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Up, up and away: the Alberta Court of Appeal sets 9 year starting point for wholesale fentanyl trafficking: R v Felix, 2019 ABCA 458 (CanLII)

In yet another disturbing sentencing decision (R v Felix, 2019 ABCA 458 (CanLII), the Alberta Court of Appeal overturns (in a unanimous 5-member decision authored by Antonio J.A.) a 7-year sentence for wholesale fentanyl trafficking, and imposes instead a 10-year sentence. Luckily for the respondent, the Crown only sought a 10-year sentence – otherwise the[...]
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Another Disturbing Criminal Law Decision from the Alberta Court of Appeal – R v Sumner, 2019 ABCA 399 (CanLII) – Starting Point Sentencing

I noticed another disturbing criminal law decision from the Alberta Court of Appeal this week. This time, it’s about starting point sentencing. By way of brief introduction, starting point sentencing has become very popular in recent years – particularly with the Alberta Court of Appeal (see, for example, R. v. Arcand, 2010 ABCA 363 (CanLII), R v Hajar, 2016 ABCA 222[...]
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One and Done: the Alberta Court of Appeal’s Disturbing Approach to Bail Reviews in R v Ledesma, 2019 ABCA 60

The Supreme Court of Canada has established the requirements for a bail review in numerous decisions – notably, St-Cloud and more recently in Myers. The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, has decided to limit the value of a bail review to an accused person: R v Ledesma, 2019 ABCA 60 (CanLII). Reading carefully, it refers specifically to a subsequent bail review[...]
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Politics and Criminal Law

I’ve been thinking recently a lot about politics and its effect on criminal law in Canada. It’s fairly self-evident that our criminal justice system is greatly affected by political actors. For example, most appointments to the judiciary are selected by political actors. The Criminal Code is written, and amended regularly, by Parliament (here’s an interesting blog[...]
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Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench weighs in on R v Sohal and pre-trial credit for license suspension

In Alberta, there has been much debate over the last few years regarding license suspensions for impaired driving. Essentially, for the last few years, one’s driver’s license was suspended indefinitely in Alberta pending the result of impaired driving charges. In 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal struck down the provincial legislation providing for this arrangement,[...]
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