March 10, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

I do not think I can agree with my hon. friend. I do not think we can apply ourselves to the problem of providing a criminal law for Canada upon the assumption that all the courts are incompetent and not fit to exercise discretion. Once that reasonable degree of judgment and wisdom is conceded to the courts, then surely it is not unreasonable, where there has been an indictable offence involving property that belongs, from the clear evidence before the court, to Mr. John Doe, for the court to make an order restoring that property to its rightful owner. Even though the accused, who has taken this property, may get off because the crown cannot prove the case against him beyond a reasonable doubt; yet if the court is satisfied that the property belongs to Mr. John Doe and that he is lawfully entitled to it then the court can, by order at that time in summary manner, give him his property and not leave him in the position where,

when some person has committed an offence in respect of property belonging to him, he is going to be put to considerable legal costs to get his own property back.

Topic:   '2862 HOUSE OF COMMONS
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