The Duty of Trial Judges to Assist the Unrepresented Accused


In 1983, Ivan Henry represented himself at trial–ten counts of sexual assault involving eight women. Though the trial judge failed to discharge his duty of assistance in numerous ways, the B.C.C.A. said, in its 2010 decision substituting not guilty verdicts for the guilty ones, that (now deceased) Mr. Justice Bouck did not fail in that regard.

In this article, I contrast that decision with a recent case out of the Newfoundland Court of Appeal and argue, that as high a standard as that case requires, it is the right one for obstreperous accused like Ivan Henry.

Indeed, had the trial judge acted fairly, Henry would almost certainly have been spared 27 years in jail.

Advocate July 2012, Vol. 70 pg 537



    • Thanks so much for your comment.

      Best, Joan


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