R. v. Rhee (D.G.), 2001 SCC 71

JudgeIacobucci, Major, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 19, 2001
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations2001 SCC 71;(2001), 157 B.C.A.C. 30 (SCC)

R. v. Rhee (D.G.) (2001), 157 B.C.A.C. 30 (SCC);

    256 W.A.C. 30

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: [2001] B.C.A.C. TBEd. OC.024

Dai Geun Rhee (appellant) v. Her Majesty The Queen (respondent)

(27863; 2001 SCC 71)

Indexed As: R. v. Rhee (D.G.)

Supreme Court of Canada

Iacobucci, Major, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.

October 19, 2001.

Summary:

The accused was convicted by judge and jury of the attempted murder of his wife and assault causing bodily harm respecting his daughter. The accused appealed, submitting that the trial judge misdirected the jury on reasonable doubt.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Newbury and Rowles, JJ.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported 134 B.C.A.C. 135; 219 W.A.C. 135, dismissed the appeal. The accused appealed as of right under s. 691(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

The Supreme Court of Canada, LeBel, J., dissenting, dismissed the appeal. The court held that the pre-Lifchus jury charge on reasonable doubt substantially complied with the principles expressed in Lifchus. Although a portion of the jury charge was deficient, there was no reasonable concern that the jury may have proceeded to convict the accused by applying the wrong standard of proof.

Criminal Law - Topic 4351

Procedure - Charge or directions - Jury or judge alone - Direction regarding burden of proof and reasonable doubt - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that in charging a jury on reasonable doubt "that, while no specific set of words had to be adhered to, in substance the judge should convey to the jury the fol­lowing: the stan­dard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is inex­tricably inter­twined with that principle fundamental to all criminal trials, the presumption of innocence; the burden of proof rests on the prosecution throughout the trial and never shifts to the accused; a reasonable doubt is not a doubt based upon sympathy or pre­judice; rather, it is based upon reason and common sense; it is logic­ally connected to the evidence or absence of evidence; it does not involve proof of an absolute certainty; it is not proof beyond any doubt nor is it an imagi­nary or frivolous doubt; and more is required than proof that the accused is probably guilty - a jury which concludes only that the accused is prob­ably guilty must acquit." - See paragraph 20.

Criminal Law - Topic 4351

Procedure - Charge or directions - Jury or judge alone - Direction regarding burden of proof and reasonable doubt - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that in charging a jury on reasonable doubt "cer­tain refer­ences to the required standard of proof should be avoided. For example: describ­ing the term 'reasonable doubt' as an ordi­nary expression which had no special meaning in the criminal law con­text; invit­ing jurors to apply to the task before them the same standard of proof that they apply to important, or even the most important, decisions in their own lives; equating 'beyond a reasonable doubt' to proof 'to a moral certainty'; qualifying the word 'doubt' with adjectives other than 'reason­able', such as 'serious', 'substantial' or 'haunting', which may mislead the jury; and instructing jurors that they may con­vict if they are 'sure' that the accused is guilty, before providing them with a proper definition as to the meaning of the words 'beyond a reasonable doubt'" - See para­graph 20.

Criminal Law - Topic 4351

Procedure - Charge or directions - Jury or judge alone - Direction regarding burden of proof and reasonable doubt - R. v. Lifchus (S.C.C.) set out guidelines for a trial judge instructing a jury on reasonable doubt - The jury charge must convey that reason­able doubt required more than prov­ing that an accused was probably guilty - The jury was not to be told that reasonable doubt was an ordi­nary expression that had no special mean­ing in the criminal law con­text - At issue was whether a pre-Lif­chus jury charge that failed to meet these two guidelines consti­tuted reversible error requiring a new trial - The Supreme Court of Canada agreed that, notwith­standing the two defi­ciencies, the jury charge substan­tially complied with the Lifchus principles - There was no reason­able likelihood that the jury misun­derstood the correct standard of proof - The court stated that "not only was the charge in question in partial com­pliance with Lifchus guidelines, but addi­tional aspects of the charge dealing with credi­bility and cir­cumstantial evidence served to cure short­comings in the instruc­tion so that there can be no reasonable concern that the jury may have proceeded to convict by applying the wrong standard of proof." - See para­graphs 19 to 36.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Lifchus (W.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 320; 216 N.R. 215; 118 Man.R.(2d) 218; 149 W.A.C. 218, appld. [para. 1].

R. v. Starr (R.D.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 144; 258 N.R. 250; 148 Man.R.(2d) 161; 224 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Russell (M.E.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 731; 261 N.R. 339; 266 A.R. 379; 228 W.A.C. 379, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Beauchamp (A.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 720; 262 N.R. 119, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. Avetysan (A.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 745; 262 N.R. 96; 195 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 338; 586 A.P.R. 338, refd to. [para. 1].

R. v. K.K. (2000), 134 B.C.A.C. 115; 219 W.A.C. 115; 144 C.C.C.(3d) 35 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. Finley (Z.V.) (2000), 134 B.C.A.C. 142; 219 W.A.C. 142 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. D.W., [1991] 1 S.C.R. 742; 122 N.R. 277; 46 O.A.C. 352, refd to. [para. 9].

R. v. Brydon (1995), 55 B.C.A.C. 6; 90 W.A.C. 6; 95 C.C.C.(3d) 509 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

R. v. Lord (D.C.), [1995] 1 S.C.R. 747; 178 N.R. 152; 53 B.C.A.C. 243; 87 W.A.C. 243, affing. (1993), 36 B.C.A.C. 223; 58 W.A.C. 223 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

R. v. Bisson (Y.), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 306; 222 N.R. 365, refd to. [para. 44].

R. v. W.D.S., [1994] 3 S.C.R. 521; 171 N.R. 360; 157 A.R. 321; 77 W.A.C. 321, refd to. [para. 60].

Counsel:

Matthew A. Nathanson, for the appellant;

Alexander Budlovsky and Ursula Botz, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Gibbons Ritchie, Vancouver, B.C., for the appellant;

Ministry of the Attorney General, Van­couver, B.C., for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on April 27, 2001, before Iacobucci, Major, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On October 19, 2001, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

Arbour, J. (Iacobucci, Major and Binnie, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 37;

LeBel, J., dissenting - see paragraphs 38 to 71.

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  • R. v. Anderson (W.R.), (2009) 448 A.R. 165 (CA)
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    ...S.C.R. 314; 207 N.R. 246; 157 N.S.R.(2d) 161; 462 A.P.R. 161, refd to. [para. 44]. R. v. Rhee (D.G.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 364; 275 N.R. 281; 157 B.C.A.C. 30; 256 W.A.C. 30; 2001 SCC 71, refd to. [para. R. v. Russell (M.E.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 731; 261 N.R. 339; 266 A.R. 379; 228 W.A.C. 379; 2000 S......
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    ...leave to appeal refused (2004), 333 N.R. 399 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 39]. R. v. Rhee (D.G.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 364; 275 N.R. 281; 157 B.C.A.C. 30; 256 W.A.C. 30; 158 C.C.C.(3d) 129, refd to. [para. R. v. D.W., [1991] 1 S.C.R. 742; 122 N.R. 277; 46 O.A.C. 352; 63 C.C.C.(3d) 397, refd to. [pa......
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35 cases
  • R. v. Anderson (W.R.), (2009) 448 A.R. 165 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • October 7, 2008
    ...S.C.R. 314; 207 N.R. 246; 157 N.S.R.(2d) 161; 462 A.P.R. 161, refd to. [para. 44]. R. v. Rhee (D.G.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 364; 275 N.R. 281; 157 B.C.A.C. 30; 256 W.A.C. 30; 2001 SCC 71, refd to. [para. R. v. Russell (M.E.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 731; 261 N.R. 339; 266 A.R. 379; 228 W.A.C. 379; 2000 S......
  • R. v. Trochym (S.), (2004) 188 O.A.C. 330 (CA)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • July 5, 2004
    ...250; 148 Man.R.(2d) 161; 224 W.A.C. 161; 147 C.C.C.(3d) 449, refd to. [para. 64]. R. v. Rhee (D.G.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 364; 275 N.R. 281; 157 B.C.A.C. 30; 256 W.A.C. 30; 158 C.C.C.(3d) 129, refd to. [para. 66]. R. v. Beauchamp (A.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 720; 262 N.R. 119, refd to. [para. 66]. R. v......
  • R. v. Dunbar, Pollard, Leiding and Kravit,
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    • Court of Appeal (British Columbia)
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    ...218; 118 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 9 C.R.(4th) 1; 150 D.L.R.(4th) 733, refd to. [para. 320]. R. v. Rhee (D.G.), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 364; 275 N.R. 281; 157 B.C.A.C. 30; 256 W.A.C. 30; 158 C.C.C.(3d) 129; 2001 SCC 71, refd to. [para. 321]. R. v. Russell (M.E.), [2000] 2 S.C.R. 731; 261 N.R. 339; 266 A.R. 379......
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