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Supreme Court of Canada ruling on when a fetus is a human being

Supreme Court of Canada ruling on when a fetus is a human being

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Published by William Wolfe-Wylie
The ruling dodges the abortion issue. Full text is here.
The ruling dodges the abortion issue. Full text is here.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: William Wolfe-Wylie on May 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/02/2013

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SUPREME COURT OF CANADAC
ITATION
:
R.
v.
Levkovic, 2013 SCC 25
D
ATE
:
20130503
D
OCKET
:
34229
B
ETWEEN
:Ivana Levkovic
Appellantand
Her Majesty The Queen
Respondent- and -
Attorney General of Canada and
Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Ontario
 
Interveners
C
ORAM
:
McLachlin C.J. and LeBel, Fish, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell andMoldaver JJ.
EASONS FOR 
J
UDGMENT
:
(paras. 1 to 81)Fish J. (McLachlin C.J. and LeBel, Abella, Rothstein,Cromwell and Moldaver JJ. concurring)
N
OTE
:
This document is subject to editorial revision before its reproduction in finalform in the
Canada Supreme Court Reports
.
 
 
.
 
v.
LEVKOVIC
 
Ivana Levkovic
Appellant 
 
v.
Her Majesty The Queen
Respondent 
 
and
Attorney General of Canada andCriminal Lawyers
Association of Ontario
Interveners
 Indexed as: R.
v.
Levkovic2013 SCC 25
File No.: 34229.2012: October 10; 2013: May 3.Present: McLachlin C.J. and LeBel, Fish, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell andMoldaver JJ.
ON APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR ONTARIO
 
 
 
Constitutional law
 — 
Charter of Rights
 — 
Right to liberty
 — 
Right to security of person
 — 
Fundamental justice
 — 
Vagueness
 — 
Criminal Code provision prohibiting disposing of dead body of child with intent to conceal its delivery whether child died before, during or after birth
 — 
Whether provision is impermissibly vaguein its application to child that died before birth
 — 
Whether provision infringes rightsto liberty and security of person
 — 
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 7 
 — 
 Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 243.Criminal Law
 — 
Offences
 — 
Concealing body of child 
 — 
Whether 
 phrase “child [that] died .
.
. before birth” satisfies requirement of certainty — 
Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 243.
While cleaning a recently vacated apartment, a building superintendentdiscovered on the balcony a bag containing the remains of a human baby. Accordingto t
he Crown, the remains were of a female delivered “at or near full term”. The
cause of death could not be determined and it was unknown whether there had been alive birth. The accused was charged under s. 243 of the
Criminal Code
withconcealing the dead body of a child. Before any evidence was called, she challengedthe constitutionality of s. 243 on the grounds that the section infringes her right toliberty and security under s. 7 of the
Charter 
. The trial judge concluded that theconcept of a child that died before birth is unconstitutionally vague because he couldnot identify the moment on the gestational spectrum when a fetus becomes the bodyof a child for the purpose of s. 243.
He severed the word “before” from s
. 243. The

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