Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

Canadian Bar Review, Vol. 49, Issue 2 (May 1971), pp. 280-364


My objective in this study is two-fold. First, I want to examine the decision-making operations of the Supreme Court in the period 1949-1969 by analyzing the reasons and votes in a sequence of related cases. Second, I want to present a critical review of the doctrinal pattern which has emerged in Canadian law in the field in which I have chosen to assess the work of the court. The family of legal problems which I have singled out involve the various excuses to criminal conviction for prohibited conduct -defences which flow from the lack of mens rea, responsibility, or blameworthiness. Because these two interests may at times diverge, the article will frequently contain material which is extraneous to one or to the other. However, I feel that any such costs are outweighed by the intellectual gains which result from an examination at the same time of a developing substantive area of law and the workings of the institution which is chiefly responsible for this development.