R v Bily, 2004 BCPC 415 (CanLII)

Beverley Anne Bily and Ronald Stanley Bily were charged under the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act with one count of failing to act appropriately and thereby permitting an animal to be or continue to be in distress, contrary to Section 24(1) of that Act.

At the commencement of trial, counsel brought on an application for a judicial stay based on what is alleged to be an infringement of Section 7 of the Charter.  The accused argued that their right to make full answer and defence was breached as a result of the failure of Crown to provide a full, complete and timely disclosure of material information that was necessary to allow them to make an educated and informed decision with respect to instructing counsel and preparing their case.

The Court was satisfied that full and timely disclosure was not complied with. Moreover, Section 657.33 of the Code  with respect to the expertise of the vets was late in being complied with. The result was an inability of the defence to properly prepare for trial.

In its conclusion, the Court stated that the defendants had been put to the expense of retaining counsel and suffering the publicity of a serious and personally damaging allegation. Therefore, an adjournment would prolong that anxiety and add to their legal costs — adjournment was not the appropriate remedy. The Court directed a judicial stay in this case.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: British Columbia

Topics: Administrative LawBritish Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsCharterdisclosure

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