Daniel Larocque v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al.

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Constitutional law - Criminal law, Sentencing, Cruel and unusual treatment or punishment (s. 12), Canadian charter (Criminal) - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Constitutional law - Criminal law - Sentencing - Victim surcharge - Cruel and unusual treatment or punishment - Accused ordered to pay surcharge under s. 737 of Criminal Code - Constitutionality of s. 737 Cr.C. - Whether victim surcharge provided for in s. 737 of Criminal Code is cruel and unusual punishment contrary to s. 12 of Charter, such that this provision cannot be justified under s. 1 of Charter - If so, whether declaration that provision unconstitutional under s. 52 of Constitution Act, 1982 is adequate remedy - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 12 - Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C 46, s. 737.


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Daniel Larocque pleaded guilty to seven counts: two counts of mischief, three counts of assault, one count of uttering threats and one count of possession of narcotics. Under s. 737 of the Criminal Code, he was liable to a victim surcharge of $700, but the trial judge refused to apply the surcharge and declared s. 737 of no force or effect under s. 52 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Superior Court overturned that decision, finding that the imposition of a surcharge was not cruel and unusual punishment. Mr. Larocque then challenged the constitutionality of s. 737, arguing that it infringed his rights protected by s. 12 of the Charter. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Larocque’s appeal and held that the imposition of a victim surcharge was not contrary to the Charter.