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PRE 1996 CASES - CAUTION

Judge Tufts in R. v. Nicoll, 2005 NSPC 15 reviewed the law in respect to older p-recedents and noted as follows:



[24]         In R. v. Longaphy, 2000 NSCA 136 (CanLII), 2000 NSCA 136, Justice Oland makes the point that pre-1996 cases must be read with great care and awareness that the 1996 sentencing principles, particularly those in s. 718.2(d) and (e), now apply.

[25]         She says at para. 30 of that decision quoting from Justice Roscoe on a previous decision in R. v. S.C. reflex, (1999), 175 N.S.R. (2d) 158

Sentencing cases which predate those provisions are subject to and limited by the legislative directions in s. 718.2(d) and (e) that an offender not be deprived of liberty if less restrictive sanctions may be appropriate and that all available sanctions that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders.

 

  

[26]         In my opinion, the earlier cases can no longer be regarded as establishing rigid starting points or ranges against which sentences decided after these legislative changes came into effect must be measured.   They are to be read with great care and awareness of the sentencing principles which now apply, particularly those applying to incarceration as a last resort and the focus upon individualized sentencing


Jim O'Neil, LL.B.

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