Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: Criminal Law

  • Pussy Riot: when “disproportionate” is inappropriate

    Shortly after a Moscow court sentenced the three female rock musicians from Pussy Riot to two years in a penal colony for ‘hooliganism,’ the United States Embassy in Russia sent off the following disapproving tweet: “Today’s verdict in the Pussy Riot case looks disproportionate.”

  • American Miranda Rights in Canada

    In a judgment that is certain to breed controversy, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms “does not mandate the presence of defence counsel throughout a custodial interrogation” (R. v. Sinclair, 2010 SCC 35, para.

  • Dueling Interpretations of American Law on the Canadian Supreme Court

    Yesterday, the Canadian Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in R. v. Morelli, a controversial case concerning whether a search warrant for a personal computer had been issued pursuant to defective information. The majority concluded that the authorities had obtained the search warrant on the basis of misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete information.

  • Prelude to the End of Mandatory Minimums in Canada?

    On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada may have signaled the imminent demise of mandatory minimum sentences. In Nasogaluak, a unanimous Court expressed deep reservations about the current sentencing regime in Canada. Earlier, the Court of Appeal had declared that sentencing judges were bound by the statutorily prescribed mandatory minimum sentences, and therefore could not exercise any discretion to depart from them.