Dalhousie Law Journal


Judicial examination, criminal process, technical law, explosion, implosion, academic writer dilemma


Judicial examination of the criminal process in Canada generally, and Nova Scotia in particular continues to grow. The consequent explosion of technical law, which some would regard as an implosion, places the academic writer on the horns of a dilemma when faced with the task of reviewing recent developments in the Nova Scotia criminal process. On the one hand, the writer may compress and omit detail in order to cover adequately developments in such widely disparate areas as murder and power to arrest. On the other hand, coverage may be sacrificed to detailed discussion of the law and its implications in a smaller number of selected areas. We have chosen the latter course. We do not, however, intend to imply that the topics discussed hereunder were selected at random. We have chosen to focus on three areas of recent development which in our view, will significantly affect the future course of criminal law. They are the struggle to develop a rational sentencing policy, the right to counsel in breathalyzer cases, and ignorance of law as a mitigation, if not outright defence, to certain offences. We join, of course, many people in selecting sentencing law. It is a dynamic area of law currently undergoing reexamination all across the country.

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