WPIS TYGODNIA: Reading about retroactive application of procedural law

WPIS TYGODNIA: Reading about retroactive application of procedural law

EXERCISE 1

Read the source text below and answer the following questions:

  1. What does substantive law define?
  2. What does adjective law define?
  3. What are the two examples of the operation of the retrospectivity rule?
  4.  What are the three exceptions to the retrospectivity rule?
OPEN ANSWER KEY TO EXERCISE 1
  1. Substantive law defines rights, duties, and liabilities.
  2. Adjective law defines matters of procedure, pleading and proof.
  3. Case Smith, supra and case R. v. Wildman.
  4.  Firstly, the retrospectivity rule will not apply to restrict the admissibility of evidence which was lawfully obtained even though by the time of trial, legislative amendments had change the rules. Secondly, the rule that procedural legislation is retrospective will also not be applied when a person has gained a right not to be prosecuted through the operation of a limitation period. Thirdly, the rule will not be applied where the procedural changes are inextricably bound up with substantive provisions.

 

EXERCISE 2

Find in the source text below expressions which mean:

  1. prawo materialne
  2. prawo procesowe
  3. dopuszczalny
  4. niedopuszczalny
  5. dopuszczalność dowodu/-ów
  6. sąd orzekł, że
  7. rozróżnienie pomiędzy
  8. przechwycić
  9. okres/termin przedawnienia
  10. nabyte prawo
  11. przestrzegać przepisu prawa
  12. Sąd Najwyższy 
  13. bezwzględny
  14. ograniczyć
  15. obowiązywać / być w mocy
  16. uzyskać zgodnie z prawem
  17. niedawno wprowadzony / przyjęty przepis prawa
  18. domniemanie na korzyść
  19. zeznanie
  20. być oskarżonym o zabójstwo
  21. w czasie, gdy przestępstwo zostało rzekomo popełnione
  22. na początku postępowania
  23. zebrać / zgromadzić dowody
  24. nierozerwalnie związany z
  25. ustalić

OPEN ANSWER KEY TO EXERCISE 2
  1. substantive law
  2. procedural law / adjective law
  3. admissible
  4. inadmissible
  5. admissibility of evidence
  6. the court held that
  7. distinction between
  8. to intercept
  9. limitation period
  10. acquired right
  11. to comply with a law
  12. Supreme Court
  13. absolute
  14. to restrict
  15. to be in effect
  16. to obtain lawfully
  17. recently enacted provision
  18. presumption in favour of
  19. testimony
  20. to be charged with murder
  21. when the offence was alleged to have been committed
  22. at the outset of the proceedings
  23. to gather evidence
  24. inextricably bound up with
  25. to determine

 

SOURCE TEXT

SOURCE: R. v. Gallego, 1993 CanLII 5597 (ON SC)

„Issue

[5]   The question to be determined is whether, if I ultimately conclude that the intercepted private communications were not obtained lawfully, the evidence is automatically excluded, or whether the issue of admissibility would then be governed by ss. 7, 8 and 24(2) of the Charter.

[6]   It may seem premature to determine the issue before deciding whether the communications were lawfully obtained, but because the determination of this issue will affect the issues to be addressed on the voir dire, all counsel seek a ruling at the outset of the proceedings so that the ground rules the conduct of the voir dire will be clear.

Analysis

(A) The distinction between “substantive law” and “procedural law”

[7]   In Howard Smith Paper Mills, Ltd. v. The Queen (1957), 1957 CanLII 11 (SCC), 118 C.C.C. 321, 8 D.L.R. (2d) 449, [1957] S.C.R. 403, the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with the distinction between substantive law and what was known as “adjective” law. The court agreed that substantive law defines rights, duties, and liabilities, while “adjective” law defines matters of “procedure, pleading and proof”. Today, the distinction is more commonly defined in terms of the difference between “substantive law” and “procedural law” although procedural law includes matters involving the admissibility of evidence. I am therefore satisfied that the amendments in Bill C-109, which may affect the admissibility of intercepted private communications, are procedural in nature.

(B) Retrospectivity of procedural law

[8]   The general rule is that there is a presumption in favour of retrospective operation of procedural amendments, even where the procedural amendments mean that previously inadmissible evidence is rendered admissible. An example of the operation of this rule is the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Smith, supra. In that case, the court was concerned with a statutory provision which made previously inadmissible evidence admissible. The question was whether the new provision was retrospective, thereby making the evidence admissible at trial even though the rule was not in effect when the offence was alleged to have been committed.

[9]   The court held that the legislation was retrospective and that the evidence was admissible.

[10]           Another example of the operation of the retrospectivity rule where a legislative amendment has rendered previously inadmissible evidence admissible is the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Wildman (1984), 1984 CanLII 82 (SCC), 14 C.C.C. (3d) 321, 12 D.L.R. (4th) 641, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 311. In that case, the appellant was charged with murder. At the time of the offence, the common law rule was that a spouse was not a competent and compellable witness for the prosecution. Prior to the retrial, however, Parliament amended the Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. E-10, to permit such testimony. The Supreme Court held that the amendment was procedural, and had retrospective application. (…)

(C) Exceptions to the retrospectivity rule

[12]           The rule that procedural amendments must be given retrospective effect is not absolute, however. It will not apply to restrict the admissibility of evidence which was lawfully obtained even though by the time of trial, legislative amendments had change the rules. In such a case, the amendments, even though procedural in nature, are not retrospective. The rationale for the exception to the general rule is that the authorities could not be expected to comply with a law that was not in effect at the time the evidence was gathered. Examples of this exception are R. v. LeSarge (1975), 1975 CanLII 1245 (ON CA), 26 C.C.C. (2d) 388 (Ont. C.A.), where the Crown was permitted to tender intercepted private communications which had been obtained without a judicial authorizations because no such legislative requirement was in effect at the time of the investigation, and R. v. Ali (1979), 1979 CanLII 174 (SCC), 51 C.C.C. (2d) 282, 108 D.L.R. (3d) 41, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 221, in which it was held that the Crown was not required to comply with a recently enacted provision which changed the proof requirements for the drinking and driving offence of “over 80”.

[13]           The rule that procedural legislation is retrospective will also not be applied when a person has gained a right not to be prosecuted through the operation of a limitation period. In those circumstances, legislation removing the limitation period will not remove the acquired right not to be prosecuted: R. v. Ford, (Ont C.A.), released August 26, 1993 (unreported) [since reported 1993 CanLII 1295 (ON CA), 106 D.L.R. (4th) 325, 65 O.A.C. 40, 15 O.R. (3d) 171].

[14]           Finally, the rule will not be applied where the procedural changes are inextricably bound up with substantive provisions.”

 

EXERCISE 3

Practise the vocabulary from Exercise 2 using the following flashcards:

substantive law
procedural law / adjective law
dopuszczalny
admissible
inadmissible
dopuszczalność dowodu/-ów
admissibility of evidence
sąd orzekł, że
the court held that
rozróżnienie pomiędzy
distinction between
przechwycić
to intercept
okres/termin przedawnienia
limitation period
nabyte prawo
acquired right
przestrzegać przepisu prawa
to comply with a law
Sąd Najwyższy
Supreme Court
bezwzględny
absolute
ograniczyć
to restrict
obowiązywać / być w mocy
to be in effect
to obtain lawfully
niedawno wprowadzony / przyjęty przepis prawa
recently enacted provision
domniemanie na korzyść
presumption in favour of
testimony
być oskarżonym o zabójstwo
to be charged with murder
w czasie, gdy przestępstwo zostało rzekomo popełnione
when the offence was alleged to have been committed
na początku postępowania
at the outset of the proceedings
zebrać / zgromadzić dowody
to gather evidence
nierozerwalnie związany z
inextricably bound up with
ustalić
to determine
Odwróć Nie wiedziałem/-am Wiedziałem/-am

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Anna Młodawska


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Anna Młodawska
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Anna Młodawska – autorka dwóch podręczników: „Advanced Legal English for Polish Purposes” oraz "Infographic Legal English", tłumaczka przysięgła języka angielskiego, lektorka Legal English posiadająca kilkunastoletnie doświadczenie w nauczaniu prawników i tłumaczy we własnej szkole, w warszawskich kancelariach oraz w Instytucie Lingwistyki Stosowanej UW, absolwentka anglistyki UW, Interdyscyplinarnego Podyplomowego Studium Kształcenia Tłumaczy UW oraz Podyplomowego Studium Prawa Europejskiego UW. Przez ponad 10 lat prowadziła w Warszawie biuro tłumaczeń prawniczych i stacjonarną szkołę Legal English „Transkrypt”. Aktualnie mieszka w Kanadzie i studiuje prawo na University of Toronto, kontynuując z nieustającą pasją nauczanie polskich prawników i tłumaczy online. www.facebook.com/transkrypt www.instagram.com/legalenglishexpert