Crown guidelines rejected in appeal decision


Having sat through much of the recent sitting of the Court of Appeal, I was quite surprised to see the interpretation given to the court’s decision in the appeal of the sexual assault case from Cambridge Bay. According to the Nunatsiaq News article, crown lawyer Marian Bryant said that “the case was significant because the judges established the minimum amount of time for such crimes in Nunavut.”

Ms. Bryant certainly asked the court to provide such “guidelines.” However, the three panel court clearly rejected the invitation.

In a unanimous, brief oral decision, the court stated that the Crown had requested a sentence of five years at the time of the sentencing. The sentence imposed was four years.

While at the lower end of the range, the sentence was not demonstrably unfit. Accordingly, the crown appeal of sentence was dismissed.

While I am quite accustomed to news articles that do not always accurately reflect court proceedings, such an obvious misunderstanding as this should not go uncorrected.

Susan Cooper
Chandler & Cooper

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