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Charter Application Ruling

In the Yukon Territory of Canada, David Peter Taylor filed a constitutional challenge of the Criminal Code that limits the time spent in pre-trial custody. Guilty pleas were already filed for committing the assault offence as well as possession of cocaine. The point of contention is that Taylor is seeking credit for the time in pre-sentence custody. The Crown submits that Taylor is not entitled to seek this enhanced credit.

Relevant legislation includes Sections 719(3) and (3.1), which discusses how a court is able to account for time spent in custody and shall limit credit for the time, to a maximum of one day for each day that has been spent in custody. If some circumstances call for it, there is a maximum credit of one and one half days for each day spent in custody.

There is also section 515(9.1) that reads that the accused can be detained in custody per justice orders if there is a previous conviction.

The stare decisis focused on the Territorial Counsel Judge determining if he was bound to follow the Yukon Court of Appeal’s decision of R v Chambers (2014). The Supreme Court decision in Safarzadeh-Markhali was also brought into consideration for purposes of bail misconduct exclusion cases.

Further, there were reports from the Auditor General that identified various issues, including offenders not being provided rehabilitative programming. A report of the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” which was released in December 2015, was also brought in for viewing.

Many of these reports were not available during the Chambers ruling, though they are available now.

The final ruling is that the judge believed he no longer needed to follow Chambers as an example because of circumstances and evidence changing. With the bail misconduct exclusion, it is an infringement on Taylor’s S. 7 Charter right, which includes the way Aboriginal offenders have been incarcerated for reasons not connected to legislation’s purpose.

If you or someone you know has been criminally charged, it is vital to see legal representation. Contact Julian van der Walle today.

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