You Be The Judge
1) Mr. James Smith was charged, tried and finally acquitted of the 1st degree murder of Jane Clement in Victoria in 1978. Three months ago as a result of new D.N.A. testing of blood found at the murder scene, the Crown Prosecutor is now confident that Mr. Smith may now be convicted. Mr. Smith has now been arrested and charged with the murder of Jane Clement. Mr. Smith's lawyer has petitioned the Supreme Court of B.C. to throw out the charges against Mr. Smith as they violate his Charter Rights. What is your decision?
Section 11(b) states:
"Any person charged with an offence has the right if finally acquitted of the offence, not be tried for it again and, if found guilty and punished for the offence, not be tried for it again."
This court acknowledges that Mr. Smith has already been charged, tried and acquitted of this offence. Due to scientific developments since the initial trial, the court must allow a new trial to be held so new evidence can be heard.
2) A voter's rights group has launched a court action using the Charter, arguing that it should no longer be lawful to deny teenagers between the ages of 16-18 the right to vote in Federal elections. What is your decision?
"Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein."
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
This court must stand by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and uphold the age requirements of voters in Federal elections. As a Canadian citizen you have the right to make amendments to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But as a judge, I do not have the authority...