Armstrong v. Gill

In Fish Cases, Fisheries Practice, Judicial Review/Crown Liability, Miscellaneous, Offences on (Updated )

This case involved a prosecution under the Fisheries Act. In the course of a pre-trial application by the defence for disclosure of Crown documents, the matter was adjourned so that the parties could exchange and file written submissions. Although written submissions from both parties were filed, for some unexplained reason only the Crown’s submissions were provided to the judge hearing the motion. In the course of the subsequent hearing it became apparent that the judge had not received the written submissions of the defence and attempted to remedy the situation by hearing oral submissions from counsel for the defence.

Upon receiving an adverse ruling on the disclosure motion, the defence brought an application for certiorari of the ruling and an order of mandamus directing that the disclosure application be heard afresh before a different judge.

After reviewing the evidence and the applicable authorities, the court concluded that "an informed person viewing the events realistically and practically would concluded that in the circumstances that occurred here there was an appearance of bias" (para 39). Accordingly the requested remedies of certiorari and mandamus were granted.