June 11

Law 30: Case Study Comparisons 2019

You’ve been reviewing two criminal cases related to offenders in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It’s one thing to study and understand a single criminal trial and outcome, but to make comparisons to another requires more complex thinking and analysis of the facts.

You’ll have another whole class to review both cases and what information you have related to each. Tomorrow, you’ll have an open-book exam testing your understanding of the cases themselves but also your legal understanding of elements of Criminal Law.

Below are a list of factors to consider in your review of both cases:

  • the defendant’s personal backgrounds
  • their support system – family, friends, secure social environment
  • health and wellness of the defendant at the time of the crime – anything to impair decision-making?
  • others involved in the crime – a principal offender, others aiding/abetting putting pressure on defendant
  • elements of the criminal act(s):
    • voluntary actions taken by the defendant that are considered a criminal offence
    • any inaction of the defendant that constitutes failure of duty
    • types of criminal offences they were charged with and/or actually convicted of
    • proof of their actus reus (guilty act) and mens rea (guilty mind) for each offence
      • remember, prosecution needs to prove guilty act and guilty mind occurring together for each offence
    • difference between the sentence of a conviction via the Youth Criminal Justice Act versus the adult sentence of the Criminal Code
    • what evidence or elements of the crime would/could a prosecutor focus on to prove and support the defendant’s level guilt in the crime?
    • What evidence or elements of the crime would/could a defence lawyer focus on to prove and support their client’s innocence in the crime?
  • What similarities can you identify of their offences and trial outcomes?
  • What differences can you identify of their offences and trial outcomes?
  • Consider why Paul’s offences seemed similar in circumstance to Briscoe’s but her charges were reduced to manslaughter and unlawful confinement.
  • Consider the phsyical involvement of both Briscoe and Paul in their offences.

Good luck!

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June 4

Hamlet – Independent Reading/Listening option

If you’re unable to join our class group in reading/acting out the play, you could benefit from a dramatic performance recorded as an audiobook. This version of audio narration of the play is performed by the actors of a famous film version of Hamlet. It includes the dramatic sound effects and music in the background to make it a realistic experience for you in reading through the play on your own.

The audiobook is one single file, but I’ve separated it so you can jump to the different Acts for convenience.

Act 1 (start – 51:23 minutes in)

Act 2 (51:23 – 1:32:24)

Act 3 (1:32:24 – 2:25:51)

Act 4 (2:25:51 – 3:07:38)

Act 5 (3:07:38 – end)

June 4

11 Elements of Criminal Offence

For someone to be found guilty of a crime, you must prove two parts of the offence: guilty act and guilty mind.

Guilty Act:

  • Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – it doesn’t need to be 100% certainty of guilt to find someone guilty.

Standard of Proof.png

Murder, Manslaughter, Criminal Negligence: What’s the Difference? (article)

Criminal Negligence Cases:


Criminal Offences – Recent Articles


Case Study on Willful Blindness – one of the tests of mens rea:

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