Franck Yvan Tayo Tompouba v. His Majesty the King

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law — Trial — Language of accused — French-speaking accused not advised of his right to be tried in official language of his choice — Whether curative proviso in s. 686 of Criminal Code can apply to violation of s. 530(3) of Criminal Code — Whether new trial must be ordered — Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, ss. 530(3), 686(1)(b).


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Mr. Tayo Tompouba was charged with sexual assault. On his first appearance, he was not advised of his right to apply for a trial in French, despite the court’s obligation to inform him of that right under s. 530(3) of the Criminal Code. He was convicted following a trial in English. The Court of Appeal acknowledged that not advising Mr. Tayo Tompouba of his right was an error, but it applied the curative proviso to dismiss his appeal. It held that the right provided for in s. 530(3) is a procedural right, not a substantive right.

Lower Court Rulings

September 10, 2019
Supreme Court of British Columbia

2019 BCSC 1529
Applicant convicted of sexual assault
May 24, 2022
Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Vancouver)

2022 BCCA 177
Appeal dismissed and conviction affirmed