R v. Barrett

In Fish Cases, Offences, Officially Induced Error on (Updated )

This case involved charges against a large number of seal harvesters for having sold "blueback seal pelts" contrary to the Marine Mammal Regulations. It is related to the case of R. v. Shiner, [2008] N.J. NO. 10.

At trial a number of defences were raised.

With respect to the defence of mistake of fact, the mistake alleged was a mistaken belief that the law would not be enforced. The court ruled that this does not qualify as a mistake of fact.

With respect to the defence of officially induced error, the court followed R. v. Shiner to hold that the failure of DFO to previously enforce the law was not sufficient to ground a defence of officially induced error.

With respect to the defence of entrapment, the court ruled that DFO’s conduct in (a) advising harvesters where hooded seals could be located (b) not previously enforcing the law (c) indicating that blueback seals could be lawfully killed (the law prohibited selling) did not ground a defence of entrapment.