Criminal Law Web

Analytic Structure: Canadian Case Law

I. Definition: Criminality ("Offense")
	Does the behavior constitute criminal conduct? (was a (penal) law violated?)

A. in general: Does the penal code apply (jurisdiction)? B. in particular: Does the behavior meet the definition of a particular criminal offense defined in the penal code?
1. What are the elements of the offense as defined?
(a) Actus Reus (i) Conduct
- required ("(voluntary) act requirement") (Shaw) (ii) Circumstances - may be required (Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society) - e.g. nature of offender (public servant) or of victim (rent regulated tenant), legality, time, place, (absence of) consent, justification (iii) Result - not required (e.g. inchoate offences: Deutsch); only in result offenses (e.g. homicide: Smithers)
(b) Mens Rea: Mode of Culpability, Mental State (w/ respect to each element) - may be required (City of Sault Ste. Marie, Motor Vehicle Act Reference) - rules of interpretation (e.g. one for all rule: Buzzanga) - e.g. intent(ion), purpose, knowledge, willful blindness, recklessness, criminal negligence (due diligence defence avlb), willfulness. (see comparative chart) 2. Does the behavior satisfy each element of the offense?
(a) Conduct
- act (Davis) - voluntariness (Ronnie L, Larsonneur) - omission (Browne, Miller) - imputation/derivative liability (Dunlop & Sylvester) - instruments - complicity (Dunlop & Sylvester, Briscoe) - corporate actors (Canadian Dredge, Waterloo Mercury) (b) Circumstances (e.g. (absence of) consent: Pappajohn, Sansregret, Jobidon; nature of victim: Vlcko) (c) Result - causation: - factual/legal (Smithers, Nette)

(d) Mode of Culpability (w/ respect to each element) (i) mistake "of fact" (i.e. as to satisfaction of offense element (impossibility (w/respect to circumstance); Dynar) (ii) intoxication (Daviault, CCC s.33.1) (iii) diminished capacity (More, Wright)

II. Justification: Illegality/Unlawfulness/Wrongness ("Defense")

Is the criminal conduct unlawful generally speaking? (was the law violated?)
A. in general (nature of justification; justification vs. excuse) B. specific defenses 1. law administration and enforcement (Brennan) 2. authority (Cdn Foundation for Children, Youth & The Law) 3. defense (self; another; property) (Lavallee, McIntosh; Webers; Baxter) [4. consent (cf. s.14 (no consent to death)) (Jobidon, Cuerrier, Ewanchuk) [5. necessity (circumstancial duress) (Dudley & Stephens, Perka, Latimer)

C. reasonable mistake re: satisfaction of justification element (self defence: Pétel, Faid)

III. Excuse: Inculpation/Responsibility/Accountability/Blameworthiness ("Defense") 
	Can the accused be held culpable for the facially criminal conduct? 

A. Did the accused lack the capacity for conduct (incapacity)? 1. insanity (s.16) (Cooper, Abbey, Chaulk) - (exculpatory) intoxication (not available; but see I. (intoxication)) 2. infancy (s.13) (Sawchuk)

B. Was the accused incapable of exercising his capacity for culpable conduct? (inability/impossibility/unavoidability) 1. duress (a) personal (s.17) (Ruzic, Hibbert) (b) circumstantial (see necessity) 2. provocation (homicide only) (Hill, Thibert) 3. superior orders (s. 32(2)) 4. entrapment (Barnes, Mack) 5. abandonment - complicity (Ball) - inchoate crimes (Gonzague (counselling)) 6. mistake (ignorance) "of law" (s.19) (a) reliance on official misstatement (Tétreault) (b) unreasonable mistake re: satisfaction of justification element