R. v. Harbottle (J.), (1993) 157 N.R. 349 (SCC)

JudgeCory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateSeptember 30, 1993
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1993), 157 N.R. 349 (SCC);[1993] 3 SCR 306;84 CCC (3d) 1;66 OAC 358;24 CR (4th) 137;JE 93-1672;1993 CanLII 71 (SCC);157 NR 349;[1993] ACS no 58;[1993] SCJ No 58 (QL);20 WCB (2d) 602

R. v. Harbottle (J.) (1993), 157 N.R. 349 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

James Harbottle (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent)

(23037)

Indexed As: R. v. Harbottle (J.)

Supreme Court of Canada

Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest,

L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier,

Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and

Major, JJ.

September 30, 1993.

Summary:

The accused was found guilty by a jury of first degree murder. The accused appealed, conceding guilt for second degree murder. The main issue was what level of participa­tion was necessary to find an accused guilty of first degree murder for "causing" the death of the victim under s. 214(5) of the Criminal Code (1970), where the accused's companion actually strangled the victim.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, Doherty, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported 54 O.A.C. 32, dismissed the appeal and affirmed the first degree murder conviction. The accused appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

Criminal Law - Topic 1242

Culpable homicide - Causation - [See both Criminal Law - Topic 1272 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 1270

Murder - First degree murder - "Planned" and "deliberate" defined - The accused was a party to the unlawful confinement and sexual assault of the victim - The accused and Ross (the other party) dis­cussed where and how to kill the victim to prevent her from implicating them - When the first chosen method failed, they chose to strangle her - Ross physically strangled the victim, while the accused held her feet to prevent her from resisting - The Supreme Court of Canada agreed that there was ample evidence upon which the jury could have found that the murder was planned and premeditated by both the accused and Ross - See paragraph 11.

Criminal Law - Topic 1272

Murder - Murder during commission of other offences - Elements of offence - Section 214(5) of the Criminal Code (1970) made murder first degree murder where the victim's death was "caused" by the accused while committing or attempt­ing to commit an enumerated offence of domination - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "an accused may be found guilty of first degree murder pursu­ant to s. 214(5) if the Crown has estab­lished beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) the accused was guilty of the underlying crime of domination or of attempting to commit that crime; (2) the accused was guilty of the murder of the victim; (3) the accused participated in the murder in such a manner that he was a substantial cause of the death of the victim; (4) there was no intervening act of another which resulted in the accused no longer being substan­tially connected to the death of the victim; and (5) the crimes of domination and murder were part of the same transaction; that is to say, the death was caused while committing the offence of domination as part of the same series of events." - See paragraph 38.

Criminal Law - Topic 1272

Murder - Murder during commission of other offences - Elements of offence - Section 214(5) of the Criminal Code (1970) made murder first degree murder where the victim's death was "caused" by the accused while committing or attempt­ing to commit an enumerated offence of domination - The accused was a party to the unlawful confinement and sexual assault of the victim - The accused and the other party (Ross) agreed to kill the victim by strangulation - Ross physically strangled the victim while the accused held her legs to prevent her from defending himself - The Supreme Court of Canada held that both the accused and Ross "caused" the victim's death and both were guilty of first degree murder under s. 214(5) - The accused was a substantial and integral cause of the victim's death.

Criminal Law - Topic 2741

Parties to offences - First degree murder while committing other offence - [See both Criminal Law - Topic 1272 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Thatcher, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 652; 75 N.R. 198; 57 Sask.R. 113; [1987] 4 W.W.R. 193; 57 C.R.(3d) 97; 32 C.C.C.(3d) 481, refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Harder, [1956] S.C.R. 489, refd to. [para. 15].

R. v. Kirkness, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 74; 116 N.R. 81; 69 Man.R.(2d) 81; 60 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 1 C.R.(4th) 91, consd. [para. 22].

R. v. Paré, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 618; 80 N.R. 272; 11 Q.A.C. 1; 38 C.C.C.(3d) 97; 60 C.R.(3d) 346; 64 C.C.C.(3d) 193, consd. [para. 23].

R. v. Black and Mackie, [1966] 3 C.C.C. 187 (Ont. C.A.), consd. [para. 25].

R. v. Gourgnon (No. 1) (1979), 9 C.R.(3d) 313 (B.C.S.C.), consd. [para. 27].

R. v. Dollan and Newstead (1980), 53 C.C.C.(2d) 146 (Ont. H.C.), affd. (1982), 65 C.C.C.(2d) 240 (C.A.), consd. [para. 28].

R. v. Woods and Gruener (1980), 57 C.C.C.(2d) 220 (Ont. C.A.), consd. [para. 29].

R. v. Munro and Munro (1983), 8 C.C.C.(3d) 260 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 29].

R. v. McGill (1986), 15 O.A.C. 266 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 29].

R. v. Rodney, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 687; 112 N.R. 167, refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Logan, Logan and Johnson, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 731; 112 N.R. 144; 41 O.A.C. 330; 58 C.C.C.(3d) 391; 79 C.R.(3d) 169; 73 D.L.R.(4th) 40; 50 C.R.R. 152, refd to. [para. 30].

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. 30].

R. v. Farrant, [1983] 1 S.C.R. 124; 46 N.R. 337; 21 Sask.R. 271, refd to. [para. 33].

R. v. Hallett, [1969] S.A.S.R. 141 (S.C. In Banco), refd to. [para. 35].

R. v. Smithers, [1978] 1 S.C.R. 506; 15 N.R. 287, refd to. [para. 36].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 21 [para. 25]; sect. 205(1), sect. 212(a)(i), sect. 214(3), sect. 214(5) [para. 20].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 231(5) [para. 1].

Criminal Law Amendment Act (No. 2), S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 105, sect. 4 [para. 16].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Colvin, Eric, Principles of Criminal Law (2nd Ed. 1991), p. 349 [para. 15].

Mewett, Alan W. and Morris Manning, Criminal Law (2nd Ed. 1985), p. 43 [para. 15].

Counsel:

Clayton Ruby and Paul Burstein, for the appellant;

Lucy Cecchetto, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Ruby & Edwardh and Burstein & Paine, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

Attorney General for Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on May 25, 1993, before Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, L'Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On September 30, 1993, Cory, J., delivered the following judgment for the court in both official languages.

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    ...2016 SCC 7, [2016] 1 S.C.R. 27; R. v. Arkell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 695; R. v. Russell, 2001 SCC 53, [2001] 2 S.C.R. 804; R. v. Harbottle, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 306; R. v. Nette, 2001 SCC 78, [2001] 3 S.C.R. 488; R. v. Niemi, 2017 ONCA 720, 355 C.C.C. (3d) 344; R. v. Imona‑Russell, 2018 ONCA 590; R. v.......
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