Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On May 2

On this day in ...
... 1991, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered judgment in Regina v. Swain, to this day among its leading constitutional decisions. A common law rule, codified by statute, long had permitted indefinite detention of criminal defendants found not guilty by reason of mental incapacity. By a 6-to-1 vote, the court held that this law violated § 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees life, liberty and security of person. An account of criminal justice reforms consequent to this judgment is here.

(Prior May 2 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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