Monday, September 29, 2014


R. v. Akana, 2009 NUCJ 18:


[3] Ms. Akana is presumed by the law to be innocent of these charges. This principle is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This principle is fundamental to our contemporary notion of justice.


[4] The presumption of innocence is not affected by either the number or the seriousness of criminal allegations faced by an accused. This presumption of innocence can only be displaced by a finding of guilt following a trial. There has been no trial in Ms. Akana's case.


[5] Ms. Akana has the right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause. This right is also guaranteed by the Charter. The right to reasonable bail flows logically from a presumption of innocence. This is why the law ordinarily requires the state to justify the citizen's loss of liberty pending trial. A citizen who is presumed innocent should not have to justify why they should be set free.



[6] The cause needed to justify detention pending trial is set out by s. 515 of the Criminal Code. It is not open to a court to deny bail on a whim. If the evidence fails to meet the threshold criteria required to justify detention by Parliament, the citizen must ordinarily be released.


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