Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unreasonable Verdict

R v PRL, 2014 SKCA 38:

[9]        The standard of review is set out in R. v. Yebes1987 CanLII 17 (SCC), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168: “The Court must determine on the whole of the evidence whether the verdict is one that a properly instructed jury, acting judicially, could reasonably have rendered” (para. 25). An appeal court may not substitute its view for that of the trier of fact.
[10]   In R. v. R.P.2012 SCC 22 (CanLII), 2012 SCC 22, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 746, the Court stated the following:
9         To decide whether a verdict is unreasonable, an appellate court must, as this Court held in R. v. Yebes1987 CanLII 17 (SCC), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168, and R. v. Biniaris2000 SCC 15 (CanLII), 2000 SCC 15, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 381, at para. 36, determine whether the verdict is one that a properly instructed jury or a judge could reasonably have rendered. The appellate court may also find a verdict unreasonable if the trial judge has drawn an inference or made a finding of fact essential to the verdict that (1) is plainly contradicted by the evidence relied on by the trial judge in support of that inference or finding, or (2) is shown to be incompatible with evidence that has not otherwise been contradicted or rejected by the trial judge (R. v. Sinclair2011 SCC 40 (CanLII), 2011 SCC 40, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 3, at paras. 4, 16 and 19-21; R. v. Beaudry2007 SCC 5 (CanLII), 2007 SCC 5, [2007] 1 S.C.R. 190).

10        Whereas the question whether a verdict is reasonable is one of law, whether a witness is credible is a question of fact. A court of appeal that reviews a trial court’s assessments of credibility in order to determine, for example, whether the verdict is reasonable cannot interfere with those assessments unless it is established that they “cannot be supported on any reasonable view of the evidence” (R. v. Burke1996 CanLII 229 (SCC), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 474, at para. 7).

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