The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the double murder conviction for a man who insisted on representing himself at trial. He was so disruptive that the trial judge removed him from the courtroom multiple times and then shut off his microphone on the closed video connection he had to the courtroom.
The accused in the case would not ask questions of witnesses or make submissions and would, instead, express various conspiracy theories about the FBU, the U.S. Army, and mind control.
The trial judge eventually appointed an amicus to ensure a fair trial for the man. An amicus is a lawyer a judge appoints to assist with a trial. Importantly, they are not a lawyer for the accused person.
The Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that trial judges have broad discretion to appoint an amicus, and the judge can determine their role.
In this case, the amicus was appointed to ask questions of the Crown witnesses so that the jury could hear an alternative to the prosecution’s version of the case.
The Supreme Court of Canada concluded that there wasn’t a miscarriage of justice when the judge didn’t ask the amicus to make a closing submission to the jury after the accused would only talk to the jury about various conspiracy theories, telling the jury that “the FBI understands and believes [his] testimony, understands the situation at hand, the breached of national security.”
Also, on the show, a case involving a sailboat that broke away from its morning, sunk, and was subsequently recovered and disposed of by the Bowen Island Municipality is discussed.
The man who owned the boat successfully sued the municipality for disposing of the wrecked boat because the municipality didn’t get permission from the Receiver of Wreck.
Pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, someone who takes possession of wreck must report it to the Reciever of Wreck and then do what the Receiver of Wreck directs.
In this case, the sailboat wreck was disposed of without permission.
The boat owner had claimed $95,000 but only received $5,000. There were two reasons for this. First, the owner’s only evidence about the value was based on his estimate, which included the value of his labour working on the boat. Second, many of the lost things, such as upholstery, clothing and bedding, were lost because the boat sank and not because the municipality disposed of the wreck pulled up from the seafloor.
The trial judge also took some issue with the boat owner’s credibility because, in a previous case involving the same boat, he claimed that he did not own the boat and that it belonged to his sister.
Finally, a case involving the administration of an estate is discussed on the show.
Someone administering an estate has a fiduciary obligation to the estate’s beneficiaries: this means that decisions need to be made in their best interests.
In this case, the administrator was denied permission to purchase a property owned by the estate for less than its appraised value. This kind of self-dealing is prohibited, except in rare circumstances, unless all of the beneficiaries provide fully informed consent.