The Jury is Out: The Controversy About Jury Trials Under the Alberta Securities Act
After reviewing the place of securities law enforcement within the Canadian court system, the author traces the Peers and Aitkens decisions from the Provincial Court to the Supreme Court and outlines how these cases dealt with the question of what penalties trigger the right to a jury trial under section 11(f) of the Charter. The author explains how section 11(f) impacts the division of powers by creating a constitutional cap on the prison sentences that are available for violations of provincial law. In light of stiff maximum penalties for violations of securities laws, the Peers and Aitkens decisions raise the question of whether there are constitutional reasons to continue to try regulatory offences by judge alone in provincially appointed courts.
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