Question

The defence of the person in Canada is limited to specific...

The defence of the person in Canada is limited to specific situations. Canada should adopt a similar law as the 'Stand Your Ground Law' in the state of Florida to better protect Canadians.

How would the "stand your ground law" would fit the Lavallee case (1990) and would protect the person standing their ground, or similarly protecting their personal property. Could you please explain with further details. Below is the reference 

https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/599/index.do

Answer & Explanation
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Stand Your Ground law was legislated as a self defense tool. The defendant's facing charges for murder or even assault could plead the stand your ground defense.

 

The Canadian limitation that hinders effectiveness of stand your ground is because of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where equality and preserving human life is of paramount importance.

 

There has been a controversy as to whether the courts should uphold human life while bound on the ethics behind stand your ground law.

In the case of R versus Lavallee, the defendant was a victim of continued domestic violence and had been battered by the husband whom she later killed

 

How would the "stand your ground law" would fit the Lavallee case. 

Stand your ground laws in this circumstance, the castle doctrine that allows individuals the right to use reasonable force would be relevant. Here, the defendant was allowed to protect herself from her husband as she feared possible attack. 

Step-by-step explanation

Stand Your Ground law was legislated as a self defense tool. The defendant's facing charges for murder or even assault could plead the stand your ground defense. This is because, the defendant seeks to protect themselves, thus prioritizing the defense property over life. It is the assumption that, in Canada, there is no duty to retreat under the law when faced with similar danger to self or property. 

 

The Canadian limitation that hinders effectiveness of stand your ground is because of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where equality and preserving human life is of paramount importance. Also, when applying stand your ground rule in Canada, it is bound to be faced with racism and such prejudices within the criminal justice system does not make it impartial. There has been a controversy as to whether the courts should uphold human life while bound on the ethics behind stand your ground law.

 

In the case of R versus Lavallee, the defendant was a victim of continued domestic violence and had been battered by the husband whom she later killed. The admissible evidence before the court relied on the facts that the defendant was a battered woman, feared attack as well as her possible death which initiated the self defense of killing her husband.

 

How would the "stand your ground law" would fit the Lavallee case. Stand your ground laws in this circumstance, the castle doctrine that allows individuals the right to use reasonable force would be relevant. Here, the defendant was allowed to protect herself from her husband as she feared possible attack. Lavallee having being the victim and a battered woman, who had no duty under the law to retreat as she was not engaging in any illegal activity. This is because, the deceased had threatened to kill her after being physically abusive while she was in their room. This prompted the shooting as the deceased had taunted her and it was either him or her.

 

 According to the stand your ground laws, the force to be used is not limited to the use deadly force. In this case, Lavallee reasonably believe that it was necessary to prevent her death as well as any grievous bodily harm which was experienced from the physical abuse and the threat that the husband would killed her amounted to the event of commission of a forcible felony. 

 

First, the defendant was facing imminent death. This shows the actions that followed as the husband threatened to kill her even when she left. 

 

Second, there was the need to use deadly force. It was a matter of life and death and Lavallee acted within the realms of any reasonable person would have done while being faced with such circumstance. 

 

Third, she had no duty to retreat thereby justifying her actions. Therefore, according to stand your ground laws, regardless the circumstances that led to the death of the husband, Lavallee would have been within her legal limits to use it a self defense.

 

The castle doctrine has been known to apply to men as they are deemed to be protecting their homes and here, the courts determined using the reasonable test. This is because, stand your ground laws is viewed as chauvinistic.

Reference

Weibord N. (2018), Who's Afraid of the Lucky Moose? Canada's Dangerous Self-Defence Innovation. McGill Law Journal, Vol. 64(2): 349

https://lawjournal.mcgill.ca/article/whos-afraid-of-the-lucky-moose-canadas-dangerous-self-defence-innovation/