The term resolution discussion refers to the process

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The term “resolution discussion” refers to the process during which defense and Crown counsel discuss the evidence and likely outcome of a criminal prosecution with a view to achieving results that advance the administration of justice Resolution discussions encompass much more than simply plea negotiations. Resolution discussions include any discussion between counsel aimed at resolving any issues that a criminal prosecution raises A resolution agreement with respect to charges and/or sentence should adequately reflect the public interest and the gravity of the provable offence or offences. Crown counsel should ensure that the interests of the victim are considered in reaching a resolution There are some fundamental principles of resolution discussions that are binding directives: o Crown counsel must not accept a guilty plea to a charge knowing that the accused is innocent o Crown counsel must not knowingly accept a guilty plea to a charge when a material element of that charge can never be proven unless that fact is fully disclosed to the defense o Crown counsel must not purport to bind the Attorney General’s right to appeal any sentence o Unless there are exceptional circumstances, Crown counsel must honor all agreements reached during resolution discussions Week 9: Cohn – You Can’t Judge a Crown Brief by its Cover Jane Doe – How to survive a rape trial Clemmer – Obstructing the Bernardo Investigation pg 147-156, 160-162 Obstruction of justice is an extremely serious offense. Canada s Criminal Code outlines that “everyone who wilfully attempts…to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years This is the offense with which Kenneth Murray was charged for his role in secreting away the inculpatory tapes in the Bernardo case to be convicted of obstruction of justice, the accused must have done some act which tends to pervert the course of justice, with the specific intention of perverting the course of justice Although it may be necessary for a criminal defence lawyer to take possession of physical evidence to defend her client, according to University of Victoria Law Professor David Layton and defence lawyer Michel Proulx, it would be an offense for a defence lawyer “even temporarily to remove evidence of a crime for the purposes of preventing seizure by the police.”
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o The defense cannot actively impede on a police investigation Murray s conduct obstructed the course of justice as it related to Homolka. Shortly after Murray came into possession of the tapes, Homolka entered into a plea bargain with the Crown which, until then, had very little evidence against Bernardo All of the persons who were involved told me that if the videotapes had been available at the time, Karla Homolka would have found herself in the prisoner s box beside Paul Bernard
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