Summary

39917

Daniel Brunelle, et al. v. His Majesty the King

(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)

Keywords

Constitutional law — Charter of Rights — Enforcement — Stay of proceedings — Abuse of process — Residual category — Standing — Infringement of right to counsel — Given that infringement of personal right is not determinative in application for stay of proceedings based on residual category, what standing is required to seek remedy in this category through s. 24(1) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — Whether Crown can appeal conclusion of judgment that ends proceedings even though Crown specifically asked trial judge to reach such conclusion.

Summary

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The appellants, who were charged with various offences related to the large scale trafficking of cannabis, were arrested at the same time in more than one judicial district. They were divided into four different groups for separate trials. The appellants in the first group brought a motion for a stay of proceedings for abuse of process based on a series of infringements of the rights of the accused, and primarily their right to counsel.

On August 27, 2018, Dumas J. of the Superior Court entered a stay of proceedings on the ground that the police conduct had undermined the integrity of the justice system. He noted that the infringement of the right to counsel was the most serious infringement. On May 7, 2019, at a hearing before Dumas J., the parties agreed that the decision rendered concerning group 1 would apply to the accused in the other groups. The proceedings against all the other accused were therefore stayed. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeals, set aside the judgments of August 27, 2018 and May 7, 2019 staying the court proceedings, and ordered a new trial. It found that the trial judge necessarily had to assess the situation of each accused individually, since a remedy could be granted only to a person whose own constitutional rights had been infringed. That error in itself justified a new hearing.

Lower Court Rulings

August 27, 2018
Superior Court of Quebec

400-01-083202-168 (French only)
Proceedings against first group of applicants stayed
May 7, 2019
Superior Court of Quebec

400-01-082212-168 (French only)
Proceedings against other groups of applicants stayed
September 3, 2021
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Québec)

2021 QCCA 1317 (French only)
Appeals allowed; judgments of August 27, 2018 and May 7, 2019 staying court proceedings set aside; new trial ordered, including rehearing of motion for stay of proceedings and exclusion of evidence, before different judge