Thursday, April 16, 2015


R. v. Aravena, 2015 ONCA 250:

[85]       The common law defence of duress has been available to persons charged as parties to murder in Ontario for at least 35 years. We would hold that the defence as strictly defined in the recent Supreme Court jurisprudence remains available to persons charged as parties to murder. In our view, that holding is consistent with the nature of the duress defence, basic criminal law policies, and the operative principles of fundamental justice.

[86]       The constitutionality of the murder exception to the duress defence in s. 17 of the Charter is not before the court. However, it follows from this analysis that, subject to any argument the Crown might advance justifying the exception as it applies to perpetrators under s. 1 of the Charter, the exception must be found unconstitutional.

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