R. v. Lising (R.) et al., (2005) 217 B.C.A.C. 65 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., Bastarache, Binnie, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateNovember 17, 2005
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2005), 217 B.C.A.C. 65 (SCC);2005 SCC 66

R. v. Lising (R.) (2005), 217 B.C.A.C. 65 (SCC);

    358 W.A.C. 65

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

Temp. Cite: [2005] B.C.A.C. TBEd. NO.055

Francisco Batista Pires (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent) and Attorney General of Ontario, Attorney General of British Columbia and Criminal Lawyers' Association (Ontario) (intervenors)

(30151)

Ronaldo Lising (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent) and Attorney General of Ontario, Attorney General of British Columbia and Criminal Lawyers' Association (Ontario) (intervenors)

(30240; 2005 SCC 66; 2005 CSC 66)

Indexed As: R. v. Lising (R.) et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., Bastarache, Binnie, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ.

November 17, 2005.

Summary:

Two accused were jointly charged with conspiracy to traffic in cocaine (count 1); trafficking in cocaine and possession of the proceeds of trafficking in cocaine (counts 2 and 3); and trafficking in cocaine and possession of the proceeds of such trafficking (counts 4 and 5). The accused Lising was charged alone with possession of cocaine and the drug "Ecstasy" for purposes of trafficking (counts 6 and 7). During the jury trial, both accused applied for severance of count 1 from the substantive counts of trafficking in cocaine and possession of the proceeds of trafficking. Lising also applied for severance of counts 6 and 7 from the others. The accused also sought a mistrial.

The British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed the application for severance. The Supreme Court, in a decision reported at [2000] B.C.T.C. Uned. 663, also dismissed the application for a mistrial. Both accused were convicted on counts 1, 4 and 5 and acquitted on counts 2 and 3. Lising was acquitted on counts 6 and 7, but convicted of the included offence of simple possession of cocaine and "Ecstasy". The accused appealed their convictions.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported (2004), 193 B.C.A.C. 42; 316 W.A.C. 42, dismissed the appeals. The accused appealed solely on the ground that the Court of Appeal erred in affirming the trial judge's decision that the accused were not entitled to cross-examine the deponent police officer who filed an affidavit in support of the wiretap authorizations.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeals.

Civil Rights - Topic 3133

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings - Right of accused to make full answer and defence - [See first Criminal Law - Topic 5274.3 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 5274.3

Evidence - Witnesses - Interception of private communications - Application for - Affidavit - Cross-examination of deponent - Since 1990 (Garofoli), a person who filed an affidavit in support of a wiretap authorization could only be cross-examined with leave of the court, where the accused showed a likelihood that cross-examination would elicit testimony of probative value to the issue for consideration by the reviewing judge - The Supreme Court of Canada rejected a submission that the Garofoli leave requirement was no longer justified and constituted an unconstitutional limitation on an accused's right to make full answer and defence - The rule was grounded in principles of relevance and materiality and the need to prevent prolix proceedings and protect the identity of informants - The court stated that "there is no constitutional right to adduce irrelevant or immaterial evidence. Further, the leave requirement strikes an appropriate balance between the entitlement to cross-examination as an aspect of the right to make full answer and defence, and the public interest in fair, but efficient, use of judicial resources and the timely determination of criminal proceedings." - If the Garofoli leave requirement was properly applied, the only thing that an accused was denied eliciting through cross-examination was evidence unlikely to assist the reviewing judge or the accused in determining admissibility - See paragraphs 6 to 38.

Criminal Law - Topic 5274.3

Evidence - Witnesses - Interception of private communications - Application for - Affidavit - Cross-examination of deponent - Two accused convicted of drug offences submitted that the trial judge (affirmed by the Court of Appeal) erred in denying them leave to cross-examine the deponent police officer on his affidavit in support of wiretap authorizations used in the investigation - Police obtained an authorization under s. 184.2 of the Criminal Code to intercept telephone conversations of the accused, with the consent of the other participant, a police informant - The affidavit contained a statement that, based on the informant's polygraph examination, the officer believed that the informant had been completely truthful in his dealings with police in the investigation - The statement was misleading because the polygraph examination was limited to determining whether the accused was acting as a double agent - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the trial judge did not err in refusing leave to cross-examine the officer - There was no likelihood that cross-examination would elicit testimony of probative value to the issue for consideration on a review of the authorization - The court stated that "the proposed cross-examination, at best, could reveal that [the deponent officer] overstated the potential value of the polygraph results" - See paragraphs 63 to 69.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Garofoli et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1421; 116 N.R. 241; 43 O.A.C. 1; 36 Q.A.C. 161, appld. [para. 1].

R. v. Charette (1977), 37 C.C.C.(2d) 497 (Ont. C.A.), affd. [1980] 1 S.C.R. 785; 33 N.R. 158, refd to. [para. 6].

R. v. Wilson, [1983] 2 S.C.R. 594; 51 N.R. 321; 26 Man.R.(2d) 194, refd to. [para. 6].

R. v. Chesson and Vanweenan, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 148; 87 N.R. 115; 90 A.R. 347, refd to. [para. 6].

R. v. Sanelli, Duarte and Fasciano, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 30; 103 N.R. 86; 37 O.A.C. 322, refd to. [para. 8].

R. v. Fasciano - see R. v. Sanelli, Duarte and Fasciano.

R. v. Duarte - see R. v. Sanelli, Duarte and Fasciano.

Franks v. Delaware (1978), 438 U.S. 154, refd to. [para. 9].

Southam Inc. v. Hunter, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 145; 55 N.R. 241; 55 A.R. 291, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Stinchcombe, [1991] 3 S.C.R. 326; 130 N.R. 277; 120 A.R. 161; 8 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Bordage (2000), 146 C.C.C.(3d) 549 (Que. C.A.), refd to. [para. 21].

R. v. Araujo (A.) et al., [2000] 2 S.C.R. 992; 262 N.R. 346; 143 B.C.A.C. 257; 235 W.A.C. 257; 2000 SCC 65, refd to. [para. 22].

R. v. Dersch (W.W.) et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1505; 116 N.R. 340; 43 O.A.C. 256; 36 Q.A.C. 258, refd to. [para. 25].

R. v. Lyttle (M.G.), [2004] 1 S.C.R. 193; 316 N.R. 52; 184 O.A.C. 1; 2004 SCC 5, refd to. [para. 29].

R. v. Seaboyer and Gayme, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 577; 128 N.R. 81; 48 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 29].

R. v. Vukelich (M.) (1996), 78 B.C.A.C. 113; 128 W.A.C. 113; 108 C.C.C.(3d) 193 (C.A.), consd. [para. 34].

R. v. Durette et al. (1992), 54 O.A.C. 81; 72 C.C.C.(3d) 421 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 34].

R. v. Mohan, [1994] 2 S.C.R. 9; 166 N.R. 245; 71 O.A.C. 241, refd to. [para. 37].

R. v. Lachance, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1490; 116 N.R. 325; 43 O.A.C. 241; 36 Q.A.C. 243, refd to. [para. 43].

R. v. Williams (D.) (2003), 180 O.A.C. 171; 181 C.C.C.(3d) 414 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 44].

R. v. Silvini (A.) (1997), 96 O.A.C. 310 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 45].

R. v. Bernshaw (N.), [1995] 1 S.C.R. 254; 176 N.R. 81; 53 B.C.A.C. 1; 87 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 66].

Counsel:

Kenneth S. Westlake and Eric V. Gottardi, for the appellant, Pires;

Gregory P. DelBigio, for the appellant, Lising;

S. David Frankel, Q.C., and Ronald C. Reimer, for the respondent;

Alexander D. Smith and Scott C. Hutchinson, for the intervenor, Attorney General of Ontario;

M. Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten, for the intervenor, Attorney General of British Columbia;

Michael Code, for the intervenor, Criminal Lawyers' Association (Ontario).

Solicitors of Record:

Peck and Company, Vancouver, B.C., for the appellant, Pires;

Gregory P. DelBigio, Vancouver, B.C., for the appellant, Lising;

Attorney General of Canada, Vancouver, B.C., for the respondent;

Attorney General of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervenor, Attorney General of Ontario;

Attorney General of British Columbia, Victoria, B.C., for the intervenor, Attorney General of British Columbia;

Sack Goldblatt Mitchell, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervenor, Criminal Lawyers' Association (Ontario).

These appeals were heard  on  May  18,  2005, before McLachlin, C.J.C., Bastarache, Binnie, Deschamps, Fish, Abella and Charron, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On November 17, 2005, Charron, J., delivered the following judgment in both official languages for the Supreme Court of Canada.

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