R. v. Morin, (1992) 134 N.R. 321 (SCC)

JudgeStevenson and Iacobucci, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 01, 1991
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1992), 134 N.R. 321 (SCC);[1992] 1 SCR 771;1992 CanLII 89 (SCC);12 CR (4th) 1;71 CCC (3d) 1;134 NR 321;[1992] CarswellOnt 75;AZ-92111050;EYB 1992-67508;JE 92-517;[1992] SCJ No 25 (QL);[2011] NJ No 48 (QL);15 WCB (2d) 276;[1992] ACS no 25;53 OAC 241;8 CRR (2d) 193

R. v. Morin (1992), 134 N.R. 321 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

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

Darlene Morin (appellant) v. Her Majesty the Queen (respondent) and The Attorney General of Canada (intervenor)

(No. 21996)

Indexed As: R. v. Morin

Supreme Court of Canada

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

Sopinka, Gonthier, McLachlin,

Stevenson and Iacobucci, JJ.

March 26, 1992.

Summary:

The accused was charged with driving while having an excessive blood-alcohol content. At trial, 14½ months later, the accused moved for a stay of proceedings, alleging a denial of her right to be tried within a reasonable time (Charter, s. 11(b)).

The Ontario Provincial Court, per Dodds, Prov. Ct. J., dismissed the motion and con­victed the accused. The accused appealed.

The Ontario District Court, per Murphy, Dist. Ct. J., allowed the appeal and entered a stay of proceedings. The Crown appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a decision reported 38 O.A.C. 298, allowed the appeal, set aside the stay of proceedings and restored the conviction. The accused ap-pealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada, Lamer, C.J.C., dissenting, dismissed the appeal, holding that the accused's rights under s. 11(b) were not violated.

Civil Rights - Topic 3262

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Ac­cused's right to - Waiver of right - The accused was charged with a breathalyzer offence in January 1988 - At her first court appearance in February 1988 she was given a trial date in March 1989, some 14½ months after she was charged - Her counsel asked if this was the earliest date and the court answered in the affirmative - At trial she raised the issue of delay - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that the accused neither expressly nor impliedly waived her right to a trial within a reason­able time - "Waiver must be clear and unequivocal and with full knowledge of the right one is waiving" - See para­graph 62.

Civil Rights - Topic 3265

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Ac­cused's right to - Within a reasonable time - What constitutes - The accused was charged with alcohol related driving of­fences in January 1988 - She was given the earliest possible trial date which was in March 1989 - Twelve months of the 14½ month delay was caused solely by limits on the institutional resources of the courts (systemic delay) - The accused argued that the delay constituted a denial of her right to be tried within a reasonable time (Char­ter, s. 11(b)) - The Supreme Court of Canada held that there was no breach of s. 11(b).

Civil Rights - Topic 3265

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Ac­cused's right to - Within a reasonable time - What constitutes - Section 11(b) of the Charter provided that a person charged with an offence had the right to a trial within a reasonable time - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the jurispru­dential de­velopment of s. 11(b) and the purpose of the provision - See para­graphs 17 to 25 - The court thereafter discussed the approach to be taken in determining if a particular delay is unreas­onable (i.e., the factors) - See paragraphs 26 to 59.

Civil Rights - Topic 3265

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Ac­cused's right to - Within a reasonable time - What constitutes - In R. v. Askov et al., 113 N.R. 241; 42 O.A.C. 81, the Supreme Court of Canada held that as a guideline, "a period of delay in a range of some six to eight months between committal and trial might be deemed to be the outside limit of what is reasonable" - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "this guideline is neither a limitation period nor a fixed ceiling on delay" - See paragraph 43 - "A guideline is not intended to be applied in a purely mechanical fashion. It must lend itself and yield to other factors" - See paragraph 46 - The court discussed factors which might require the guideline to be adjusted - See paragraphs 47 to 59.

Civil Rights - Topic 3265

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Ac­cused's right to - Within a reasonable time - What constitutes - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "... it is appropriate for this court to suggest a period of insti­tutional delay of between eight to ten months as a guide to Provincial Courts. With respect to institutional delay after committal for trial, I would not depart from the range of six to eight months that was suggested in Askov. In such a case this institutional delay would be in addi­tion to the delay prior to committal ..." - See paragraph 50 - These guidelines will require adjustment to take into account local conditions and changing circum­stances - See paragraph 52.

Civil Rights - Topic 3265

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Speedy trial - Ac­cused's right to - Within a reasonable time - What constitutes - The Supreme Court of Canada reiterated that "the provincial courts of appeal are generally in a better position than this court to assess the rea­sonableness of their province's institutional limitations and resources. Nevertheless, they must decide applications under s. 11(b) on the basis of correct principles" - See paragraph 53.

Cases Noticed:

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, refd to. [para. 2 et seq.].

R. v. Hurlbert (1988), 66 C.R.(3d) 391 (Ont. H.C.J.), refd to. [paras. 6, 8].

R. v. Conway, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1659; 96 N.R. 241; 34 O.A.C. 165; 49 C.C.C.(3d) 289; 70 C.R.(3d) 209, refd to. [paras. 8, 9, 18, 25, 40, 85].

R. v. Stensrud and Smith (G.W.), [1989] 2 S.C.R. 1115; 103 N.R. 191; 81 Sask.R. 293, refd to. [paras. 10, 18, 20, 53].

R. v. Smith (M.H.), [1989] 2 S.C.R. 1120; 102 N.R. 205; 63 Man.R.(2d) 81, refd to. [para. 11 et seq.].

Barker v. Wingo (1972), 407 U.S. 514, refd to. [paras. 17, 56].

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, refd to. [paras. 18, 42, 58, 93, 94].

R. v. Rahey, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 588; 75 N.R. 81; 78 N.S.R.(2d) 183; 193 A.P.R. 183; 33 C.C.C.(3d) 289; 57 C.R.(3d) 289; 39 D.L.R.(4th) 481, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Beason (1983), 36 C.R.(3d) 73 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 24].

R. v. Kalanj; R. v. Pion, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1594; 96 N.R. 191, refd to. [paras. 27, 30].

R. v. Korponey, [1982] 1 S.C.R. 41; 44 N.R. 103, refd to. [para. 33].

R. v. Clarkson, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 383; 66 N.R. 114; 69 N.B.R.(2d) 40; 177 A.P.R. 40; 25 C.C.C.(3d) 207; 50 C.R.(3d) 289; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 493, refd to. [para. 33].

R. v. Bennett (1991), 46 O.A.C. 99; 6 C.R.(4th) 22 (C.A.), refd to. [paras. 34, 40, 49, 56, 57].

R. v. Tremblay, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 435; 79 N.R. 153; 25 O.A.C. 93, refd to. [para. 57].

R. v. Smith (J.L.), [1989] 2 S.C.R. 368; 99 N.R. 372, refd to. [para. 57].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 11(b) [para. 1 et seq.]; sect. 24(1) [paras. 5, 31].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, sect. 237(a), sect. 237(b) [para. 3].

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, sect. 253(a), sect. 253(b) [para. 3].

Counsel:

Alan J. Risen and Robert B. Kimball, for the appellant;

Murray D. Segal and Kenneth L. Campbell, for the respondent;

S.R. Fainstein, Q.C., and R.J. Frater, for the intervenor.

Solicitors of Record:

Risen, Espey, Oshawa, Ontario, for the appellant;

The Attorney General for Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent;

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

This appeal was heard on October 1, 1991, before Lamer, C.J.C., La Forest, Sopinka, Gonthier, McLachlin, Stevenson and Iaco­bucci, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. The decision of the court was delivered in both official languages on March 26, 1992, including the following opinions:

Sopinka, J. (La Forest, Stevenson and Iacobucci, JJ., concurring) - see para­graphs 1 to 75;

Gonthier, J. (concurring) - see para­graphs 76 to 78;

McLachlin, J. (concurring) - see para­graphs 79 to 89;

Lamer, C.J.C., dissenting - see para­graphs 90 to 94.

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