R v. Sullivan
A consequential decision that reverberated through many different spheres of society and launched a flurry of questions and concerns, the 2022 Supreme Court of Canada case R v. Sullivan looked at the defence of extreme intoxication in a criminal case. With a unanimous voice, the Court concluded that section 33.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which stated that self-induced intoxication was not a defence, was not constitutional. Federal legislation amending the Code followed shortly thereafter.
What does this mean for cases of assault and other violent crimes where alcohol or other drugs are a factor? Just how much does this change the landscape of the prosecution of serious criminal acts, and how can survivors feel comfortable and empowered enough to come forward and seek justice given the court’s holding?
With this newly developed suite of activities, exercises, and resources, meant to accompany OJEN’s webinar on the case, teachers can choose how to best explore the issues raised and how they impact Canadians and criminal law.
Date Produced: 2023