Supreme Court Judgments

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Supreme Court of Canada

Criminal law—Trial—Possession of narcotic—Failure of trial judge to invite accused to make submissions—Accused deprived of right to full answer and defence.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissing without written reasons an appeal from a conviction for possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. Appeal allowed, conviction quashed and a new trial directed.

Victor S. Paisley, for the appellant.

A.M. Coomaraswamy, for the respondent.

The judgment of the Court was delivered orally by

THE CHIEF JUSTICE—We are all of the opinion that the accused, who was not represented by counsel, was deprived of the right to make full answer and defence when he was not invited by the trial judge to make submissions at the close of the evidence on the issue of possession and was thereupon found guilty of possession of the narcotic. Accordingly, the appeal must be allowed, the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside and the conviction quashed, and a new trial is directed.

Appeal allowed, conviction quashed and a new trial directed.

Solicitor for the appellant: Victor S. Paisley, Toronto.

Solicitor for the respondent: R. Tassé, Ottawa.






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