R. v. Leary, (1977) 13 N.R. 592 (SCC)

JudgeLaskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 06, 1976
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1977), 13 N.R. 592 (SCC);[1977] 2 WWR 628;[1977] SCJ No 39 (QL);33 CCC (2d) 473;74 DLR (3d) 103;[1978] 1 SCR 29;1977 CanLII 2 (SCC);1 WCB 195;13 NR 592

R. v. Leary (1977), 13 N.R. 592 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

R. v. Leary

Indexed As: R. v. Leary

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.

March 8, 1977.

Summary:

This case arose out of a charge of rape. The accused was convicted by a judge and jury. The trial judge in his charge to the jury stated that drunkenness was not a defence to a charge of rape.

On appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal the appeal was dismissed and the conviction of the accused was affirmed.

On appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the appeal was dismissed and the judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal was affirmed. The Supreme Court of Canada referred to the distinction between crimes requiring a specific intention and crimes requiring a general intention - See Supreme Court of Canada held that rape was a crime involving a general intention and not a specific intention and therefore rape is a crime in which drunkenness is not a defence - See paragraphs 16 to 20.

Laskin, C.J.C., Spence and Dickson, JJ., dissenting, in the Supreme Court of Canada, would have allowed the appeal, set aside the conviction and directed a new trial. Dickson, J. stated that it was wrong for the trial judge to withdraw from the jury any consideration of drunkenness. Dickson, J. stated that drunkenness was one of the elements that should have been considered by the jury in determining whether the accused had the requisite intention or mental element. Dickson, J. stated that the distinction between crimes requiring a specific intention and crimes requiring a general intention should be discarded - see paragraphs 46 to 52.

Criminal Law - Topic 669

Sexual offences - Rape - Intent or mens rea - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that rape is a crime involving a general intention as distinguished from a specific intention and therefore rape is a crime in which drunkenness is not a defence - See paragraphs 16 to 20 - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the trial judge's direction to the jury that drunkenness was not a defence to a charge of rape.

Criminal Law - Topic 38

Intent or mens rea - Lack of understanding caused by intoxication - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that drunkenness is not a defence to a charge of rape - See paragraph 16.

Criminal Law - Topic 33

Intent or mens rea - Crimes of specific intent as distinguished from crimes of general or basic intent - The Supreme Court of Canada referred to the distinction between crimes requiring a specific intention and crimes requiring a general or basic intention - See paragraphs 6 to 10 and 46 to 52.

Criminal Law - Topic 35

Intent or mens rea - Presumption of requirement of mens rea - Supreme Court of Canada referred to the presumption that mens rea is an essential element in every offence - See paragraph 34.

Criminal Law - Topic 30

Mens rea - General principles - Supreme Court of Canada referred to the principle that a prohibited act must be accompanied by a "certain mental element" - See paragraph 34.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Vandervoort (1961), 34 C.R. 380, not folld. [para. 4]; refd to. [para. 31].

R. v. Schmidt & Gole (1973), 9 C.C.C.(2d) 101, not folld. [para. 4]; refd to. [para. 17].

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Majewski, [1976] 2 All E.R. 142, folld. [para. 8]; refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Hornbuckle, [1945] V.L.R. 281, refd to. [para. 15].

Woolmington v. D.P.P., [1935] A.C. 462, refd to. [paras. 16, 45].

R. v. Resener, [1968] 4 C.C.C. 129, refd to. [para. 17].

Bolton v. Crawley, [1972] Crim. L. Rev. 222, refd to. [para. 17].

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Morgan, [1975] 2 All E.R. 347, refd to. [para. 19].

Sherras v. de Rutzen, [1895] 1 Q.B. 918, folld. [para. 34].

Queen v. Rees, [1956] S.C.R. 640, folld. [para. 34].

Beaver v. The Queen, [1957] S.C.R. 531, folld. [para. 34].

Dir. of Public Prosecutions v. Beard, [1920] A.C. 479, refd to. [para. 38].

R. v. McAskill, [1931] S.C.R. 330, refd to. [para. 38].

Perrault v. The Queen, [1971] S.C.R. 196, refd to. [para. 38].

Reniger v. Fogossa, 1 Plowd. 1, folld. [para. 39].

Beverley (1603), 4 Co. Rep. 123b, folld. [para. 39].

R. v. Grindley (1819), 1 Russell on Crimes (2nd Ed.) 8, refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. Carroll (1935), 7 C. & P. 145, refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. Monkhouse (1850 - 51), 4 Cox C.C. 55, refd to. [para. 41].

R. v. Cruse (1838), 8 C. & P. 541, refd to. [para. 41].

R. v. Moore (1852), 3 Car. & Kir. 319, refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Doherty, 16 Cox C.C. 306, refd to. [para. 44].

R. v. Meade, [1909] 1 K.B. 895, refd to. [para. 45].

Hosegood v. Hosegood (1950), 66 (Pt. 1) T.L.R. 735, 1950 W.N. 218, refd to. [para. 45].

R. v. George, [1960] S.C.R. 871, folld. [para. 6]; refd to. [para. 51].

Attorney General for Northern Ireland v. Gallagher, [1963] A.C. 349, refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Sheehan (1975), 60 Cr. App. R. 308, refd to. [para. 60].

R. v. Boucher (1962), 40 W.W.R. 663, folld. [para. 4]; refd to. [para. 31].

R. v. King, [1962] S.C.R. 746, folld. [paras. 18, 34].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Kenny's, Outlines of Criminal Law, 17th Ed., p. 58 [para. 7].

Williams, Glanville L., The Mental Element in Crime (1965), p. 47 [para. 24].

Smith & Hogan, Criminal Law, 3rd Ed., p. 47 [para. 30].

Coke's Institutes, Vol. 1, p. 247a [para. 39].

Blackstone's Commentaries, Vol. 4, p. 26 [para. 39].

Hale, Common Law, p. 31 [para. 39].

Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown, Vol. 1, c. 1, s. 6 [para. 39].

Singh, R.U., History of Drunkenness in English Criminal Law (1933), 49 L.Q.R. 528 [para. 40].

Austin, Jurisprudence, 5th Ed., p. 496 [para. 56].

Counsel:

K.S. Fawcus, for the appellant;

G.S. Cumming, Q.C., for the respondent.

This appeal was heard by LASKIN, C.J.C., MARTLAND, JUDSON, RITCHIE, SPENCE, PIGEON, DICKSON, BEETZ and de GRANDPRE, JJ. at Ottawa, Ontario on May 6, 1976. Judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court of Canada on March 8, 1977 and the following opinions were filed:

PIGEON, J. - see paragraphs 1 to 27;

DICKSON, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 28 to 63.

MARTLAND, JUDSON, RITCHIE, BEETZ and de GRANDPRE, JJ. concurred with PIGEON, J.

LASKIN, C.J.C. and SPENCE, J. concurred with DICKSON, J.

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