The risk to the privilege against self-incrimination is not
limited to proceedings taking place in parallel in Canada and the
United States (U.S.). The case of R. v. Eurocopter
Canada Ltd.,  O.J. No. 2120, is a good example of how
the risk can arise when a person is forced to testify at a public
inquiry in Canada while facing criminal proceedings abroad.
In Eurocopter, Karlheinz Schreiber brought an
application to quash a subpoena compelling him to testify at the
Ontario preliminary inquiry concerning criminal charges brought
against Eurocopter Canada Ltd. relating to commissions paid on the
sale of helicopters to the Canadian government. Schreiber, a
citizen of both Canada and Germany, was facing tax evasion, fraud,
and bribery charges in Germany relating to the same matters and had
not (yet) been extradited. Schreiber argued that any evidence
he was to give at the preliminary inquiry could be used against him
The application to quash the subpoena was dismissed. The
Court found that whether Schreiber's Charter rights
would be violated if he was compelled to testify at the preliminary
inquiry depended on whether or not evidence given by him would be
used against him in criminal proceedings in Germany. The Court
found that Schreiber had failed to prove that his evidence in
Canada could be used against him in Germany. In addition, the
Court, relying on testimony from a German law expert observed,
"it does not seem likely that a country that would go to such
lengths to protect his self-incrimination would effectively turn
its back on that protection and use compelled self-incriminating
evidence simply because it was obtained in a foreign
Schreiber was eventually extradited to Germany to face charges
of tax evasion and bribery; however, the German court dropped the
bribery charges after finding that the statute of limitations had
run out. He was convicted for tax evasion.
Although this issue arises most often in circumstances in which
the individual affected conducts business in the U.S. and Canada,
the Schreiber case shows that the risk extends beyond cross-border
disputes. Individuals conducting business in Canada and
abroad may also be at risk when the constitutional right is
protected differently than in Canada.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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