R. v. Owen (T.), (2003) 304 N.R. 254 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour, LeBel and Deschamps, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateJanuary 15, 2003
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2003), 304 N.R. 254 (SCC);2003 SCC 33;174 CCC (3d) 1;JE 2003-1142;11 CR (6th) 226;304 NR 254;57 WCB (2d) 192;[2003] SCJ No 31 (QL);173 OAC 285;67 OR (3d) 96;[2003] CarswellOnt 2081;225 DLR (4th) 427;[2003] 1 SCR 779

R. v. Owen (T.) (2003), 304 N.R. 254 (SCC)

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: [2003] N.R. TBEd. JN.013

Her Majesty the Queen (appellant) v. Terry Steven Owen (respondent)

(28700; 2003 SCC 33; 2003 CSC 33)

Indexed As: R. v. Owen (T.)

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour, LeBel and Deschamps, JJ.

June 6, 2003.

Summary:

The appellant was tried for second degree murder in 1978, found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered detained. Over the next 22 years, the appellant received dispo­si­tions that provided for progressively increased access to the community under hospital supervision. In January 2000, he tested positive for cannabis and cocaine and was returned to in-patient status. In May 2000, the Ontario Review Board ordered that he be detained at the hospital with only staff accompanied access to the hospital grounds or the community. The appellant appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a decision reported at 145 O.A.C. 142, allowed the appeal and ordered an absolute discharge. The threat posed in the hospital administra­tor's risk assessment report was entirely speculative in nature. Thus, on the evidence before it, the Board could not properly conclude that the appellant posed a signifi­cant threat to public safety. Therefore, the Board was obliged to order his absolute discharge. The Crown appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada, Arbour, J.A., dissenting, allowed the appeal and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal. The Board's decision was not unreasonable and the Court of Appeal erred in not admit­ting the fresh evidence on appeal.

Criminal Law - Topic 93.82

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Absolute discharge - [See Criminal Law -Topic 93.89 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 93.89

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Discharge or release - Evidence (incl. onus of proof) - An accused was found not criminally responsible on account of a mental dis­order - A Review Board ordered his con­tinued detention at a psychiatric hospital - The accused appealed - The Crown sought to adduce fresh evidence - The Ontario Court of Appeal declined to admit the fresh evidence, allowed the appeal and granted an absolute discharge - The Crown appealed - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the appeal court erred in failing to admit the fresh evidence - The court stated that "An absolute dis­charge ... should be granted only upon consideration of all of the reliable evidence available both at the time of the Board hearing and, if appealed, at the time of the appellate review." - See paragraph 59.

Criminal Law - Topic 93.93

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Evidence (incl. admissibility) - [See Cri­m­inal Law - Topic 93.89 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 93.93

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Evidence (incl. admissibility) - An accused was found not criminally respon­sible (NCR) on account of a mental dis­order - A Review Board ordered his con­tinued deten­tion at a psychiatric hospital - Under s. 672.73(1) of the Criminal Code, the dispo­sition of a review board was subject to appeal to the appellate courts based on "a transcript of the proceedings and any other evidence that the court of appeal finds neces­sary to admit in the interests of jus­tice" - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "In this context, the 'interests of justice' includes not only justice to the NCR detainee, whose liberty is at stake, but also justice to the public, whose pro­tection is sought to be assured." - See paragraph 54.

Criminal Law - Topic 93.95

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Appeals or judicial review - [See second Criminal Law - Topic 93.93 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 93.95

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Appeals or judicial review - The Supreme Court of Canada held that on an appeal from a decision of a review board under s. 672.78 of the Criminal Code the standard of review was reasonableness simpliciter - See paragraphs 31 to 37.

Criminal Law - Topic 93.95

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Appeals or judicial review - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "The appeal of an NCR [not criminally responsible] dis­po­sition order under Part XX.1 of the Crimi­nal Code is not an appeal in an adversarial criminal prosecution ... but an inquisitional administrative procedure designed to arrive at the least restrictive regime for an NCR detainee consistent with public safety." - See paragraph 52.

Words and Phrases

Interests of justice - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of this phrase as found in s. 672.73(1) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985 - See para­graph 54.

Cases Noticed:

Winko v. Forensic Psychiatric Institute (B.C.) et al., [1999] 2 S.C.R. 625; 241 N.R. 1; 124 B.C.A.C. 1; 203 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [paras. 19, 90].

R. v. Swain, [1991] 1 S.C.R. 933; 125 N.R. 1; 47 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 25].

Syndicat national des employés de la Com­mission scolaire régionale de l'Out­aouais (CSN) v. Union des employés de service, local 298 (FTQ), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 1048; 95 N.R. 161; 24 Q.A.C. 244, refd to. [para. 31].

U.E.S., Local 298 v. Bibeault - see Syn­di­cat national des employés de la Com­mission scolaire régionale de l'Outaouais (CSN) v. Union des employés de service, local 298 (FTQ).

Conseil de la magistrature (N.-B.) v. Moreau-Bérubé, [2002] 1 S.C.R. 249; 281 N.R. 201; 245 N.B.R.(2d) 201; 636 A.P.R. 201, refd to. [para. 31].

Moreau-Bérubé v. New Brunswick (Judi­cial Council) - see Conseil de la magistrature (N.-B.) v. Moreau-Bérubé.

Director of Investigation and Research, Competition Act v. Southam Inc. et al., [1997] 1 S.C.R. 748; 209 N.R. 20, refd to. [para. 33].

Ryan v. Law Society of New Brunswick (2003), 302 N.R. 1; 257 N.B.R.(2d) 207; 674 A.P.R. 207 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 33].

Dr. Q., Re (2003), 302 N.R. 34; 179 B.C.A.C. 170; 295 W.A.C. 170 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 33].

Dr. Q. v. College of Physicians and Sur­geons (B.C.) - see Dr. Q., Re.

R. v. Yebes, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168; 78 N.R. 351, refd to. [paras. 34, 87].

R. v. Biniaris (J.), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 381; 252 N.R. 204; 134 B.C.A.C. 161; 219 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [paras. 34, 87].

R. v. Peckham (L.) et al. (1994), 74 O.A.C. 121; 93 C.C.C.(3d) 443 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 34].

Peckham v. Ontario (Attorney General) - see R. v. Peckham (L.) et al.

Beauchamp v. Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre et al. (1999), 124 O.A.C. 1; 138 C.C.C.(3d) 172 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 36].

Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General) et al. (1999), 116 O.A.C. 291; 131 C.C.C.(3d) 473 (C.A.), leave to appeal denied [1999] 1 S.C.R. vi; 243 N.R. 196; 126 O.A.C. 200, refd to. [para. 36].

Clement v. Ontario (Attorney General) - see Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre et al. v. Ontario (Attorney Gen­eral) et al.

R. v. Palmer, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 759; 30 N.R. 181, refd to. [paras. 50, 109].

R. v. Nielsen and Stolar, [1988] 1 S.C.R. 480; 82 N.R. 280; 52 Man.R.(2d) 46, refd to. [paras. 52, 109].

R. v. Stolar - see R. v. Nielsen and Stolar.

Davidson v. British Columbia (Attorney General) et al. (1993), 31 B.C.A.C. 111; 50 W.A.C. 111; 87 C.C.C.(3d) 269 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 52].

R. v. Warsing (K.L.), [1998] 3 S.C.R. 579; 233 N.R. 319; 115 B.C.A.C. 214; 189 W.A.C. 214, refd to. [para. 53].

Starson v. Swayze et al. (2003), 304 N.R. 326 (S.C.C.), dist. [para. 56].

Ares v. Venner, [1970] S.C.R. 608, refd to. [para. 58].

R. v. Khan, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 531; 113 N.R. 53; 41 O.A.C. 353, refd to. [para. 59].

R. v. Lévesque (R.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 487; 260 N.R. 165, refd to. [para. 59].

R. v. Sheppard (C.), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 869; 284 N.R. 342; 211 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 50; 633 A.P.R. 50, refd to. [para. 60].

R. v. Morin (1995), 37 C.R.(4th) 395 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 109].

Statutes Noticed:

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, sect. 672.73(1) [Appendix A].

Counsel:

Riun Shandler, for the appellant;

Brian Snell, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

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

Pinkofskys, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on January 15, 2003, by McLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour, LeBel and Deschamps, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision in both official languages on June 6, 2003, when the following opinions were filed:

Binnie, J. (McLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, LeBel and Deschamps, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 73;

Arbour, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 74 to 114.

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