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FACTS

The accused were acquitted on a count of conspiracy to produce a public mischief.  This was on account that conspiracy to produce public mischief with intent to corrupt public morals is not an offence under the Criminal Code, although it is an indictable offence by the common law of England.  

ISSUE

Can the accused be convicted?

HELD

No. Appeal dismissed.

RATIO

If something that someone does is not something of which he can be convicted, that something cannot be “unlawful” in the sense which the word is used in s. 423(2)(a).

NOTES

Section 8 of the Criminal Code reads in part: Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act no person shall be convicted (a) of an offence at common law…

R. v. Gralewicz [1980] 2 S.C.R. 493

FACTS

The appellants charged with conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose, to wit: to prevent members of the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada from participating in the lawful activities of their Union, in accordance with s. 110(1) of the Canada Labour Code.  Appellants’ counsel argued that s. 110(1) is only declaratory and contains no requirement or prohibition.

ISSUE

What is the meaning of unlawful purpose?

HELD

Appeal allowed.

RATIO

The purpose of getting people to not participate in union activities is fine but only if people use persuasion as a means, not intimidation.  However, we’re not concerned with the means here and the section under which the appellants were charged does not lay out an offence known to the law of Canada.

R. v. Dungey (1979) 51 C.C.C. (2d) 86 (Ont. C.A.)

FACTS

Lawyer asked client to seek legal aid and have the request back-dated to the time the client had already paid the lawyer a retainer fee so that the lawyer would get both the legal aid and the retainer fee without telling the Law Society of Upper Canada about it.  Trial judge doubted that the client ever intended to do as the lawyer requested so and he therefore ruled that the Crown had failed to prove the necessary agreement to found the charge.  The Crown’s appeal factum urged the Court to consider that there was an attempt to conspire to defraud the Law Society.  Counsel for the lawyer argued that no such offence exists.

ISSUE

Can we convict the lawyer of attempt to conspire to defraud the Law Society of Upper Canada?

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