Chris Sewrattan is featured in a Law Times report, speaking about the upcoming marihuana legalization.
Criminal law, driving and possession of marijuana – The Countdown to Legalization February 5th, 2018ChrisSewrattan
Chris Sewrattan recently wrote an article for For The Defence, a publication written for and widely read by criminal defence lawyers. In the article, Mr. Sewrattan examines the recently released Tulloch Report; specifically, how the police complaints process can assist defence lawyers in litigation. The article is available in print and online through WestLaw Canada.
Congratulations to Shivani Ramoutar, the recipient of the 2017 Sewrattan Law Award! The Sewrattan Law Award is given to the graduating student at West Hill Collegiate Institute with the highest mark in Grade 12 Law. Shivani demonstrated a keen interest in the law class and was an exceptional advocate at the 2017 OJEN Mock Trial Tournament.
The Canadian Journal of Law and Technology recently published an article I wrote on the intersection of philosophy and privacy. The article was initially presented at the McGill Graduate Conference in Law – Legal Challenges in Cyberspace in Montréal, Canada.
I am happy to announce that the Attorney General of Ontario has appointed me to the Ontario Parole Board. As described on the Parole Board’s website:
The Ontario Parole Board (OPB) promotes public safety by deciding on the return of offenders to the community through supervised conditional release. As an independent quasi-judicial administrative tribunal, the OPB has the sole authority in Ontario to:
Public safety is the guiding principle underlying all conditional release decision-making, and the OPB is also committed to the rights of victims and the fair and individualized risk assessment of each offender.
I am excited to start this new opportunity. I will serve on the Parole Board on a part-time basis and continue to practice as a criminal defence lawyer full-time.
R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27: The stakes are too high for anything less
The Supreme Court of Canada recently released R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27. The decision is poised to be a game changer for the law of bail in Canada. I was counsel for the Criminal Lawyers’ Association in this case along with John Norris. We asked the Supreme Court to tell bail courts that the default position for an accused person is their unconditional release, and beyond that the accused person should be released on the least restrictive conditions unless it is necessary to deny them bail. The Supreme Court accepted this submission.
In 2014 I represented a Barrie man named Harley Davidson (yes, that’s his real name) on charges relating to the production of marijuana. I said that the police had no right to enter Mr. Davidson’s home, which is where the marijuana was found. The trial judge said that I was wrong. The Court of Appeal for Ontario said that I was right (R. v. Davidson, 2017 ONCA 257). In this blog post, I discuss the Court of Appeal’s recent analysis.
The latin “nolo contendere” translates to “I am unwilling to contest”. An accused who enters a plea of nolo contendere (also referred to as a “no contest plea” or “nolo plea”) declares to the court that he or she does not contest the charges against him or her.
Are you a law nerd who likes reading? Because in this blog post I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the no contest plea by looking at the American plea bargaining system. At the end of the post, I explain briefly why a no contest plea cannot exist under the current state of Canadian law.
Since the blog post is lengthy, it is attached for download here.
What are the implications on your ability to travel with a criminal charge? What are the implications if you are found guilty of the offence?
What follows is legal information, not legal advice, and is not to be relied upon. If you have a question about the travel implications of a criminal charge or finding of guilt, retain a lawyer to receive legal advice.
A key decision for an accused person and their criminal lawyer is whether to elect for a trial in the Ontario Court of Justice or Superior Court of Justice. In theory the decision should not carry a substantive difference. In practice, however, the decision can affect the merit of the case and carry a personal effect on the accused person.
You’ve been arrested by the police. Handcuffs on. A night at the police station. Maybe even a bail hearing. You now face the daunting prospect of standing before a judge at your first court appearance. I have good news for you. Much of the anxiety surrounding a first court of appearance is unfounded. The first court appearance is a dull, low-risk experience in which little of substance occurs.
Welcome to my blog! At the outset I want to be as clear as possible: everything on this blog and sewrattan.com are my thoughts and legal information only. This blog is not legal advice. Reading this blog does not make me your lawyer and you should not make legal decisions based on the information in this blog. Instead, contact a lawyer who can discuss the issues with you.
For my first blog post I want to jump into a bit of an advanced discussion about the most complicated exception to the hearsay rule, the co-conspirators exception. This post is fairly technical. Lawyers will appreciate it the most, followed in close second by nerds.