The Quebec Court of Appeal rules on multiple language rights violations during criminal proceedings

The Quebec Court of Appeal found that there had been numerous language rights violations during joint criminal proceedings and ordered new trials.

In two joint bilingual trials, the Court found a multitude of language rights violations.

In Clohosy, the Court found that the trial judge had failed to consider the appropriateness of choosing simultaneous interpretation (rather than consecutive interpretation) and the impact it would have on the recording of the interpretation. The integrity of the recordings was found to be questionable, and part of the proceedings was found not to have been interpreted.

In Gagnon, the Court found that the language skills of the jury had resulted in a clear breach of the language rights of the accused under section 530 of the Criminal Code, which it said “seeks to provide the absolute right to be judged in one’s official language”. [translation]