R. v. Powell, (1984) 51 A.R. 191 (ProvCt)

Judge:Litsky, P.C.J.
Court:Provincial Court (Alberta)
Case Date:February 02, 1984
Jurisdiction:Alberta
Citations:(1984), 51 A.R. 191 (ProvCt)
 
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R. v. Powell (1984), 51 A.R. 191 (ProvCt)

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R. v. Powell and Powell

(No. CFC 6245)

Indexed As: R. v. Powell and Powell

Alberta Provincial Court

Litsky, P.C.J.

February 2, 1984.

Summary:

The accused parents were charged with two counts of truancy of their children, contrary to s. 180(1) of the School Act. The accused could not afford a lawyer and legal aid would not provide one. The accused applied for relief under s. 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, submitting that a trial without counsel would deny them their rights to fundamental justice and to a fair and public hearing under ss. 7 and 11 of the Charter.

The Alberta Provincial Court held that the accuseds' rights under ss. 7 and 11 would be denied if they were tried without counsel, and directed that counsel be appointed to represent them.

Civil Rights - Topic 3180

Trials - Fair hearings - Non-criminal proceedings - Fair hearing - What constitutes - The accused parents were charged with two counts of truancy of their children, contrary to s. 180(1) of the School Act - The accused could not afford a lawyer and legal aid would not provide one - The accused were incapable of acting in their own defence because the case was complex - The Alberta Provincial Court held that trying the accused without counsel would deny them their right to a "fair and public hearing", as guaranteed by s. 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - See paragraphs 12 to 30.

Civil Rights - Topic 3192

Trials - Fair hearings - Non-criminal proceedings - Procedure contrary to fundamental justice - The accused parents were charged with two counts of truancy of their children, contrary to s. 180(1) of the School Act - The accused could not afford a lawyer and legal aid would not provide one - The accused were incapable of acting in their own defence because the case was complex - The Alberta Provincial Court held that trying the accused without counsel would deny them their right not to be deprived of their right to life, liberty and security except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice, as guaranteed in s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - See paragraphs 4 to 11.

Civil Rights - Topic 4635

Right to counsel - Appointment of counsel by the court - Duty of trial judge - The Alberta Provincial Court referred to the factors to be considered by a judge when asked by an accused to appoint counsel to represent his interests at trial - See paragraph 16.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Jones (1983), 43 A.R. 64; 25 Alta. L.R.(2d) 359, refd to. [para. 2].

Gideon v. Wainright (1963), 372 U.S. 335, refd to. [para. 6].

Duke v. the Queen, [1972] S.C.R. 917, consd. [para. 8].

R. v. Potma (1983), 18 M.V.R. 133 (Ont. C.A.), refd to. [para. 10].

Re White and the Queen (1976), 1 Alta. L.R. 292 (Alta. S.C.), appld. [para. 16].

Legal Services Society v. Brahan Provincial Judge, 46 B.C.L.R. 32 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 31].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 7, sect. 11, sect. 24(1) [para. 4].

School Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-3, sect. 180(1) [para. 28].

Counsel:

W. Henkel, Q.C. and K. Tottrup, for the Crown;

S.M. Chumir, for the accused.

This application was heard before Litsky, P.C.J., of the Alberta Provincial Court at Calgary, Alberta, who delivered the following judgment on February 2, 1984:

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