• Adam R. Thibert

R v Villanti, 2020 ONCA 436 (decided 10 June 2020)

Updated: Feb 20

Key Terms for This Read:

- Villanti and his co-defendants (“the applicants”).

- Criminal Appeal Rules (“the Rules).

This particular judgment does not evaluate guilt or innocence. This judgment concerns a motion – a procedural step as part of the larger whole of the R v Villanti case. In brief, the Crown appealed a ruling made in the applicants’ favours but made some procedural missteps in appealing. As a result, the applicants wanted the appeal to be dismissed and the case put to rest.

When the Crown filed their appeal of the initial ruling, they did not perfect the appeal – meaning, they did not get all of the components of the appeal filed with the Court and served to the applicants – in the time that they were supposed to, according to the Rules.[1] So, the applicants brought a motion to have the Crown’s appeal dismissed because they did not follow the rules. The judge denied their motion and allowed the Crown’s appeal to proceed.

The judge felt as though the applicants wanted the process to break down so they could avoid the Crown’s appeal on a series of technicalities, thereby explaining their inaction in the face of delays.[2] They never used the procedural avenues available to them to ensure a timely process for their case.[3] In the documents the applicants provided the Court, they included nothing following up with the Crown’s appeal, for instance.[4] They bucked the Crown at every turn, even on actions which had been common in past cases.[5]

For the applicants’ motion to be successful, they had to prove the Crown’s appeal (in light of the procedural missteps) would undermine the integrity of the judicial process[6]; they did not meet this standard of proof while considering all the relevant factors.[7] Accordingly, the judge felt there was no reason why the appeal should not be allowed to go ahead.


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[1] R v Villanti, 2020 ONCA 436 at para 3 [Villanti]. [2] Ibid at para 90. [3] Ibid at para 48. [4] Ibid at para 38. [5] Ibid at para 47. [6] Ibid at para 45. [7] See Ibid at para 62 (a non-exhaustive list of factors Courts consider while considering whether to dismiss an appeal for failure of perfection in accordance with the Rules).

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