Monday, June 4, 2012

Judges must rule on all steps in applications and motions

Trial and motion courts are very busy. 


Sometimes Courts are tempted to take a shortcut and go directly to the result without making interim rulings.  In civil court judges sometimes rule on, say, on fixing a trial date without dealing with the demand for a timetable leading up to trial.  In criminal court judges may jump to a 24(b) analysis without considering properly the issue of breach. 


As the decision in R. v. Msiska, 2012 ONCA 354 shows such skipping of steps can be fatal:


[2]          Furthermore, while the trial judge expressed an understanding of the need to make a s. 10(b) ruling, he failed to make such a ruling. Contrary to the Crown’s submission, on a full and detailed reading of the reasons it is not possible to discern that such a ruling was made. Put another way, it could not be made without first making findings and those findings – including those on credibility – were not made.

[3]          Self evidently, the s. 24(2) analysis of the trial judge cannot stand.


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