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Digest of the Week — Threshold for Leave to Appeal Summary Conviction

2013 CarswellAlta 2329
R. v. Edmonton |  
Alberta Court of Appeal

Criminal law | Post-trial procedure | Appeal from conviction or acquittal | Where leave to appeal required | Court of Appeal

Accused was acquitted of drinking and driving offence at summary conviction trial — Court of Queen's Bench dismissed Crown's appeal — Crown applied for leave to appeal to Court of Appeal — Leave granted on one of two points of law — Leave to appeal further in summary conviction cases should be sparingly granted — Second appeal in summary conviction matter is confined to question of law alone — As one of functions of appeal court is to enforce law that court has created, leave to appeal under s. 839 of Criminal Code cannot always be confined to making new law — One judge should not always give leave under s. 839 simply to correct error where there is no uncertainty or widespread ignorance of law — Proposition of law suggested by applicant seeking leave must be at least arguable — If general law applicable in many future cases needs making, settling, enforcing, or broadcasting, and it could affect result in case at hand, leave should ordinarily, but not automatically, be given — If there is no need to make or clarify general law for public or profession, but leave is sought on question of law alone, granting of leave will depend on strength of argument, significance of results of prosecution for applicant, seriousness of offence alleged, and/or seriousness of implications for public — If case is not particularly important to public, Crown, or particular accused, and point is unlikely to recur for long time, leave should ordinarily be denied — Leave denied on question of what Queen's Bench judge meant by "jurisdiction" — Leave granted on other point, divided into two legal questions relating to establishing whether someone charged with drinking and driving offence actually succeeded in having sufficient conversation with lawyer.

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