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Law of Criminal Attempt, Third Edition
By: Eugene Meehan, Q.C., LL.B., LL.M., LL.B., D.C.L, Marie-France Major
ISBN/ISSN/Product Number: 978-0-7798-6722-6
Product Type: Book
Number of Pages: 460 pages
Number of Volumes: 1 volume bound
Binding: hardcover
Publication Date: 2015-11-25
Publisher: Carswell
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Description

This book examines the crime of criminal attempt and its historical aspects, why attempt is punished and the definitional elements, including mens rea and actus reus.

Criminal attempt is one of the most important branches of the criminal law since it determines the line between innocence and guilt, and between freedom and imprisonment. The book explores the nature of the crime of criminal attempt and examines its historical aspects, why attempt is punished and the definitional elements, including mens rea and actus reus. The issues that arise when it is impossible to complete the target crime or what happens if the accused voluntarily abandoned the attempt are also thoroughly canvassed. As well, the authors discuss what happens in circumstances where the accused is charged with attempt, but can prove the attempt in fact succeeded. The special evidential and procedural considerations applying to the law of attempt are considered, as well as appropriate sentencing for an attempt relative to the target crime. The general provisions criminalizing attempt are examined and the authors look at how other countries have dealt with this area of law. The instances of specifically legislated attempt offences in Canada are also detailed.

What's New

Criminal attempt is one of the most important branches of the criminal law. It determines the line between innocence and guilt, and between freedom and imprisonment.

The Law of Criminal Attempt, 3rd Edition explores the nature of the crime of criminal attempt and why it is punished. The issues arising when the target crime is not completed or is voluntarily abandoned are thoroughly canvassed.

The 3rd Edition of The Law of Criminal Attempt discusses:

  • what happens in circumstances where the accused is charged with attempt, but the Crown can prove the attempt succeeded
  • special evidential and procedural considerations applying to the law of attempt
  • appropriate sentencing for an attempt relative to the target crime
  • general provisions criminalizing attempt and how other countries have dealt with this area of law

Case Law Highlights

Since the publication of the 2nd Edition in 2000, this 3rd edition incorporates the significant developments in the case law, including:

  • R. v. Savoury (2005 ONCA) – the "Kienapple principle" bars convictions for both attempted murder and aggravated assault based upon same factual transaction
  • R. v. Déry (2006 SCC) – no offence of attempting to conspire to commit an offence
  • R. v. Elliott (2010 BCSC) – the difference in maximum sentences for attempted robbery and robbery reflects Parliament's intention that the completed offence is generally considered more serious and deserving of a longer sentence than an attempted offence
  • R. v. Sarrazin (2010 ONCA) – attempts require proof of 'an intention to commit an offence'
  • R. v. Y. (N.) (2012 ONCA) – conspiracy is complete upon proof of an agreement to carry out an unlawful act
  • R. v. Murphy (2013 SCC) – To attract criminal liability as an aider or abettor to the offence of attempted murder, the accused must either share, or know of the specific intent of the principal to kill the victim
  • R. v. Ravindhraraj (2013 ONCA) – question of "whether the mens rea for offences of attempt (other than attempted murder) includes recklessness is an unsettled area of the law."
  • R. v. Goldberg (2014 BCCA) – 'acts beyond mere preparation' criterion applicable to offence of attempted murder
About the Author
Eugene Meehan, Q.C.: Litigation partner at Supreme Advocacy LLP, Ottawa. He works with other lawyers in taking cases in all areas of the law to the Supreme Court of Canada (both Leave to Appeal and Appeal). Appeared as counsel and co-counsel before the SCC. Holds four degrees in law: University of Edinburgh (LL.B.), McGill University (LL.M.), University of Ottawa (LL.B.) and Doctor of Civil Law from McGill University (D.C.L.). A practising member of six Bars: Ontario, Alberta, N.W.T., Yukon, Nunavut and is licenced to practise law in the state of Arizona, U.S.A. Appointed Queen's Counsel 1999, National President of the Canadian Bar Association 1999-2000, and Executive Legal Officer to the Supreme Court of Canada 1990-1992. Eugene Meehan can be reached at emeehan@supremeadvocacy.ca.
Marie-France Major: Litigation Partner at Supreme Advocacy LLP, Ottawa. Primary work: Supreme Court of Canada, arguing appeals and assisting other lawyers in taking cases (both Leave to Appeal and Appeal) to the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as complex legal opinions. Appeared as counsel and co-counsel before the SCC. Holds 4 degrees: J.S.D (Doctorate in Law), University of California at Berkley, 1994; B.C.L. (Master in Law), University of Oxford, 1987; LL.B., University of Ottawa, 1986; B.Sc.Soc., University of Ottawa, 1983. Articled with Justice LaForest at the Supreme Court of Canada 1989-1990, and was an Associate Professor (tenured), Faculty of Law; member of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Ottawa, 1995-2001; Assistant Professor, School of Law, University of Moncton, New Brunswick, 1987-1989. Can be contacted at mfmajor@supremeadvocacy.ca
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