Archive for January 16th, 2015

Peter Royal, Q.C. appearing at the Supreme Court of Canada

Mr. Royal, Q.C. is in Ottawa today arguing an appeal from the Court of Appeal of Ontario. The case will decide the boundaries and applicability of the private use exception, often referred to as the Sharpe defence because it was read in to the Criminal Code in R. v. Sharpe, 2001 SCC 2 ( This defence excludes accused people from conviction for possession of child pornography in certain limited circumstances relating to the private use of the individuals who created it. The issue before the Court is whether the Ontario Court of Appeal erred in interpreting the Sharpe defence as requiring an additional element. The Court would have imposed an additional burden on an accused raising the private use defence to show that the images in question were not created in a situation of exploitation or abuse. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case could have wide ranging effects on the freedom of expression of young people. […]


R. v. Morelli, 2010 SCC 8

It is difficult to imagine a search more intrusive, extensive, or invasive of one’s privacy than the search and seizure of a personal computer. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.” This right has been commented on in many cases in all levels of Court from the Provincial Court of Ontario to the Supreme Court of Canada. One case which considered what privacy rights individuals enjoy in the content of a personal computer was R. v. Morelli. Mr. Morelli was charged with possession of child pornography and tried before the Superior Court of Ontario. At trial, his lawyers applied to exclude evidence which had been found on Mr. Morelli’s computer pursuant to a search warrant. The search warrant was based on the evidence of a technician who said that he made observations in Mr. Morelli’s home which […]