Provincial Offences

Course Code: PLBA 2002

Academic Year: 2022-2023

This course examines the provincial offences procedural code governing the prosecution and defence of provincial offences in Ontario. Students examine the rationale for the development of this distinct process for dealing with offences that are primarily regulatory in nature but that can result in imprisonment or loss of livelihood for offenders. A comparison is made of the certificate of offence and information and parking infraction processes under the Provincial Offences Act, including their documentary and informational requirements. Strategies are developed for effectively advancing the prosecution or defence position at pre-trial disclosure, at motion hearings and at trial. Evidentiary, procedural and advocacy issues are examined and solutions sought in the context of case studies, court observation reports and simulated trials. Substantive issues are canvassed by exploring the elements and specific defences of major offences under the Highway Traffic Act, the Liquor Licence Act, the Trespass to Property Act and the Environmental Protection Act. In the sentencing process, students analyze the relevant mitigating and aggravating factors and the availability of court discretion in imposing sentence.