R v. Brendon Fitzpatrik

In Fish Cases, Offences on (Updated )

This case involved a fisher who was accused of catching and retaining fish in excess of his quota. At trial, the Crown sought to admit evidence from hail reports and daily fishing logs. The fisher successfully argued that the use of these logs violated his right to be secure from self incrimination pursuant to section 7 of the Charter. His acquittal was overturned on appeal. The majority ruling of the British Columbia Court of Appeal was upheld on appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and a re-trial was ordered.

There was a 14 month delay between the date of the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada and the retrial. On the day set for retrial, the Crown entered a stay of proceedings. The Court held that a retrial must proceed with greater expedition than the initial trial. Given the 14 month delay the Court would have entered a stay, even if the Crown had not done so.

The accused applied under section 24(1) of the charter for an order of costs. The Court held that the Crown had breached its duty to " always act fairly and conduct itself in a manner respectful of the rights of litigants" and ordered the Crown to pay all the accused’s expenses including legal fees and disbursements.

Counsel for the Accused: Murray L. Smith

Counsel for the Crown: Jeffrey Jones