May 21, 2015 – R v Kokopenace Decision

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its ruling in the matter of R v. Kokopenace.  Justice Moldaver, writing for the majority, allowed the Appeal, stating that the order for a new trial is set aside and Mr. Kokopenace’s manslaughter conviction is reinstated.  Further, the Court determined that the state met its representativeness obligation with regard to jury selection, and that a fair opportunity was provided for a broad cross-section of society to participate in the jury process. In dissent, Chief Justice McLachlin and Justice Cromwell stated that the jury roll was not representative due to its composition being a “substantial departure from what random selection among all potentially eligible jurors in the district would produce, in view of the under-representation of Aboriginal on-reserve residents on the jury roll.”

In the News

Supreme Court ruling on Aboriginal representation ‘serious setback,’ lawyer says   CBC, May 22, 2015
Supreme Court upholds Aboriginal man’s manslaughter conviction   The Globe and Mail, May 21, 2015