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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2010

Legal brief
Can I serve my sentence in the community? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.


After a night of partying during which the accused consumed some alcohol, the accused, an 18-year-old, decided to drive his friends home. He only had seven weeks of experience as a licensed driver and knew that his vehicle was not in good condition. According to the evidence, he dr
Should you prepare a mandate in the event of incapacity? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
With our aging population and increasing life span, there is, unfortunately, a very real possibility that we will suffer an illness or accident. Should you prepare a mandate in the event of incapacity? more
Do I have the right to see my grandchildren?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
I would like to see my grandchildren, but the mother of the children is against it. What are my recourses as a grandparent? more
Am I entitled to a disability pensionThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
I have had serious health problems for years and I’m not 60 years old yet. I am unable to work. Am I entitled to a disability pension? more
I want to have my father's will annulledThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Your father informs you that you are one of the legatees named in his will as an heir. Shortly before his death, he changes his will and bequeaths all his property to someone else. Can you have this will, which you believe is unfair, annulled? more
I have to resiliate my lease due to my loss of autonony This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
I have lost my autonomy and I have a medical document confirming that I have to move into premises adapted to my needs. What should I do? more
My right to privacy has been violatedThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.


While helping lift an obese patient from her chair, a worker felt a fierce burning sensation and shooting pain in her back, on the left side, and experienced difficulty lifting her left arm. In May 2005 she was diagnosed with a cervicodorsal sprain which was consolidated in Nove more

My property has been seizedThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
As a result of unpaid debts, can a creditor seize all the moveable property in a residence? more
A court has ordered that I be placed in a detoxification centre This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In principle, every person is free to accept or refuse to submit to health care. Exceptionally, a hospital centre may go to court to compel an unfit person to receive treatment despite the person’s categorical refusal, that is, against the person’s will. When dealing with treatment against a person’ more
A police officer has asked my child for his version of the facts This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
A youngster has been arrested and the police officer has asked him for his version of the facts. What are his rights? more
I am not dangerous: When will my confinement in an institution end? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
An individual suffering from mental illness may be placed in confinement in a health care institution if he presents a danger to himself or to others due to his mental state. However, if the individual in question opposes the confinement, a court authorization is required. In order to obtain such an more
My youngster is guilty of roberyThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
An offender is convicted of robbery. What is the best judicial decision for this youngster?


In November 2005, the accused robbed C. On the evening of the incident, the accused had consumed alcohol and marijuana. While walking on the street, he noticed the victim and decided to trip him. The victim collapsed and the accused kicked him. At the end of the assault, he searched the victim and took his knapsack.
The victim was taken to the hospital and the medical report confirmed he had suffered head trauma. The victim’s family experienced some very difficult times following the assault. The victim was left with psychological aftereffects.
The accused had had a painful past had difficulty managing his anger. He had experienced violence in his family life. At the time of sentencing, the accused had already been held in custody since his appearance before the judge of the youth court.


What is the best decision for the offender? What sentencing principles should be applied?


The Court ordered a period of custody and supervision of 150 days, taking into account the month of preventive detention. Furthermore, it ordered the accused to be under monitored probation, with several other conditions, for a period of eight months.


The primary objective of a judicial decision involving young persons is to protect society while providing the young offender with the necessary advice and assistance which he does not receive at home. These two principles are not necessarily irreconcilable. Indeed, in the long run, society is better protected when a young offender is rehabilitated.
Paragraph 3(b) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) clearly states that the YCJA must be separate from legislation applicable to adults, among other things, as regards the dependency of young persons and their reduced level of maturity. Paragraph 38(2)(a) sets out the rule that under no circumstances must the sentence imposed on a young person result in a punishment that is greater than the punishment that would be appropriate for an adult who has been convicted of the same offence committed in similar circumstances. The specific purpose of the YCJA is to reduce over-reliance on incarceration for non-violent young persons, which was a widespread phenomenon in Québec. In 2006, in the ruling in B.W.P., the Supreme Court clearly stated that general deterrence—and even individual deterrence—is no longer a factor to be considered in determining the sentence of an accused minor.

In making a decision, the court must take aggravating and mitigating factors into account.

In the case at hand, the aggravating factors taken into consideration were the physical and psychological impact on the victim and the difficult times experienced by the family.

The mitigating factors were the absence of a past criminal record, the young offender’s difficult family life and his remorse with respect to the crime. The court also considered his involvement at school and at work.

Through its decision, the court held the offender accountable. The court took his maturity into account and, by issuing a custody and probation order, it allowed the young offender’s rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

La Reine v. X, (LSJPA-059), Court of Québec, Youth Division (C.Q.) Montreal 525-03-033727-058, December 22, 2005, Judge Carole Brosseau (www.jugements.qc.ca)

R. v. B.W.P., (2006) 7 S.C.R. 941

Youth Criminal Justice Act, (S.C. 2002, c. 1), s. 3, 39 and 42.

Legal brief *
April  2010
Number  07
Text prepared by   Le jugement dont il est question dans cette chronique a été rendu en fonction des éléments de preuves soumis au tribunal. Chaque situation est particulière. Dans le doute, nous vous suggérons de consulter un avocat de l’aide juridique. / The jugement discussed in this article was rendered based on the evidence submitted to the court. Each situation is unique. If in doubt, we suggest you consult a legal aid lawyer.
Update by   Commission des services juridiques
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
For how long can I be obliged to remain in a residential facility? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
What is the maximum duration of a residential placement order forcing a person to live in a residential facility? more
I refuse to let my child have a blood transfusion This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Can parents refuse to let a doctor give a blood transfusion to their minor child on religious grounds? more
Is my confinement in an institution necessary? Am I dangerous? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In matters of confinement in an institution, judges are called upon to decide on a person’s dangerousness to himself or to others due to his mental state. Dangerousness is the only criterion on which a court must base itself in order to confine an individual in a hospital against his will. How do ju more
I lost my job due to family obligations This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You leave your job to go to Guinea to stay with your father who is seriously ill. In the meantime, you learn that he has died and you go to his funeral in Guinea, where you take care of your mother who is also seriously ill. Upon your return, you are refused employment insurance benefits on the grou more
Can wearing tinted eye glasses at night reduce vision quality? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.


On May 24, 2007, at approximately 9:42 p.m., an individual was driving his automobile on an unlit road while wearing black-tinted eye glasses. A police officer followed him for a while and stopped him. The individual claimed that his glasses made him look “cool”. The police offi more

I live in a dwelling in low-rental housing and am frequently away from home This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You live in a dwelling in low-rental housing and are often away from home in order to visit your family and friends. Can the lessor ask for the resiliation of the lease due to the unoccupancy of the dwelling? more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017