Supreme Court

Criminal Law


Appeal from conviction or acquittal

Mere fact that individual has been deported did not render case moot

Whether appeal has become moot. Accused was refugee from Sri Lanka who became permanent resident of Canada. Accused was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Overall delay between laying of charge and anticipated end of trial exceeded 57 months. Accused successfully brought motion seeking stay of proceedings. Majority of Court of appeal dismissed Crown’s appeal as being moot. Majority noted that accused had been removed from Canada and was now living in Sri Lanka. Crown appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Appeal allowed. Mere fact that individual has been deported did not render case moot. Underlying basis for criminal proceedings had not disappeared. There remained live controversy even if accused’s return to Canada was unlikely. Therefore, matter should be remitted to Court of Appeal for decision on merits.

R. v. Thanabalasingham (2019), 2019 CarswellQue 2650, 2019 CarswellQue 2651, 2019 SCC 21, 2019 CSC 21, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); reversed (2018), 2018 CarswellQue 678, 2018 QCCA 197, Gagnon J.C.A., Vauclair J.C.A., Hilton J.C.A., and Duval Hesler J.C.Q. (C.A. Que.).

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