Thursday, December 12, 2013

Physical abuse of accused to obtain confession justifies stay of proceedings

R. v. Singh, 2013 ONCA 750:

[46]       Yet the police had provided no response to the testimony of the appellant and Maharaj on the stay hearing.  Indeed, they have not done so to this day. The absence of any meaningful disciplinary measures is telling, in my view, because the inability or refusal of the police to muster a pointed response in the face of such unchallenged allegations of serious criminal conduct by state actors during a criminal investigation makes the case for a stay under the residual category all the more compelling. Just as the fabrication of evidence by the police violates the integrity of the administration of justice, so too does the police misconduct in question here.  Notwithstanding the absence of prejudice to trial fairness, this is, in my view, the very type of conduct "that the mere act of carrying forward in the light of it would constitute a new and ongoing abuse sufficient to warrant a stay of proceedings." 

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