R v Matthew Raymond
Response or Comment
Charter, Retrospective Criminality
On June 21, 2019, Bill C-75 became law, making numerous changes to the Criminal Code which came or are to come into force thirty, ninety or 120 days later. Some of those changes relate to jury selection procedures, and those came into force on September 19, 2019. Those changes brought about quite substantial changes, the most noteworthy of which are: a) the abolition of preemptory challenges; b) requiring challenges for cause to be decided by the trial judge rather than by lay-people; and c) expanding the trial judge's "stand by" power to include the ability to stand a juror by not only based on personal hardship to the juror but for the additional purpose of "maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice." As a result, cases where juries were to be selected just after that date have had to face the question of whether those changes came into effect immediately, or whether they did not apply to cases which were already in the system: that is, whether these particular aspects of the legislation were retrospective or not.
Stephen Coughlan, "R v Matthew Raymond", Case Comment, (2019) 57 CR (7th) 1.