th) 129; 77 Alta. L.R.(2d) 193; [1991] 2 W.W.R. 1; 61 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 3 C.R.R.(2d) 193, refd to. [para. 63].

R. v. Sault Ste. Marie (City), [1978] 2 S.C.R. 1299; 21 N.R. 295; 85 D.L.R.(3d) 161; 40 C.C.C.(2d) 353; 3 C.R.(3d) 30; 7 C.E.L.R. 53, refd to. [para. 71].

R. v. Wholesale Travel Group Inc. and Chedore, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 154; 130 N.R. 1; 49 O.A.C. 161; 67 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 8 C.R.(4th) 145, refd to. [para. 77].

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. 86].

R. v. DeSousa, [1992] 2 S.C.R. 944; 142 N.R. 1; 56 O.A.C. 109, refd to. [paras. 86, 286].

R. v. Hess; R. v. Nguyen, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 906; 119 N.R. 353; 46 O.A.C. 13; 73 Man.R.(2d) 1; 3 W.A.C. 1; [1990] 6 W.W.R. 289; 79 C.R.(3d) 332; 59 C.C.C.(3d) 161, refd to. [para. 86].

R. v. Prue; R. v. Baril, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 547; 26 N.R. 470; 96 D.L.R.(3d) 577; 46 C.C.C.(2d) 257, refd to. [para. 109].

R. v. Beaver, [1957] S.C.R. 531, refd to. [para. 109].

R. v. Pappajohn, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 120; 32 N.R. 104; 14 C.R.(3d) 243; [1980] 4 W.W.R. 387; 111 D.L.R.(3d) 1; 52 C.C.C.(2d) 481, refd to. [para. 109].

United States v. Bevans (1816), 24 F.Cas. 1138 (Mass. C.C.D.), revd. (1818), 3 Wheat. 336 (U.S.S.C.), refd to. [para. 120].

R. v. Smith (1990), 17 Cape of Good Hope Rep. 561 (Eng.), refd to. [para. 121].

Ship Dover Castle (1921), 16 A.J.I.L. 704, refd to. [para. 125].

Ship Llandovery Castle (1921), 16 A.J.I.L. 708, refd to. [para. 125].

Ofer v. Chief Military Prosecutor (Kafr Qassem Case), Appeal 279-283/58, Psakim (Judgments of the District Courts of Israel), vol. 44, p. 362, refd to. [para. 126].

Einsatzgruppen Case (1948), 4 Trials of War Criminals 470, refd to. [para. 130].

R. v. Kelsey, [1953] 1 S.C.R. 220, refd to. [para. 160].

R. v. Parnerkar, [1974] S.C.R. 449, refd to. [para. 160].

R. v. Dunlop and Sylvester, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 881; 27 N.R. 153; 47 C.C.C.(2d) 93; 12 C.R.(3d) 339 (Fr.); 8 C.R.(3d) 349 (Eng.), refd to. [para. 160].

R. v. Faid, [1983] 1 S.C.R. 265; 46 N.R. 461; 42 A.R. 308; 2 C.C.C.(3d) 513; 33 C.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 160].

R. v. Khan, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 531; 113 N.R. 53; 41 O.A.C. 353; 59 C.C.C.(3d) 92; 79 C.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 172].

R. v. Williams (1985), 7 O.A.C. 201; 18 C.C.C.(3d) 356 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 175].

R. v. Rowbotham (1988), 25 O.A.C. 321; 41 C.C.C.(3d) 1 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 176].

R. v. Smith (A.L.), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 915; 139 N.R. 323; 55 O.A.C. 321; 75 C.C.C.(3d) 257; 94 D.L.R.(4th) 590, refd to. [para. 177].

R. v. K.G.B., [1993] 1 S.C.R. 740; 148 N.R. 241; 61 O.A.C. 1; 79 C.C.C.(3d) 257; 19 C.R.(4th) 1, refd to. [para. 177].

R. v. Campbell (1982), 39 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 418; 111 A.P.R. 418; 31 C.R. (3d) 166 (P.E.I.S.C.), refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. P.R.S. (1987), 38 C.C.C.(3d) 109 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. Harris (1927), 20 Cr. App. R. 86 (K.B.), refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. Holden (1838), 8 C. & P. 606; 173 E.R. 638, refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. Brown, [1967] 3 C.C.C. 210 (Qué. Q.B.), refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. Bouchard (1973), 24 C.R.N.S. 31 (N.S. Co. Ct.), refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. Black (C.V.) (1990), 96 N.S.R.(2d) 124; 253 A.P.R. 124; 55 C.C.C.(3d) 421 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 185].

R. v. Tregear, [1967] 2 Q.B. 574; [1967] 1 All E.R. 989 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 186].

United States v. Lutwak (1952), 195 F.2d 748 (7th Cir.), affd. 344 U.S. 604, rehearing denied (1953), 345 U.S. 919, refd to. [para. 187].

United States v. Marzano (1945), 149 F.2d 923 (2nd Cir.), refd to. [para. 187].

United States v. Liddy (1974), 509 F.2d 428 (D.C.), certiorari denied (1975), 420 U.S. 911, refd to. [para. 187].

Young v. United States (1939), 107 F.2d 490 (5th Cir.), refd to. [para. 187].

Estrella-Ortega v. United States (1970), 423 F.2d 509 (9th Cir.), refd to. [para. 187].

United States v. Pape (1944), 144 F.2d 778 (2nd Cir.), refd to. [para. 187].

Steinberg v. United States (1947), 162 F.2d 120 (5th Cir.), refd to. [para. 187].

United States v. Browne (1963), 313 F.2d 197 (2nd Cir.), refd to. [para. 187].

United States v. Ostrer (1976), 422 F.Supp. 93 (S.D.N.Y.), refd to. [para. 189].

R. v. Holmes, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 914; 85 N.R. 21; 27 O.A.C. 321; 41 C.C.C.(3d) 497; 50 D.L.R.(4th) 680; 65 O.R.(2d) 639, refd to. [para. 199].

R. v. Morgentaler, Smoling and Scott, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 30; 82 N.R. 1; 26 O.A.C. 1; 44 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 31 C.R.R. 1; 37 C.C.C.(3d) 449; 62 C.R.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 199].

R. v. Penno, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 865; 115 N.R. 249, refd to. [paras. 200, 325].

Reference Re ss. 193 and 195.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1123; 109 N.R. 81; 68 Man.R.(2d) 1; 56 C.C.C.(3d) 65; 77 C.R.(3d) 1; [1990] 4 W.W.R. 481, refd to. [para. 203].

R. v. Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society et al. (No. 2), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 606; 139 N.R. 241; 114 N.S.R.(2d) 91; 313 A.P.R. 91; 74 C.C.C.(3d) 289, refd to. [paras. 203, 340].

Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Québec (Procureur général), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 927; 94 N.R. 167; 24 Q.A.C. 2; 58 D.L.R.(4th) 577; 25 C.P.R.(3d) 417, refd to. [para. 204].

R. v. Askov, Hussey, Melo and Gugliotta, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1199; 113 N.R. 241; 42 O.A.C. 81; 59 C.C.C.(3d) 449; 79 C.R.(3d) 273; 49 C.R.R. 1; 74 D.L.R.(4th) 355; 75 O.R.(2d) 673, refd to. [para. 220].

R. v. Mills, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 863; 67 N.R. 241; 16 O.A.C. 81; 52 C.R.(3d) 1; 26 C.C.C.(3d) 481; 29 D.L.R.(4th) 161; 21 C.R.R. 76, refd to. [para. 220].

R. v. Turpin, Siddiqui and Clauzel, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1296; 96 N.R. 115; 34 O.A.C. 115; 48 C.C.C.(3d) 8; 69 C.R.(3d) 97; 39 C.R.R. 193, refd to. [para. 224].

Symes v. Minister of National Revenue, [1993] 4 S.C.R. 695; 161 N.R. 243, refd to. [para. 239].

Goering et al., In Re, [1946] Cmd. 6964; 41 A.J.I.L. 172 (Nuremberg International Military Tribunal), refd to. [para. 242].

Israel (Attorney General) v. Eichmann (1961), 36 I.L.R. 5, refd to. [para. 245].

Alemelo Trial (1949), 1 Law Reports of War Criminals 35, refd to. [para. 245].

In Re Eisentrager (1949), 14 Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals 8, refd to. [para. 245].

Demjanjuk v. Petrovsky (1985), 776 F.2d 571 (6th Cir.), certiorari denied (1986), 475 U.S. 1016, refd to. [para. 245].

Josef Alstöter Trial (The Justice Trial) (1947), 6 U.N.W.C.C. Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals 49 (U.S.M.T. Nuremberg), refd to. [para. 245].

S.S. Lotus, Re (1927), Permanent Court of International Justice Publications, Series A, No. 10, refd to. [para. 247].

United States of America v. McVey, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 475; 144 N.R. 81; 16 B.C.A.C. 241; 28 W.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 248].

Polyukhovich v. Australia (Commonwealth) (1991), 101 A.L.R. 545 (Aust. H.C.), refd to. [para. 252].

Bolduc v. Quebec (Attorney General) et al., [1982] 1 S.C.R. 573; 43 N.R. 185; 68 C.C.C.(2d) 413, refd to. [para. 261].

R. v. Théroux (R.), [1993] 2 S.C.R. 5; 151 N.R. 104; 54 Q.A.C. 184; 79 C.C.C.(3d) 449, refd to. [para. 294].

West Rand Central Gold Mining Co. v. R., [1905] 2 K.B. 391, refd to. [para. 297].

R. v. Lyons, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 309; 80 N.R. 161; 82 N.S.R.(2d) 271; 207 A.P.R. 271; 37 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 306].

R. v. Libman, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 178; 62 N.R. 161; 12 O.A.C. 33; 21 C.C.C.(3d) 206, refd to. [para. 312].

Chief Military Prosecutor v. Malinki et al. (1985), 2 Palestine Y.B. International Law 69 (Military Court of Appeal of Israel), refd to. [para. 323].

R. v. Bernard, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 833; 90 N.R. 321; 32 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 325].

United Nurses of Alberta v. Alberta (Attorney General), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 901; [1992] 3 W.W.R. 481; 135 N.R. 321; 125 A.R. 241; 14 W.A.C. 241; 1 Alta. L.R.(2d) 129, refd to. [para. 340].

R. v. Morin, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 771; 134 N.R. 321; 53 O.A.C. 241; 71 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 341].

R. v. Kalanj; R. v. Pion, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1594; 96 N.R. 191, refd to. [para. 341].

R. v. W.K.L., [1991] 1 S.C.R. 1091; [1991] 4 W.W.R. 385; 124 N.R. 146; 64 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 6 C.R.(4th) 1; 4 C.R.R.(2d) 298, refd to. [para. 341].

Statutes Noticed:

Baky Order - see Hungary, Ministry of the Interior Order 6163/1944.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 1 [para. 227]; sect. 7 [paras. 63, 176, 196 et seq.]; sect. 11(a) [para. 227]; sect. 11(b), sect. 11(d) [para. 220, 341]; sect. 11(f) [para. 227]; sect. 11(g) [paras. 54, 210 et seq.]; sect. 12 [para. 226]; sect. 15 [paras. 223, 342]; sect. 24(1) [para. 220].

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, generally [paras. 216, 218, 298]; art. 6(c) [para. 213].

Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, art. 8 [para. 127].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1927, c. 36 [para. 337].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 213(a) [para. 86].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 6(2) [paras. 56, 245 et seq.]; sect. 7(3), sect. 7(3.1) [para. 261]; sect. 7(3.71), sect. 7(3.72) [para. 54 et seq.]; sect. 7(3.73) [para. 104 et seq.]; sect. 7(3.74) [paras. 106, 139, 196 et seq.]; sect. 7(3.76) [paras. 54, 196 et seq.]; sect. 7(3.77) [para. 240]; sect. 7(4) [para. 261]; sect. 14 [para. 325]; sect. 15 [paras. 54, 140, 197 et seq.]; sect. 19 [para. 293]; sect. 25 [paras. 54, 107]; sect. 74(2), sect. 465(1)(a) [para. 262]; sect. 465(3), sect. 477.1 [para. 261]; sect. 607(6) [para. 105].

Geneva Prisoners of War Conventions, 1929, generally [para. 215].

Hungary, Ministry of the Interior Order 6163/1944, generally [para. 6 et seq.].

Hague Convention, 1899, generally [para. 331].

Hague Convention IV, 1907, generally [para. 331]; preamble [para. 214].

Order-in-Council, P.C. 1985-348 (Feb. 7, 1985), generally [paras. 58, 231].

Statute of the International Court of Justice, art. 38 [paras. 244, 297, 315, 330].

United States, Federal Rules of Evidence, rule 614(a) [para. 189].

War Crimes Act 1991 (U.K.), c. 13, generally [paras. 245, 252].

War Crimes Amendment Act 1988 (Aust.), No. 3, generally [para. 245].

Authors and Works Noticed:

American Law Institute, Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (1987), para. 404 [para. 245].

Annotation, 67 A.L.R.2d 538, generally [para. 187].

Annotation, 53 A.L.R.Fed. 498, generally [para. 187].

Archbold, John Frederick, Criminal Pleading, Evidence & Practice in Criminal Cases (1990), p. 1/555 [para. 184].

Bakker, Jeanne L., The Defense of Obedience to Superior Orders: The Mens Rea Requirement (1989), 17 Am. J. Crim. Law 55, generally [para. 130]; pp. 72, 73 [para. 131]; 74 [para. 132]; 79 [para. 138].

Bassiouni, M. Cherif, Crimes Against Humanity in International Criminal Law (1992), generally [para. 66]; pp. 150 [para. 213]; 168 [paras. 213, 334]; 364 [para. 296]; 399 [para. 117]; 416 [para. 119]; 419, 420, 421 [para. 122]; 427, 437 [para. 128]; 439 [para. 129]; 534, 535 [para. 332].

Brownlie, Ian, Principles of Public International Law (4th Ed. 1990), generally [para. 57], pp. 291 [para. 141]; 305 [para. 245].

Canada, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals Report (Deschênes Commission Report) (1986), generally [paras. 58, 231]; pp. 132, 133 [para. 246]; 137 to 148 [para. 335]; 158, 165 [para. 264].

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Our Criminal Law (1976), pp. 3, 5, 7 [para. 301].

Canada, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada (Jan. 1981), Issue No. 41, p. 41:99; Issue No. 47, pp. 47:57 to 47:59 [para. 335].

Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals - see Canada, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals.

Cross on Evidence (7th Ed. 1990), pp. 266 to 268 [para. 184].

Deschênes Commission - see Canada, Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals.

Dinstein, Yoram, The Defence of "Obedience to Superior Orders" in International Law (1965), generally [para. 322]; pp. 19 [para. 124]; 88 [para. 136]; 152 [para. 128].

Fenrick, W.J., The Prosecution of War Criminals in Canada (1989), 12 Dal. Law J. 256, pp. 261 [para. 215]; 273, 274 [para. 320].

Green, Leslie Claude, Superior Orders in National and International Law (1976), generally [para. 322].

Green, Leslie Claude, Superior Orders and the Reasonable Man, in Essays on the Modern Law of War (1985), pp. 43, 49 [para. 113].

Green, Leslie Claude, International Law: A Canadian Perspective (2nd Ed. 1988), ch. 6, paras. 359 to 364 [para. 279].

Green, Leslie Claude, Note, "War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity", in British Yearbook of International Law (1988), pp. 217, 226 [para. 314].

Green, Leslie Claude, Superior Orders and Command Responsibility (1989), 27 Cdn. Y.B. of Int'l Law 167, generally [para. 108], pp. 169, note 8 [para. 126]; 173 [para. 119]; 174, 175 [para. 121].

Green, Leslie Claude, The Defence of Superior Orders in the Modern Law of Armed Conflict (1993), 31 Alta. Law Rev. 320, generally [para. 323].

Greenspan, Morris, The Modern Law of Land Warfare (1959), p. 493 [para. 128].

Kelsen, Hans, The Rule Against Ex Post Facto Law and the Prosecution of the Axis War Criminals (1945), 2 The Judge Advocate Journal 8, generally [para. 218].

Kelsen, Hans, Will the Judgment in the Nuremberg Trial Constitute a Precedent in International Law (1947), 1 Int'l L.Q. 153, p. 165 [para. 218].

Lachs, Manfred, War Crimes (1945), ch. 7, pp. 16 to 24 [para. 279].

Lauterpacht, Hersch, Oppenheim's International Law (5th Ed. 1940), pp. 452, 453 [para. 323].

Lauterpacht, Hersch, The Law of Nations and the Punishment of War Criminals (1944), 21 Brit. Y.B. Int'l L. 58, p. 73 [para. 137].

Matas, David, Justice Delayed (1987), p. 90 [para. 216].

Maxwell-Fyfe, Sir David, Foreword in The Nuremberg Trial by R.W. Cooper (1947), p. 11 [para. 249].

McCormick on Evidence (4th Ed. 1992), pp. 23, 26 [para. 187].

McWilliams, Peter K., Canadian Criminal Evidence (3rd Ed. 1988), pp. 27-15, 27-16 [para. 184].

Newark, Michael and Alec Samuels, Let the Judge Call the Witness, [1969] Crim. L.R. 399, generally [para. 184].

Phipson of Evidence (14th Ed. 1990), pp. 219, 220 [para. 184].

Schwarzenberger, G., International Law as Applied by International Courts and Tribunals (1968), pp. 465 [para. 119]; 497 [para. 217].

Schwarzenberger, G., International Law, The Law of Armed Conflict (1968), generally [para. 334]; pp. 23 to 27 [para. 300].

Schwelb, Egon, Crimes Against Humanity (1946), 23 Brit. Y.B. Int'l L. 178, generally [para. 213]; pp. 196, 197 [para. 301].

Smith, J.C. and Brian Hogan, Criminal Law (7th Ed. 1992), pp. 53 [para. 294]; 81 [para. 293]; 262 [para. 198].

Sopinka, John, Sidney N. Lederman and Alan W. Bryant, The Law of Evidence in Canada (1992), p. 826 [paras. 183, 184].

Stenning, P.C., "One Blind Man to See Fair Play": The Judge's Right to Call Witnesses (1974), 24 C.R.N.S. 49, generally [para. 184].

Stone, Julius, Legal Controls of International Conflict (1974), p. 359 [para. 218].

Szegedi uj Nemzedék (April 9, 1944), generally [para. 81].

Triggs, Gillian, Australia's War Crimes Trials: A Moral Necessity or Legal Minefield? (1987), 16 M.U.L.R. 382, p. 389 [para. 57].

United Nations, General Assembly, United Nations Resolution on Principles of International Cooperation in the Detection, Arrest, Extradition and Punishment of Persons Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, F.A. Res. 3074, 28 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 30)(U.N. Doc. A/9030 1973), p. 78 [para. 245].

United Nations, International Law Commission, Principles of the Nuremberg Charter and Judgment, U.N. General Assembly Records, 5th Session, Supp. 12 (a/315), art. IV [paras. 242, 319].

Wigmore on Evidence (1983), vol. IA, pp. 968, 969 [para. 160].

Williams, S.A. and A.L.C. deMestral, An Introduction to International Law (2nd Ed. 1987), ch. 1 [para. 330]; pp. 12 [para. 338]; 130, 131 [para. 245].

Counsel:

C.A. Amerasinghe, Q.C., and Thomas C. Lemon, for the appellant;

Douglas H. Christie and Barbara Kulaszka, for the respondent;

David Matas, for the intervener, League for Human Rights of B'Nai Brith Canada;

Edward M. Morgan, for the intervener, Canadian Jewish Congress;

Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., and Lieba Shell, for the intervener, InterAmicus.

Solicitors of Record:

John C. Tait, Q.C., Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the appellant;

Douglas H. Christie, Victoria, British Columbia, for the respondent;

Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervener, Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association;

David Matas, Winnipeg, Manitoba and Dale, Streiman and Kurz, Brampton, Ontario, for the intervener, League for Human Rights of B'Nai Brith Canada;

Davies, Ward & Beck, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervener, Canadian Jewish Congress;

Ahern, Lalonde, Nuss, Drymer, Montreal, Quebec, for the intervener, InterAmicus.

This appeal was heard on June 2 and 3, 1993, before Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, and Major, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. The decision of the court was released initially in English only on March 24, 1994, including the following opinions:

Cory, J. (Gonthier and Major, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 228;

Lamer, C.J.C. (concurring reasons) - see paragraph 229;

La Forest, J., dissenting (L'Heureux-Dubé and McLachlin, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 230 to 344.

To continue reading

Request your trial
295 practice notes
  • R. v. Finta (I.), (1994) 70 O.A.C. 241 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • March 24, 1994
    ...#000000; font-size: 12.0000pt; font-weight: bold; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; text-decoration: underline; } R. v. Finta (I.) (1994), 70 O.A.C. 241 MLB headnote and full text Her Majesty The Queen (appellant) v. Imre Finta (respondent) and Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, Leag......
  • Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, (2014) 463 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • March 18, 2014
    ...to. [para. 58]. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of Canada v. Eaton (T.) Co., [1956] S.C.R. 610, refd to. [para. 58]. R. v. Finta (I.), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701; 165 N.R. 1; 70 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. Alcom Ltd. v. Republic of Columbia, [1984] 1 A.C. 580, refd to. [para. 63]. Daniels v. White,......
  • R. v. Albashir,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 19, 2021
    ...[1933] S.C.R. 47; British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2005 SCC 49, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 473; R. v. Finta, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701; United Nurses of Alberta v. Alberta (Attorney General), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 901; Medovarski v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 SCC 51, [......
  • Nevsun Resources Ltd v Araya,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • February 28, 2020
    ...world over. As this Court explained, “[t]o establish custom, an extensive survey of the practices of nations is required” (R v. Finta, [1994] 1 SCR 701, at p. 773). Canadian judges need to be able to understand decisions rendered in a foreign legal system, in which they are not trained, and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
219 cases
  • R. v. Finta (I.), (1994) 70 O.A.C. 241 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • March 24, 1994
    ...#000000; font-size: 12.0000pt; font-weight: bold; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; text-decoration: underline; } R. v. Finta (I.) (1994), 70 O.A.C. 241 MLB headnote and full text Her Majesty The Queen (appellant) v. Imre Finta (respondent) and Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, Leag......
  • Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, (2014) 463 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • March 18, 2014
    ...to. [para. 58]. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of Canada v. Eaton (T.) Co., [1956] S.C.R. 610, refd to. [para. 58]. R. v. Finta (I.), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701; 165 N.R. 1; 70 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. Alcom Ltd. v. Republic of Columbia, [1984] 1 A.C. 580, refd to. [para. 63]. Daniels v. White,......
  • R. v. Albashir,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • November 19, 2021
    ...[1933] S.C.R. 47; British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2005 SCC 49, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 473; R. v. Finta, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701; United Nurses of Alberta v. Alberta (Attorney General), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 901; Medovarski v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 SCC 51, [......
  • Nevsun Resources Ltd v Araya,
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • February 28, 2020
    ...world over. As this Court explained, “[t]o establish custom, an extensive survey of the practices of nations is required” (R v. Finta, [1994] 1 SCR 701, at p. 773). Canadian judges need to be able to understand decisions rendered in a foreign legal system, in which they are not trained, and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
75 books & journal articles
  • The Investment Theory of Class Actions
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Canadian Class Action Review Nbr. 3-1, January 2006
    • January 1, 2006
    ...the following test to determine when Canadian courts ought to assume jurisdiction over a criminal offence:   10 11 R. v. Finta, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701 at 806 (Cory J.). R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 6(2). R. v. Terry, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 207 at paras. 14–16. [1985] 2 S.C.R. 178 Jurisdictional issues ......
  • Antitrust Class Actions: Chaos in the Courts
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Canadian Class Action Review Nbr. 3-1, January 2006
    • January 1, 2006
    ...the following test to determine when Canadian courts ought to assume jurisdiction over a criminal offence:   10 11 R. v. Finta, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701 at 806 (Cory J.). R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 6(2). R. v. Terry, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 207 at paras. 14–16. [1985] 2 S.C.R. 178 Jurisdictional issues ......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Sovereignty, Restraint, & Guidance. Canadian Criminal Law in the 21st Century
    • June 25, 2019
    ...[1993] 3 SCR 103..................................................................................................81, 383 R v Finta, [1994] 1 SCR 701 ............................................................................................... 492, 493 R v Fontaine, 2002 MBCA 107 ..............
  • The Criminal Law and the Constitution
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive Criminal Law. Seventh Edition
    • August 4, 2018
    ...it is interpreted such a retrospective form of punishment and could not be justified under s 1 of the Charter . 209 R v Finta (1994), 88 CCC (3d) 417 (SCC) [ Finta ]. 210 Ibid at 503. 211 Reference re ss 193 & 195.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code (Canada) (1990), 56 CCC (3d) 65 at 77 (SCC). CRI......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT