Brendan Myers Miller and Josh Sutherland of the Regulatory, Criminal and Public Law Group at Walsh LLP argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on February 14, 2017.
Mr. Miller and Mr. Sutherland argued that, due to the serious nature of securities offences in Alberta, those accused of such charges are constitutionally entitled a jury trial. The punishment for someone convicted of a securities offence in Alberta is up to five (5) years and six (6) months less one day in jail per conviction, including default time for failing to pay the portential $5 million fine. They argued that, because of this serious potential sentence, a jury trial is the proper manner to try such charges.
Although in the Supreme Court of Canada's R. v. Aitkens decision, the Court did not yet accept this argument in this particular case, Mr. Miller and Mr. Sutherland presented a strong, effective argument and the Court left open the question for different case, whether certain sentences in legislation can provide the right to a jury trial, where the sentences are harsh.
Pictured are Joshua Sutherland (left) and Brendan Miller (right), at the Supreme Court of Canada.