American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 52, Issue 4 (2016)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


It is not every year that the Supreme Court of Canada reverses itself. However, as will be seen, this year it did.1

In this column I am going to review the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2016 that involve criminal matters. The decisions are reviewed based on categories.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada considered a multitude of issues involving criminal law, including defences, evidence, and sentencing. The Court also considered the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act, 1982, to various criminal-law provisions and procedures. Interestingly, the Supreme Court reversed itself and set new guidelines for the right to be “tried within a reasonable time,” as guaranteed by section 11(b) of the Charter.2

Let us start with the Supreme Court’s consideration in 2016 of criminal offences.