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Top Five 2011: R v Sinclair

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 Sinclair, 2010 SCC 35, [2010] 2 SCR 310

In this case, the accused was charged with an offence and told of his right to counsel.  The accused consulted his lawyer twice, but during his interrogation, the police denied the accused’s request to talk to his lawyer again.  The Supreme Court of Canada was asked to delineate the scope of the Charter right to counsel [s.10(b)], and to determine if the accused’s right was violated.  The Supreme Court concluded that his right to counsel was not violated, as “s. 10(b) does not mandate the presence of defence counsel throughout a custodial interrogation… in most cases, an initial warning, coupled with a reasonable opportunity to consult counsel when the detainee invokes the right, satisfies s. 10(b).”[para. 2] The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2011

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