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At long last, the federal government of Canada is starting to wage war on its zombie laws, and that could have important implications for individuals facing prosecution due to the improper use of a zombie law.

What Are Zombie Laws?

A zombie law is a code, that while still on the books and technically valid, is no longer enforceable due to being overridden by other laws or struck down by the courts. For example, Canada still has laws that ban the publication and sale of so-called “crime comics” even though such laws can no longer be enforced.

However, because the federal government has not removed these laws from the Criminal Code, they can technically still be applied to a defendant. In some cases, judges who are unaware that they are dealing with zombie laws have done just that, forcing the defendant to appeal their sentence, harming their reputation, career and personal life.

Why Should Zombie Laws Be Removed?

The current drive to remove zombie laws is driven by the need to make Canadian criminal laws accessible and understandable. Most importantly, a citizen should not be at risk of falling prey to laws that are no longer enforceable. In addition, the existence of zombie laws has resulted in a Criminal Code that is far less transparent than it should be. By removing zombie laws, legal professionals and laypersons alike can be assured that every provision of the Canadian legal code is enforceable, rather than having to guess as to whether or not a later court finding has nullified it.

Why Should the Layperson Worry About Zombie Laws

One of a citizen’s worst nightmares is the possibility of being improperly charged with a crime. The existence of zombie laws adds a further complication; that the part of the Criminal Code the defendant is being charged under may not be enforceable. However, proving that may take a great deal of time and expense, especially if the prosecution is unwilling to admit to its error.

For example, in the 2016 Travis Vader case, the defendant was initially convicted of murder. However, due to the court’s improper reliance on an overturned statute, the ultimate conviction was reduced to manslaughter.

Ultimately, an individual who believes that they may have fallen prey to an obsolete part of the legal code needs immediate and professional legal assistance. The Julian Van Der Walle Law Corporation provides the kind of skilled legal assistance that all defendants need when they are facing prosecution under no longer valid parts of the Criminal Code. If you are facing a legal case that may involve zombie laws, you should contact their offices for an immediate and free consultation.

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