Her Majesty the Queen, et al. v. David Sullivan, et al. (39270)

Posted on: 2021-10-28


Mr. Sullivan attempted suicide by ingesting a prescription drug known to cause psychosis as a side effect. In a psychotic state, he stabbed his mother. Mr. Chan consumed magic mushrooms. In a psychotic state, he fatally stabbed his father and then he stabbed his father’s partner. At their trials, each accused sought to raise non-mental disorder automatism as a defence but the trial judges applied s. 33.1 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, which sets out conditions in which the defence is not available. In Mr. Chan’s case, the trial judge also held that s. 33.1 infringes ss. 7 and s. 11(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but it is not unconstitutional because the infringements are justified under s. 1 of the Charter. Mr. Sullivan was convicted of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. Mr. Chan was convicted of manslaughter and aggravated assault. The Court of Appeal allowed appeals. It found s. 33.1 unconstitutional. It acquitted Mr. Sullivan on both counts and ordered a new trial for Mr. Chan.


Constitutional law - Constitutional law - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Fundamental justice - Presumption of innocence - Assaults occurring during states of psychosis caused by ingesting intoxicants - Accused raising defence of non-mental disorder automatism - Defence not available if accused’s state of psychosis caused by self-induced intoxication pursuant to s. 33.1 of Criminal Code - Whether s. 33.1 infringes ss. 7 or 11(d) of the Charter - If s. 33.1 infringes ss. 7 or 11(d) of the Charter, is the infringement justified under s. 1 of the Charter - Whether normal rules of stare decisis apply to declarations of invalidity made by superior court judges pursuant to s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982?.


(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


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