Her Majesty the Queen v. Hubert Hunt, et al.
(Newfoundland & Labrador) (Criminal) (As of Right)
Canadian charter (Criminal) - Criminal law, Abuse of process.
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Charter of Rights - Criminal law - Abuse of process - Pre-charge delay - Whether the pre-charge delay amounted to an abuse of process and therefore a breach of the respondents’ s. 7 Charter rights - If yes, whether a stay of proceedings was the appropriate remedy.
The respondents were charged with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, falsifying books and documents, and circulating a false prospectus. It is alleged that their business sold or transferred equipment that had been used to secure loans without informing or paying the creditors and falsified documents and the books. The business’ bankruptcy led creditors to bear approximately 93 million dollars in losses. The application judge stayed the charges on the basis that the pre-charge delay had breached the respondents’ s. 7 Charter rights. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. It found that the application judge provided ample basis for concluding that the pre-charge delay that occurred amounted to an abuse of process, and that while the judge did not conduct his analysis using the three-step approach mandated by R. v. Babos, 2014 SCC 16,  1 S.C.R. 309, he nevertheless applied the necessary elements of that test. Hoegg J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal and remitted the matter for trial.
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