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Top Five 2004: R v Malmo-Levine; R v Caine

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

R v Malmo-Levine; R v Caine, [2003] 3 SCR 571, 2003 SCC 74

In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada was called on to determine whether something must pose a harm or danger to society for it to be regulated by Criminal Law.  A man was convicted of possessing marijuana, and in his defence, he argued that the prohibition against marijuana possession was unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court found that the prohibition against marijuana possession is constitutional because Parliament can legitimately enact criminal law for purposes beyond protecting the public from harm. The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2004

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