His Majesty the King v. Matthew James Johnston, et al. (39635)

Posted on: 2022-11-15



The respondents were found guilty of six counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. The respondents filed applications for stays of proceedings pursuant to s. 24(1) of the Charter, alleging abuses of process due to police misconduct during the investigation, and also because of their conditions while in pre-trial custody. The Crown applied for summary dismissal of the applications. Finding that the serious nature of the offences committed by the respondents could not justify a stay of proceedings, the trial judge allowed the Crown’s applications for summary dismissal, dismissed the respondents’ applications for stays of proceedings, and entered convictions. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia dismissed the respondents’ ground of appeal relating to non-disclosure of evidence, but allowed the respondents’ appeal in part, quashed the convictions but affirmed the verdicts of guilt, and ordered that the matter be remitted to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing on the respondents’ applications for a stay of proceedings for abuse of process.

Argued Date



Canadian charter (Criminal) - Criminal law, Abuse of process - Charter of Rights — Criminal law — Stay of proceedings — Abuse of process — Summary dismissal of applications — Whether, and to what extent, a judge is permitted to assess or weigh an applicant’s proposed evidence when determining whether to permit a full evidentiary hearing on an application for a stay of proceedings for abuse of process — Whether the Court of Appeal applied too low a threshold for determining whether a full evidentiary hearing is required on an application for a stay of proceedings for abuse of process.


(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave) (Publication ban in case) (Sealing order) (Certain information not available to the public)


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