Difference between revisions of "R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov"

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On the first prong of the test Justice very thoughtfully questioned whether or not the Court should accept the presumption that any exposure of prospective jurors to media reports about a case will automatically compromise the accused's opportunity to receive a fair trial. He took notice of the fact that there had already been considerable media exposure on this case and that the Crown and Defense were both prepared to deal with that reality through the "challenge for cause" process.
 
On the first prong of the test Justice very thoughtfully questioned whether or not the Court should accept the presumption that any exposure of prospective jurors to media reports about a case will automatically compromise the accused's opportunity to receive a fair trial. He took notice of the fact that there had already been considerable media exposure on this case and that the Crown and Defense were both prepared to deal with that reality through the "challenge for cause" process.
  
He goes on to look at the particular facts in the case and considered whether it was logical to conclude in this case that publication of Mr. Ross's guilty plea and surrounding facts would reasonably compromise the fair trial. He found that since
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He goes on to look at the particular facts in the case and considered whether it was logical to conclude in this case that publication of Mr. Ross's guilty plea and surrounding facts would make it impossible for the applicants to receive a fair trial. Justice Nordheimer found this proposition untenable for several reasons. First it relies on a presumption that juries will not honour their duties and obligations. Second, it renders the challenge for cause process irrelevant.
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As for the second prong, the balancing test, Justice Nordheimer recognized the importance of the media's role in disseminating Court activity to the public.
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In paragraph 16 Justice Nordheimer soundly rejected the arguments by both Crown and Defence counsel that the court ought to "err on the side of caution" and grant a publication ban.
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<blockquote>The test, of course is not whether it is safer to impose a publication ban. If that were the test, then publication bans would routinely be granted. The test is whether it is ''necessary'' to do so. <strong>emphasis added</strong></blockquote> 
  
 
[[Media:R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov.image.pdf |R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov, ONSC #6081. (Scanned Image)]]
 
[[Media:R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov.image.pdf |R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov, ONSC #6081. (Scanned Image)]]

Revision as of 14:41, 15 October 2011

Summary

Mr. Kossyrine, Mr. Vorobiov, and Mr. Ross were charged with first degree murder. Before jury selection commenced, Mr. Ross entered a guilty plea. The remaining accused Kossyrine and Vorobiov applied for a publication ban on Mr. Ross's plea until their own trial was completed. They argued that Mr. Ross's guilty plea might taint prospective jurors. Notice was given to the media and counsel for the Toronto Star and CBC appeared.

Justice Nordheimer applied the two-part 'Dagenais' test.

On the first prong of the test Justice very thoughtfully questioned whether or not the Court should accept the presumption that any exposure of prospective jurors to media reports about a case will automatically compromise the accused's opportunity to receive a fair trial. He took notice of the fact that there had already been considerable media exposure on this case and that the Crown and Defense were both prepared to deal with that reality through the "challenge for cause" process.

He goes on to look at the particular facts in the case and considered whether it was logical to conclude in this case that publication of Mr. Ross's guilty plea and surrounding facts would make it impossible for the applicants to receive a fair trial. Justice Nordheimer found this proposition untenable for several reasons. First it relies on a presumption that juries will not honour their duties and obligations. Second, it renders the challenge for cause process irrelevant.

As for the second prong, the balancing test, Justice Nordheimer recognized the importance of the media's role in disseminating Court activity to the public.

In paragraph 16 Justice Nordheimer soundly rejected the arguments by both Crown and Defence counsel that the court ought to "err on the side of caution" and grant a publication ban.

The test, of course is not whether it is safer to impose a publication ban. If that were the test, then publication bans would routinely be granted. The test is whether it is necessary to do so. emphasis added

R. v. Kossyrine and Vorobiov, ONSC #6081. (Scanned Image)

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