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Top Five 2011: R v White

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 White, 2011 SCC 13, [2011] 1 SCR 433

In this case, a jury convicted the accused for shooting an individual and fleeing the scene immediately.  The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) examined the issue of whether the behaviour of an accused person immediately after an alleged crime can be presented to juries as evidence of the accused’s level of guilt.  A majority of the SCC held that the trial judge did not need to instruct the jury that the evidence of his post offence conduct had “no probative value,” and that the trial judge was correct in merely cautioning the use of this evidence.  Thus, the conviction was upheld. The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2011

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