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R.

Christiano Daniel Justin Paice

Appellant

v.
Her Majesty The Queen

339

c. PAICE

Christiano Daniel Justin Paice

Appelant

c.
Respondent

and
Attorney General of Ontario

Sa Majest la Reine Intime


et

Intervener

Procureur gnral de lOntario

Intervenant

Indexed as: R. v. Paice

Rpertori : R. c. Paice

Neutral citation: 2005 SCC 22.

Rfrence neutre : 2005 CSC 22.

File No.: 30045.

No du greffe : 30045.

2004: December 15; 2005: April 22.

2004 : 15 dcembre; 2005 : 22 avril.

Present: Major, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella


and Charron JJ.

Prsents : Les juges Major, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps,


Fish, Abella et Charron.

ON APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR


SASKATCHEWAN

EN APPEL DE LA COUR DAPPEL DE LA


SASKATCHEWAN

Criminal law Defences Self-defence Assault


Consent Interpretation of Jobidon Deceased killed
by accused in st ght Whether ght consensual
Whether self-defence available to accused Criminal
Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 34.

Droit criminel Moyens de dfense Lgitime


dfense Voies de fait Consentement Interprtation de larrt Jobidon Victime tue par laccus lors
dune bagarre coups de poing tait-ce une bagarre
entre adversaires consentants? Laccus peut-il invoquer la lgitime dfense? Code criminel, L.R.C. 1985,
ch. C-46, art. 34.

Following a scufe inside a bar, the accused was challenged by the deceased to go outside and ght. Once there,
they exchanged threats, and the deceased pushed the
accused once or twice. The accused struck the deceased
on the jaw. The deceased fell backward, his head bouncing off the pavement. The accused then struck him two
more times on the head. The deceased died as a result
of his injuries and the accused was charged with manslaughter. The trial judge acquitted him on the ground
that, following the deceaseds pushing which constituted
an unlawful assault, the accused had acted in self-defence
within the scope of s. 34(1) of the Criminal Code. The
Court of Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new
trial.

la suite dune bousculade lintrieur dun bar, la


victime a mis laccus au d daller se battre dehors.
Une fois lextrieur, ils se sont profr des menaces,
et la victime a pouss laccus une ou peut-tre deux
reprises. Laccus a frapp la victime la mchoire. La
victime est tombe la renverse et sest heurt la tte sur
le pav. Laccus lui a alors assen deux autres coups
la tte. La victime est dcde des suites de ses blessures
et laccus a t inculp dhomicide involontaire coupable. Le juge du procs a acquitt laccus pour le motif
que, la suite de la pousse quil stait fait donner par
la victime et qui constituait une attaque illgale, il avait
agi en tat de lgitime dfense au sens du par. 34(1) du
Code criminel. La Cour dappel a annul lacquittement
et ordonn la tenue dun nouveau procs.

Held: The appeal should be dismissed. The order for


a new trial is conrmed.

Arrt : Le pourvoi est rejet. Lordonnance de nouveau procs est conrme.

Per Major, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Abella and


Charron JJ.: Self-defence under s. 34(1) of the Code is
not available to either combatant in a consensual st

Les juges Major, Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Abella


et Charron : La lgitime dfense prvue au par. 34(1)
du Code ne sapplique pas dans une bagarre coups

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

R. v. PAICE

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

ght. That the deceased had agreed to ght was not


a contentious issue at trial, but it is unclear from the
trial judges reasons whether he found, as a fact, that
the accused had also consented to the ght. A misinterpretation of the principles in Jobidon led the trial judge
into error in his analysis on self-defence. First, his conclusion that the deceaseds pushing of the accused was
an unlawful assault because it was without the consent of the accused was based on his legal conclusion that neither party could rely on the consent of the
other because each of them had entered the ght with
the intention to cause serious bodily harm to the other.
Under Jobidon, however, serious harm must be both
intended and caused for consent to be vitiated. Whether
the deceased intended to cause serious bodily harm, he
did not in fact do so. Because the trial judge based his
nding that the accused had been unlawfully assaulted
solely on the legal conclusion he had reached on the
issue of consent, he never inquired into whether the
accused had in fact consented to the ght. Second, the
trial judge did not address the question of provocation.
An accused can rely on s. 34(1) only if he was unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault.
It was not open to the Court of Appeal to determine the
issue of provocation and to conclude that the accused
could not be said to be the victim of an unprovoked
assault based on its own assessment of the evidence in
the absence of a denitive nding by the trial judge that
the accused consented to the ght. [4] [18-21]

de poing entre adversaires consentants. Au procs, personne na contest que la victime avait consenti se
bagarrer, mais les motifs du juge du procs nindiquent
pas clairement sil a tenu pour avr que laccus avait
galement consenti la bagarre. Le juge du procs a
mal interprt les principes tablis dans larrt Jobidon,
ce qui a eu pour effet de linduire en erreur dans son
analyse de la lgitime dfense. Premirement, sa conclusion que la pousse donne laccus par la victime
tait une attaque illgale parce quelle avait t donne
sans le consentement de laccus reposait sur sa
conclusion de droit quaucune partie ntait en mesure
dinvoquer le consentement de lautre partie parce quen
participant la bagarre elles avaient toutes les deux
eu lintention de siniger mutuellement des lsions
corporelles graves. Cependant, larrt Jobidon prcise
que, pour que le consentement soit vici, il faut que des
lsions graves aient t la fois voulues et causes. Peu
importe que la victime ait eu ou nait pas eu lintention de causer des lsions corporelles graves, en fait,
elle nen a pas caus. tant donn que sa conclusion que
laccus avait t attaqu illgalement reposait uniquement sur la conclusion de droit quil avait tire lgard
de la question du consentement, le juge du procs ne
sest jamais demand si laccus avait, en fait, consenti
la bagarre. Deuximement, le juge du procs na pas
abord la question de la provocation. Un accus ne peut
invoquer le par. 34(1) que sil a t illgalement attaqu
sans provocation de sa part . En labsence de conclusion dnitive du juge du procs voulant que laccus
ait consenti la bagarre, la Cour dappel ne pouvait pas
se fonder sur sa propre perception de la preuve pour
trancher la question de la provocation et pour conclure
quon ne pouvait pas dire que laccus avait t victime
dune attaque sans provocation de sa part. [4] [18-21]

Per Fish J.: The accuseds acquittal must be set aside


on the sole ground that the trial judge overlooked the
unprovoked assault requirement of s. 34(1) of the Code.
[31-32]

Le juge Fish : Il y a lieu dannuler lacquittement de


laccus du seul fait que le juge du procs na pas tenu
compte de lexigence du par. 34(1) du Code que lattaque
ait eu lieu sans provocation. [31-32]

Cases Cited

Jurisprudence

By Charron J.

Cite par la juge Charron

Applied: R. v. Jobidon, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 714;


distinguished: R. v. Yebes, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168; referred
to: Attorney Generals Reference (No. 6 of 1980), [1981]
2 All E.R. 1057; R. v. Squire (1975), 26 C.C.C. (2d) 219,
revd [1977] 2 S.C.R. 13.

Arrt appliqu : R. c. Jobidon, [1991] 2 R.C.S. 714;


distinction davec larrt : R. c. Yebes, [1987] 2 R.C.S.
168; arrts mentionns : Attorney Generals Reference
(No. 6 of 1980), [1981] 2 All E.R. 1057; R. c. Squire
(1975), 26 C.C.C. (2d) 219, inf. par [1977] 2 R.C.S. 13.

By Fish J.

Cite par le juge Fish

Referred to: R. v. Jobidon, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 714;


Attorney Generals Reference (No. 6 of 1980), [1981] 2
All E.R. 1057; R. v. Yebes, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168.

Arrts mentionns : R. c. Jobidon, [1991] 2 R.C.S.


714; Attorney Generals Reference (No. 6 of 1980),
[1981] 2 All E.R. 1057; R. c. Yebes, [1987] 2 R.C.S. 168.

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

340

R.

c. PAICE La juge Charron

341

Statutes and Regulations Cited

Lois et rglements cits

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, ss. 2 bodily


harm, 34, 35, 36, 222(5)(a), 265(1)(a), (2), (3), 267,
686(1)(a)(i).

Code criminel, L.R.C. 1985, ch. C-46, art. 2 lsions


corporelles , 34, 35, 36, 222(5)a), 265(1)a), (2), (3),
267, 686(1)a)(i).

Authors Cited

Doctrine cite

Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Edited by Katherine


Barber, 2nd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press,
2004, grievous.
Stuart, Don. Canadian Criminal Law: A Treatise, 4th
ed. Scarborough, Ont.: Carswell, 2001.

Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Edited by Katherine


Barber, 2nd ed. Toronto : Oxford University Press,
2004, grievous .
Stuart, Don. Canadian Criminal Law : A Treatise, 4th
ed. Scarborough, Ont. : Carswell, 2001.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Saskatchewan


Court of Appeal (Gerwing, Sherstobitoff and Jackson
JJ.A.), [2004] 5 W.W.R. 621, 238 Sask. R. 195, 305
W.A.C. 195, [2003] S.J. No. 590 (QL), 2003 SKCA
89, allowing the Crowns appeal against the acquittal of the accused on a manslaughter charge, and
ordering a new trial. Appeal dismissed.

POURVOI contre un arrt de la Cour dappel de


la Saskatchewan (les juges Gerwing, Sherstobitoff et
Jackson), [2004] 5 W.W.R. 621, 238 Sask. R. 195, 305
W.A.C. 195, [2003] S.J. No. 590 (QL), 2003 SKCA
89, qui a accueilli lappel du ministre public contre
lacquittement de laccus lgard dune accusation
dhomicide involontaire coupable, et qui a ordonn
un nouveau procs. Pourvoi rejet.

Aaron A. Fox, Q.C., and James N. Korpan, for


the appellant.

Aaron A. Fox, c.r., et James N. Korpan, pour lappelant.

W. Dean Sinclair, for the respondent.

W. Dean Sinclair, pour lintime.

Michael Bernstein and Gregory J. Tweney, for


the intervener.

Michael Bernstein et Gregory J. Tweney, pour


lintervenant.

The judgment of Major, Binnie, LeBel,


Deschamps, Abella and Charron JJ. was delivered
by

Version franaise du jugement des juges Major,


Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Abella et Charron rendu
par

Charron J.
I.

Overview

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

La juge Charron
I.

Aperu

This appeal is about self-defence in the context of


what was alleged to have been a consensual st ght.
Clinton Bauck died as a result of injuries suffered
during the ght. The appellant, Christiano Daniel
Justin Paice, was charged with manslaughter contrary to s. 222(5)(a) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C.
1985, c. C-46. By way of defence, he sought to rely
on the deceaseds consent to the ght. Alternatively,
he claimed that he had acted in self-defence.

Le prsent pourvoi porte sur la lgitime dfense


dans le contexte de ce qui aurait t une bagarre
coups de poing entre adversaires consentants.
Clinton Bauck est dcd des suites de blessures
subies pendant cette bagarre. Lappelant, Christiano
Daniel Justin Paice, a t accus dhomicide involontaire coupable en vertu de lal. 222(5)a) du Code
criminel, L.R.C. 1985, ch. C-46. Il a tent de se
dfendre en invoquant le consentement de la victime
la bagarre. Subsidiairement, il a plaid la lgitime
dfense.

The trial judge rejected Mr. Paices rst contention based on the principle set out in R. v. Jobidon,

Le juge du procs a rejet le premier argument de


M. Paice en se fondant sur le principe nonc dans

R. v. PAICE

Charron J.

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

[1991] 2 S.C.R. 714. He held that neither Mr. Paice


nor Mr. Bauck could rely on the consent of the other
to negate a nding of assault because each had
intended to cause bodily harm and, in fact, serious
harm did occur. The trial judge, however, accepted
Mr. Paices alternative argument and acquitted him
on the ground that he had acted in self-defence
within the scope of s. 34(1) of the Criminal Code.
In essence, he found that Mr. Paice had repelled Mr.
Baucks unlawful assault with no more force than
necessary.

larrt R. c. Jobidon, [1991] 2 R.C.S. 714. Il a conclu


que ni M. Paice ni M. Bauck ne pouvait invoquer
le consentement de lautre pour repousser la conclusion quune attaque avait eu lieu, tant donn quils
avaient tous les deux eu lintention de causer des
lsions corporelles et que des lsions graves avaient,
en fait, t causes. Le juge du procs a toutefois
retenu largument subsidiaire de M. Paice et la
acquitt pour le motif quil avait agi en tat de lgitime dfense au sens du par. 34(1) du Code criminel.
Il a considr essentiellement que M. Paice navait
employ que la force ncessaire pour repousser lattaque illgale de M. Bauck.

On appeal by the Crown, the Court of Appeal


for Saskatchewan held that self-defence under s.
34(1) of the Criminal Code was not open to Mr.
Paice because, in its view, the evidence could only
support a nding that he had provoked the assault
and that, in repelling it, he had intended to cause
grievous bodily harm. However, based on the ndings of fact made by the trial judge, the court concluded that it could not make sufcient determinations to negate the application of self-defence
under s. 34(2) or s. 35. Consequently, the Court of
Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new
trial, emphasizing that the new trial judge would
not be constrained by its comments on the rst
trial judges ndings of fact: (2003), 238 Sask. R.
195, 2003 SKCA 89.

Lors de lappel interjet par le ministre public,


la Cour dappel de la Saskatchewan a dcid que M.
Paice ne pouvait pas invoquer la lgitime dfense
prvue au par. 34(1) du Code criminel, parce qu
son avis la preuve tait uniquement susceptible
dtayer une conclusion quil avait provoqu lattaque et quen la repoussant il avait eu lintention de
causer des lsions corporelles graves. Cependant,
la cour a estim que, compte tenu des conclusions
de fait du juge du procs, elle ntait pas en mesure
de tirer elle-mme des conclusions sufsantes
pour carter lapplication de la lgitime dfense
prvue au par. 34(2) ou lart. 35. La Cour dappel
a donc annul lacquittement et ordonn la tenue
dun nouveau procs, en soulignant que le nouveau
juge du procs ne serait pas li par ses commentaires relatifs aux conclusions de fait du premier
juge du procs : (2003), 238 Sask. R. 195, 2003
SKCA 89.

I would dismiss the appeal, although for different reasons than the Court of Appeal. I agree
with the conclusion of the Court of Appeal that
self-defence under s. 34(1) is not available to either
combatant in a consensual st ght because neither
could be heard to say that he has been the innocent victim of an unprovoked assault when he has
consented to the ght. However, as I will explain,
it is unclear from the reasons of the trial judge
whether he found as a fact that this was a consensual ght. The fact that Mr. Bauck had agreed to
ght was not a contentious issue at trial and the
trial judge correctly held that Mr. Paice could
not rely on that consent in defence to a charge of

Je suis davis de rejeter le pourvoi, quoique pour


des motifs diffrents de ceux de la Cour dappel.
Je partage la conclusion de la Cour dappel selon
laquelle, dans une bagarre coups de poing entre
adversaires consentants, la lgitime dfense prvue
au par. 34(1) ne sapplique pas tant donn quen
raison de son consentement la bagarre aucun des
adversaires ne peut prtendre avoir t la victime
innocente dune attaque quil na pas provoque.
Cependant, comme je vais lexpliquer, les motifs
du juge du procs nindiquent pas clairement sil
a tenu pour avr que la bagarre avait oppos des
adversaires consentants. Au procs, personne
na contest que M. Bauck avait consenti se

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

342

R.

c. PAICE La juge Charron

343
2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

manslaughter. What is not clear from the reasons


is whether the trial judge found that Mr. Paice had
also consented to the ght. If Mr. Paice consented
to the ght, he could not claim to have acted in
self-defence within the scope of s. 34(1), although
other provisions may have to be considered. If, on
the other hand, Mr. Bauck was the sole aggressor,
self-defence under s. 34(1) could not be ruled out.
These are all matters that will have to be determined on the new trial.

bagarrer, et le juge du procs a eu raison de conclure que M. Paice ne pouvait pas invoquer ce consentement pour repousser une accusation dhomicide involontaire coupable. Les motifs nindiquent
pas clairement si le juge du procs est arriv la
conclusion que M. Paice avait galement consenti
la bagarre. Le cas chant, M. Paice ne pourrait pas invoquer la lgitime dfense prvue au par.
34(1), bien quil puisse se rvler ncessaire de
tenir compte dautres dispositions. Par contre, la
lgitime dfense prvue au par. 34(1) ne pourrait
pas tre carte si M. Bauck tait lunique agresseur. Ce sont l des questions qui devront toutes
tre tranches dans le cadre du nouveau procs.

II. The Evidence at Trial

II. La preuve prsente au procs

On May 25, 2001, the appellant, Mr. Paice,


and some friends attended a bar in Moose Jaw,
Saskatchewan, to celebrate a birthday. At some point
in the evening, one of Mr. Paices friends became
involved in a dispute with a friend of the deceased,
Mr. Bauck, over a game of pool. Upon noticing the
scufe, Mr. Paice left his seat at the bar and intervened, separating the combatants. In his words,
there wasnt going to be a ght. Several employees of the bar also intervened to prevent further disruption, advising the parties that ghting was not
allowed and if they intended to ght they should
take it outside.

Le 25 mai 2001, lappelant M. Paice et des


amis se sont rendus dans un bar Moose Jaw, en
Saskatchewan, pour y clbrer un anniversaire de
naissance. un moment donn au cours de la soire,
lun des amis de M. Paice a commenc se quereller avec un ami de la victime, M. Bauck, au sujet
dune partie de billard. Ds quil eut pris connaissance de la bousculade, M. Paice a quitt le tabouret
quil occupait au bar pour aller sparer les adversaires. Pour reprendre ses propos, [TRADUCTION]
il ntait pas question de se bagarrer . Plusieurs
employs du bar sont galement intervenus pour
empcher toute autre altercation, prvenant les parties que les bagarres taient interdites et quelles
devraient [TRADUCTION] aller dehors si elles
voulaient se battre.

According to Mr. Paice, as he returned to his seat


he was approached by Mr. Bauck and asked do
you want to go outside to ght? Mr. Paice could
not recall whether or not he specically answered
the question; nevertheless he did subsequently go
outside. Once outside, Mr. Paice and Mr. Bauck
squared off, exchanging threats. Mr. Bauck then
pushed the accused once, perhaps twice, causing
Mr. Paice to go back several steps. Mr. Paice, now
in close proximity to Mr. Bauck, swung hard with
his right elbow, striking Mr. Bauck on the left side
of his jaw. Mr. Bauck immediately fell backward
onto the pavement. He did not appear to cushion
his fall and his head seemed to bounce off the

Selon M. Paice, au moment o il regagnait sa


place au bar, M. Bauck sest approch de lui et
lui a demand [TRADUCTION] veux-tu aller te
battre dehors? M. Paice ne se rappelait pas sil
avait rpondu cette question, mais il sest nanmoins rendu dehors par la suite. Une fois lextrieur, MM. Paice et Bauck, qui taient debout face
face, se sont profr des menaces. M. Bauck a
ensuite, une ou peut-tre deux reprises, pouss
laccus M. Paice sufsamment pour le faire reculer de plusieurs pas. Ce dernier, qui tait alors prs
de M. Bauck, lui a assen un violent coup de coude
droit qui la atteint au ct gauche de la mchoire.
M. Bauck est immdiatement tomb la renverse

R. v. PAICE

Charron J.

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

pavement. It appeared to most of the witnesses that


Mr. Bauck was knocked out by this rst blow.

sur le pav. Il na visiblement pas amorti sa chute


et sa tte a sembl rebondir sur le pav. Il a sembl
la plupart des tmoins que ce premier coup avait
mis M. Bauck hors de combat.

Mr. Paice then straddled the prostrate Mr. Bauck,


striking him two more times, the third blow being of
a glancing nature. Mr. Paice was then pulled off Mr.
Bauck, but he continued to rant at the victim, swearing and asking if he wanted more. Some time later,
Mr. Bauck died as a result of his injuries.

M. Paice sest ensuite mis califourchon sur


M. Bauck, qui gisait sur le sol, et lui a assen deux
autres coups, le troisime coup layant plutt efeur.
Aprs avoir t spar de M. Bauck, M. Paice a
continu gueuler contre la victime, lanant des
jurons et lui demandant sil en voulait plus. Quelque
temps aprs, M. Bauck est dcd des suites de ses
blessures.

III. Analysis

III. Analyse

The trial judge correctly instructed himself on


the constituent elements of the offence of manslaughter. Manslaughter is culpable homicide and,
under s. 222(5)(a) of the Criminal Code, it is committed when a person causes the death of a human
being by means of an unlawful act. In this case, the
alleged unlawful act is assault. Under s. 265(1)(a), a
person commits an assault when, without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally
to that other person, directly or indirectly. Section
265(2) expressly provides that this section applies
to all forms of assault, including . . . causing bodily
harm. Section 265(3) further provides that no consent is obtained in certain circumstances, none of
which applies here.

Le juge du procs sest rappel correctement


les lments constitutifs de linfraction dhomicide involontaire coupable. Lhomicide involontaire coupable est un homicide coupable qui, aux
termes de lal. 222(5)a) du Code criminel, est
commis lorsquune personne cause la mort dun
tre humain [. . .] au moyen dun acte illgal . En
lespce, des voies de fait constituent lacte illgal
reproch. Suivant lal. 265(1)a), commet des voies
de fait, ou se livre une attaque ou une agression,
quiconque, dune manire intentionnelle, emploie
la force, directement ou indirectement, contre une
autre personne sans son consentement . Le paragraphe 265(2) prvoit expressment que cet article sapplique toutes les espces de voies de fait,
y compris [. . .] [l]iniction de lsions corporelles . Le paragraphe 265(3) ajoute quil y a
absence de consentement dans certaines circonstances dont il nest pas question en lespce.

As noted earlier, Mr. Paice sought to rely on


Mr. Baucks consent to the ght to escape criminal
responsibility. He argued that if Mr. Bauck consented to the application of force, then his actions
in the course of the ght would not constitute an
assault within the meaning of the Criminal Code.
Therefore, Mr. Paices actions, being lawful by
denition, would not trigger the manslaughter provision. That Mr. Bauck consented to go ght in the
parking lot was not a contentious issue at trial. The
legal question that arose was whether Mr. Paice

Comme nous lavons vu, M. Paice a tent dinvoquer le consentement de M. Bauck la bagarre
pour chapper la responsabilit criminelle. Il a
fait valoir que les actes quil a accomplis pendant
la bagarre ne constitueraient pas des voies de fait
au sens du Code criminel, si M. Bauck avait consenti lemploi de la force. Par consquent, du fait
quils seraient lgaux par dnition, les actes de M.
Paice ne seraient pas viss par la disposition relative lhomicide involontaire coupable. Au procs,
personne na contest que M. Bauck avait consenti

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

344

R.

c. PAICE La juge Charron

345

could effectively rely on that consent in answer to


a charge of manslaughter.

aller se bagarrer dans le stationnement. La question


de droit qui se posait tait de savoir si M. Paice pouvait, en fait, invoquer ce consentement pour repousser une accusation dhomicide involontaire coupable.

Consent, as it applies to an assault in Canada,


involves more than a factual nding that the parties agreed to ght. In Jobidon, for policy reasons
and on the basis of common law principles, this
Court set a limit on the legal effectiveness of consent in cases of consensual st ghts between adults.
Jobidon marked a signicant development in the
law of assault. Writing for the majority, Gonthier
J. meticulously surveyed the English common law,
Canadian jurisprudence and relevant policy considerations before crafting an appropriate restraint on
the effect of a consent to a st ght between two
adults. The test is essentially an adaptation of the
English approach, mindful of the application of the
Criminal Code.

La preuve du consentement en matire de voies


de fait au Canada requiert davantage quune conclusion de fait que les parties ont accept de se
bagarrer. Dans larrt Jobidon, notre Cour a invoqu des raisons de politique gnrale et des principes de common law pour restreindre leffet juridique du consentement dans le cas des bagarres
coups de poing entre adultes consentants. Larrt
Jobidon marque une volution importante du droit
en matire de voies de fait. Sexprimant au nom de la
Cour la majorit, le juge Gonthier a examin attentivement la common law dAngleterre, la jurisprudence canadienne et les considrations de politique
gnrale pertinentes pour restreindre, de manire
approprie, leffet du consentement une bagarre
coups de poing entre deux adultes. Le critre reprsente essentiellement une adaptation de lapproche
anglaise, qui tient compte de lapplication du Code
criminel.

10

In dealing with the issue of consent, the trial


judge reviewed Jobidon and relied expressly on the
following excerpt from the decision of the English
Court of Appeal in Attorney Generals Reference
(No. 6 of 1980), [1981] 2 All E.R. 1057, at p. 1059:

En ce qui concerne la question du consentement,


le juge du procs a examin larrt Jobidon et sest
fond expressment sur lextrait suivant de larrt
de la Cour dappel dAngleterre Attorney Generals
Reference (No. 6 of 1980), [1981] 2 All E.R. 1057,
p. 1059 :

11

. . . it is not in the public interest that people should try to


cause or should cause each other actual bodily harm for
no good reason. Minor struggles are another matter. So,
in our judgment, it is immaterial whether the act occurs
in private or in public; it is an assault if actual bodily
harm is intended and/or caused. This means that most
ghts will be unlawful regardless of consent. [Emphasis
added.]

[TRADUCTION] . . . il nest pas dans lintrt public que


les gens sinigent ou tentent de siniger mutuellement de vritables lsions corporelles sans raison valable. Les accrochages sont autre chose. notre avis, il
importe donc peu de savoir si lacte a t commis en
public ou en priv; il y a voies de fait lorsquil y a lintention ou le fait de causer de vritables lsions corporelles,
ou les deux. Cela veut dire que la plupart des bagarres
sont illgales, indpendamment du consentement. [Je
souligne.]

However, the trial judge did not refer to the fact that
this Court in Jobidon held that it was not open in
Canada to adopt the English position without modication. The Court referred to the above-noted passage in the Attorney Generals Reference case and
stated, at p. 760:

Toutefois, le juge du procs na pas mentionn le fait


que, dans larrt Jobidon, notre Cour a statu que le
Canada ne pouvait pas adopter la position anglaise
sans la modier. Aprs avoir mentionn lextrait prcit de larrt Attorney Generals Reference, la Cour
a afrm, la p. 760 :

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

R. v. PAICE

Charron J.

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

Attorney Generals Reference makes it clear that a


conviction of assault will not be barred if bodily harm is
intended and/or caused. Since this test is framed in the
alternative, consent could be nullied even in situations
where the assailant did not intend to cause the injured
person bodily harm but did so inadvertently. In Canada,
however, this very broad formulation cannot strictly
apply, since the denition of assault in s. 265 is explicitly restricted to intentional application of force. Any test
in our law which incorporated the English perspective
would of necessity have to conne itself to bodily harm
intended and caused. [Emphasis in original.]

Laffaire Attorney Generals Reference montre clairement quon nempchera pas une dclaration de culpabilit de voies de fait sil y a [TRADUCTION] lintention
ou le fait de causer des lsions corporelles, ou les deux .
tant donn que ce critre est prsent comme une alternative, le consentement pourrait tre invalid mme dans
le cas o lassaillant navait pas lintention de causer
des lsions corporelles, mais la fait par inadvertance.
Toutefois, au Canada, cette formulation trs gnrale
ne saurait sappliquer tel quel, tant donn que la dnition des voies de fait gurant lart. 265 est expressment limite lutilisation intentionnelle de la force.
Tout critre, dans notre droit, qui incorpore la conception
anglaise doit ncessairement se limiter aux lsions corporelles voulues et causes. [Soulign dans loriginal.]

12

Indeed, if the test were otherwise and a conviction possible if bodily harm were either intended
or caused, the result would be to criminalize
numerous activities that were never intended by
Parliament to come within the ambit of the assault
provisions and would go beyond the policy considerations identied in Jobidon. For example, if
causation alone sufced, a person who agreed to
engage in a playful wrestling match with another
could end up being criminally responsible if,
even by accident, he caused serious bodily harm
to the other during the course of play. This Court
in Jobidon was very mindful not to overextend
the application of the principle to like situations.
Conversely, the intention to cause serious bodily
harm alone cannot serve to negate the other persons consent to the application of force if, in fact,
no bodily harm is caused. The activity, a consensual application of force that causes no serious
bodily harm, would fall within the scope of the
consent and not in any way fall within the Code
denition of assault. Yet, it would be criminalized by judicial at. In my view, this would constitute an unwarranted extension of the principle in
Jobidon.

En effet, sil en tait autrement et quil tait possible de prononcer une dclaration de culpabilit
dans le cas o des lsions corporelles ont t soit
voulues soit causes, cela aurait pour effet de criminaliser de nombreuses activits que le lgislateur na jamais voulu assujettir aux dispositions en
matire de voies de fait, en plus daller au-del des
considrations de politique gnrale dcrites dans
larrt Jobidon. Par exemple, si le lien de causalit
sufsait lui seul, une personne qui accepterait
de lutter avec quelquun pour plaisanter pourrait
tre tenue criminellement responsable si, pendant
cette activit, elle causait, mme accidentellement,
des lsions corporelles graves son adversaire.
Dans larrt Jobidon, notre Cour sest bien garde
dtendre dmesurment lapplication de ce principe des situations semblables. linverse, lintention de causer des lsions corporelles graves ne
peut pas, elle seule, tre invoque pour annuler
le consentement de lautre personne lemploi de
la force si, en fait, aucune lsion corporelle nest
cause. Lactivit, savoir lemploi consensuel
de la force qui ne cause aucune lsion corporelle
grave, serait vise par le consentement, mais aucunement par la dnition des voies de fait contenue
dans le Code. Pourtant, elle serait criminalise par
dcision judiciaire. mon avis, ce serait l une
extension injustie de lapplication du principe de
larrt Jobidon.

13

With respect, I am of the view that the limits of


the principle in Jobidon were not understood by the
trial judge. After referring to the Attorney Generals
Reference case, the trial judge went on to explain

En toute dfrence, jestime que le juge du


procs na pas saisi les limites du principe de larrt
Jobidon. Aprs avoir mentionn laffaire Attorney
Generals Reference, le juge du procs a expliqu sa

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

346

R.

c. PAICE La juge Charron

347

his understanding of the principle in Jobidon and to


apply it to this case. He stated the following:

comprhension du principe de larrt Jobidon et


la applique la prsente affaire. Voici ce quil a
dit :

What Jobidon, then, has developed is an understanding that no combatant in a ght can consent to another
person causing him or her serious bodily harm or nontrivial harm. Resultantly, as was indicated numerous
times throughout the Jobidon decision, there will only
exist very rare situations where a stght, even though
agreed to by both parties, will not be considered as an
assault due to the presence of intended or actual harming
of either of the combatants.

[TRADUCTION] Larrt Jobidon a donc tabli que la personne qui participe une bagarre ne saurait consentir
ce quune autre personne lui cause des lsions corporelles graves ou non ngligeables. En consquence,
comme la Cour la indiqu maintes reprises dans larrt Jobidon, il arrivera trs rarement que les bagarres
coups de poing, mme entre adversaires consentants,
ne seront pas considres comme une attaque cause
des lsions voulues ou relles subies par lun ou lautre
adversaire.

Applying the reasoning in Jobidon to the present case,


I have found, just as the trial judge did in Jobidon, that
both combatants to this ght intended to cause the other
bodily harm that was serious and not trivial, and that,
in fact, serious harm did occur. On that basis, I nd that
neither combatant was able to consent to the stght.

Aprs avoir appliqu la prsente affaire le raisonnement suivi dans larrt Jobidon, jai conclu, comme la
fait le juge du procs dans Jobidon, que les deux adversaires qui se sont bagarrs avaient lintention de siniger
mutuellement des lsions corporelles graves et non ngligeables, et quen fait des lsions graves ont t iniges.
Pour ce motif, je conclus que ni lun ni lautre adversaire
ntait en mesure de consentir la bagarre coups de
poing.

In coming to this conclusion, I am reminded that the


accused testied that the deceased warned that he was
going to beat up the accused, kick his ass, or break
him up, and that similarly, the accused intended to hit
the deceased so that he would either retreat or give up,
and that he would do so to get the upper hand in the
ght. The iniction of bodily harm of a non-trivial
nature was, in my nding, certainly intended by both of
these combatants. [Emphasis added.]

En tirant cette conclusion, jai lesprit que laccus a tmoign que la victime la prvenu quelle allait
le passer tabac , lui botter le derrire ou le
dmolir , et que, de la mme manire, laccus avait
lintention de frapper la victime pour quelle senfuie
ou abandonne la partie , et quil le ferait pour gagner
la bagarre . Jestime que ces deux adversaires avaient
srement lintention diniger des lsions corporelles
non ngligeables. [Je souligne.]

It is apparent from his reasons that the trial judge


was of the view that the consent to a st ght would
be nullied by either an intention to cause serious
bodily harm or an actual causing of such harm. The
trial judges misinterpretation of Jobidon is of no
consequence to his conclusion that Mr. Paice could
not rely on the deceaseds consent in defence to the
charge because the trial judge found that Mr. Paice
both intended to cause serious bodily harm and, in
fact, caused it. Hence, Mr. Paice could not argue that
he had not committed the unlawful act of assault and
his rst defence failed. However, the trial judges
overextension of the principle in Jobidon led him
into error in his subsequent consideration of the elements of self-defence.

Les motifs du juge du procs montrent quil considrait que lintention de causer des lsions corporelles graves ou le fait de causer de telles lsions
annulait le consentement une bagarre coups
de poing. La faon errone dont le juge du procs
a interprt larrt Jobidon na aucun effet sur sa
conclusion que M. Paice ne pouvait pas invoquer le
consentement de la victime pour repousser laccusation porte contre lui, tant donn quil a dcid que
M. Paice avait eu lintention de causer des lsions
corporelles graves et quen fait il en avait caus. M.
Paice ne pouvait donc pas nier quil stait livr
une attaque illgale et il ny avait donc pas lieu de
retenir son premier moyen de dfense. Toutefois,
lextension dmesure de lapplication du principe
de larrt Jobidon a eu pour effet dinduire le juge
du procs en erreur dans son examen subsquent des
lments de la lgitime dfense.

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

14

15

16

17

R. v. PAICE

Charron J.

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

After rejecting the defence of consent, the trial


judge turned his attention to Mr. Paices alternative
argument that he had acted in self-defence. Section
34(1) of the Criminal Code was the sole provision
considered by the trial judge. It reads as follows:

Aprs avoir rejet le moyen de dfense fond sur


le consentement, le juge du procs a tudi largument subsidiaire de M. Paice voulant quil ait agi
en tat de lgitime dfense. Le paragraphe 34(1) du
Code criminel est la seule disposition examine par
le juge du procs. En voici le texte :

34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without


having provoked the assault is justied in repelling force
by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death
or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary
to enable him to defend himself.

34. (1) Toute personne illgalement attaque sans provocation de sa part est fonde employer la force qui est
ncessaire pour repousser lattaque si, en ce faisant, elle
na pas lintention de causer la mort ni des lsions corporelles graves.

For Mr. Paice to successfully argue self-defence


under s. 34(1), it must rst be found that he was
unlawfully assaulted by Mr. Bauck.

Il faut dabord conclure que M. Paice a t attaqu


illgalement par M. Bauck pour que son argument
de la lgitime dfense prvue au par. 34(1) puisse
tre retenu.

The trial judge concluded that Mr. Baucks


actions met the s. 265 requirements for assault.
The Crown contended that Mr. Baucks push of Mr.
Paice was not an unlawful assault because, following the principles of Jobidon, Mr. Paice had consented to the application of force and no bodily harm
was occasioned by the push. The trial judge rejected
the Crowns position and was of the view that there
could be no consent to the application of force unless
both persons agreed or understood in advance that
the anticipated bodily harm would remain within
the bounds established in Jobidon. His reasons for
concluding that Mr. Bauck had unlawfully assaulted
Mr. Paice were the following:

Le juge du procs a dcid que les actes de M.


Bauck [TRADUCTION] remplissaient les conditions
xes par lart. 265 pour quil y ait voies de fait, attaque ou agression . Le ministre public a soutenu
que la pousse que M. Bauck a donne M. Paice
ntait pas une attaque illgale du fait que, selon les
principes de larrt Jobidon, M. Paice avait consenti
lemploi de la force et que la pousse navait caus
aucune lsion corporelle. Le juge du procs a rejet
le point de vue du ministre public, estimant quil
ne saurait y avoir de consentement lemploi de la
force moins que les deux personnes naient pralablement accept et compris que les lsions corporelles anticipes respecteraient les limites tablies
dans larrt Jobidon. Ses raisons de conclure que M.
Bauck avait attaqu illgalement M. Paice taient les
suivantes :

Having dealt with the issue of consent and concluded


that it was not applicable, I am left with a situation where
the deceased, without the consent of the accused, intentionally and directly applied force to the accused by
pushing him backwards with open hands with sufcient
force to knock him back several steps. The issue then
turns on how to characterize the accuseds reaction to the
aggressors actions. [Emphasis added.]

[TRADUCTION] Aprs avoir examin la question du


consentement et avoir conclu quelle ne se posait pas,
je suis confront une situation o la victime a, dune
manire intentionnelle, employ la force directement
contre laccus sans son consentement, en le poussant
avec les mains ouvertes avec sufsamment de force pour
lui faire perdre lquilibre et le faire reculer de plusieurs
pas. Il faut alors se demander comment la raction de
laccus aux actes de lagresseur doit tre qualie. [Je
souligne.]

The trial judge then held that the accuseds reaction to the assault was justied under s. 34(1) of the
Criminal Code. He concluded that a closed st punch
to the head or an elbow to the head from a man of

Le juge du procs a ensuite dcid que la raction


de laccus lattaque tait justie eu gard au par.
34(1) du Code criminel. Il a conclu que le coup quun
homme de stature et dge lgrement moindres que

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

348

R.

c. PAICE La juge Charron

349
2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

slightly less stature and age than his aggressor was


within the threshold of force permitted by s. 34(1)
and, in this case, was not intended to cause death
or grievous bodily harm. He viewed the subsequent
blows as part of one single transaction because there
was no signicant time interval between the rst
and last blows thrown.

ceux de son agresseur avait port la tte de ce dernier, avec un poing ferm ou avec le coude, respectait la norme de force autorise par le par. 34(1), et
quen lespce ce coup ntait pas cens causer la
mort ou des lsions corporelles graves. Il a considr que les coups ports subsquemment faisaient
partie dune seule opration parce quaucun laps de
temps important ne stait coul entre le premier et
le dernier coup.

Two errors emerge from the trial judges analysis


on self-defence. First, his conclusion that Mr. Baucks
pushing of Mr. Paice was an unlawful assault
because it was without the consent of the accused
was based on his legal conclusion that neither party
could rely on the consent of the other because they
each had entered the ght with the intention to cause
serious bodily harm to the other. This conclusion
stems from the trial judges misinterpretation of the
principle in Jobidon. Jobidon requires serious harm
both intended and caused for consent to be vitiated.
Whether or not Mr. Bauck intended to cause serious bodily harm to Mr. Paice, he did not in fact do
so. Had the ght been interrupted after the initial
push, Mr. Bauck would have been entitled to rely on
Mr. Paices consent, assuming he did in fact consent,
in answer to a charge of assault. Likewise, had Mr.
Paices reaction to the push not resulted in any serious bodily harm, he would not have been guilty of
assault. As technical as it may appear, s. 34(1), by
its terms, requires this step-by-step analysis of what
transpired in the parking lot.

Deux erreurs se dgagent de lanalyse de la


lgitime dfense effectue par le juge du procs.
Premirement, sa conclusion que la pousse donne
M. Paice par M. Bauck tait une attaque illgale
parce quelle avait t donne [TRADUCTION] sans
le consentement de laccus reposait sur sa conclusion de droit quaucune partie ntait en mesure dinvoquer le consentement de lautre partie parce quen
participant la bagarre elles avaient toutes les deux
eu lintention de siniger mutuellement des lsions
corporelles graves. Cette conclusion rsulte de la
faon errone dont le juge du procs a interprt le
principe tabli dans larrt Jobidon. Larrt Jobidon
prcise que, pour que le consentement soit vici, il
faut que des lsions graves aient t la fois voulues et causes. Peu importe que M. Bauck ait eu ou
nait pas eu lintention de causer des lsions corporelles graves M. Paice, en fait, il nen a pas caus.
Si la bagarre avait cess aprs la pousse initiale, M.
Bauck aurait eu le droit dinvoquer le consentement
de M. Paice supposer que celui-ci ait effectivement consenti pour repousser une accusation
de voies de fait. De mme, M. Paice ne se serait pas
rendu coupable de voies de fait si sa raction la
pousse quil stait fait donner ne stait pas solde
par des lsions corporelles graves. Aussi technique
quil puisse paratre, le par. 34(1) requiert, de par sa
formulation, cette analyse progressive de ce qui sest
pass dans le stationnement.

18

Because the trial judge based his nding on


this initial question of whether Mr. Paice had been
unlawfully assaulted solely on the legal conclusion
he had reached on the issue of consent, he never
inquired into whether Mr. Paice had in fact consented to the ght. The following aspects of his reasons cause me to question whether the trial judge
ever came to a conclusion on this issue. At one point

tant donn que sa conclusion sur la question initiale de savoir si M. Paice avait t attaqu illgalement reposait uniquement sur la conclusion de droit
quil avait tire lgard de la question du consentement, le juge du procs ne sest jamais demand
si M. Paice avait, en fait, consenti la bagarre.
Les aspects suivants de ses motifs mincitent me
demander si le juge du procs a jamais tir une

19

R. v. PAICE

Charron J.

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

in his reasons for judgment, the trial judge stated


that [a]part from the above nding [his nding that
neither party was capable of consenting to the ght],
there is no dispute that it was the deceased who was
the aggressor, vis--vis, the accused throughout the
incident. Further, his ndings of fact as to what
transpired in the bar before the parties stepped outside to ght are rather inconclusive on the question
of Mr. Paices consent, if any. Mr. Paices actual consent is, of course, crucial to the unlawfulness of Mr.
Baucks push. However, as stated above, by starting
with a legal conclusion determinative of the issue,
the question of Mr. Paices consent never received
the attention it demanded.

conclusion ce propos. un endroit de ses motifs de


jugement, il afrme que [TRADUCTION] [o]utre la
conclusion qui prcde [sa conclusion quaucune des
parties ntait en mesure de consentir la bagarre],
personne ne conteste que, par rapport laccus, cest
la victime qui a t lagresseur tout le long de lpisode. De plus, ses conclusions de fait sur ce qui
sest pass dans le bar avant que les parties aillent se
battre lextrieur ne sont pas vraiment dterminantes en ce qui concerne la question du consentement
de M. Paice, supposer quil ait consenti. Il va sans
dire que le consentement vritable de M. Paice est
crucial pour dterminer si la pousse donne par M.
Bauck tait illgale. Toutefois, comme nous lavons
vu, en commenant par tirer une conclusion de droit
dterminante cet gard, le juge na jamais accord
lattention requise la question du consentement de
M. Paice.

20

The second error in the trial judges analysis


on the s. 34(1) self-defence is the following. The
trial judge did not address the question of provocation. An accused can only rely on s. 34(1) if he was
unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the
assault. Under s. 36 of the Criminal Code, provocation includes provocation by blows, words or gestures. The defence of self-defence under s. 34(1)
is expansive and allows a person to repel force by
force as is necessary to enable him to defend himself
without the necessity of the apprehension of death or
grievous bodily harm. So long as the force used is
not itself intended to cause death or grievous bodily
harm, the conduct will be justied. Section 34(1)
is only available where the accused is an innocent
victim who has been assaulted without having provoked the assault. Where a person willingly engages
in mutual combat, he cannot later say that he did
not provoke the assault: see R. v. Squire (1975), 26
C.C.C. (2d) 219 (Ont. C.A.), per Martin J.A., revd
on other grounds, [1977] 2 S.C.R. 13. Again, the
question of provocation, on the facts of this case, is
largely dependent on whether Mr. Paice consented
to the ght.

La deuxime erreur que le juge du procs a commise en analysant la lgitime dfense prvue au par.
34(1) est la suivante : il na pas abord la question
de la provocation. Un accus ne peut invoquer le
par. 34(1) que sil a t illgalement attaqu sans
provocation de sa part . Aux termes de lart. 36
du Code criminel, la provocation comprend celle
faite par des coups, des paroles ou des gestes . La
lgitime dfense prvue au par. 34(1) a un sens large
et permet la personne attaque demployer la force
ncessaire pour se dfendre, sans quaucune crainte
pralable de mourir ou de subir des lsions corporelles graves soit ncessaire. La conduite adopte est
justie dans la mesure o la force employe na pas
pour but de causer la mort ou des lsions corporelles
graves. Le paragraphe 34(1) ne peut tre invoqu
que dans le cas o laccus est une victime innocente qui a t attaque sans provocation de sa part.
La personne qui dcide de participer un change
de coups ne peut pas, par la suite, afrmer quelle
na pas provoqu lattaque : voir R. c. Squire (1975),
26 C.C.C. (2d) 219 (C.A. Ont.), le juge Martin, inf.
pour dautres motifs, [1977] 2 R.C.S. 13. L encore,
daprs les faits de la prsente affaire, la question de
la provocation dpend largement de la question de
savoir si M. Paice a consenti la bagarre.

21

The Court of Appeal held that s. 34(1) was not


available to Mr. Paice based, not on the trial judges

La conclusion de la Cour dappel selon laquelle


M. Paice ne pouvait pas invoquer le par. 34(1)

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

350

R.

c. PAICE La juge Charron

351

failure to deal with the issue, but on its own assessment of the evidence. First, Gerwing J.A. concluded
that Mr. Paice could not be said to be the victim of
an unprovoked assault. She stated, at para. 11:

reposait sur sa propre apprciation de la preuve et


non sur lomission du juge du procs dexaminer la
question. Premirement, la juge Gerwing a conclu
quon ne pouvait pas dire que M. Paice avait t victime dune attaque sans provocation de sa part. Elle
a afrm ceci, au par. 11 :

Any other conclusion, based on the ndings of fact by


the trial judge would not meet the standard in R. v. Yebes,
[1987] 2 S.C.R. 168; 78 N.R. 351, that is it would be an
unreasonable result unsupported by the evidence.

[TRADUCTION] Compte tenu des conclusions de fait


du juge du procs, toute autre conclusion ne respecterait
pas le critre de larrt R. c. Yebes, [1987] 2 R.C.S. 168,
78 N.R. 351, en ce sens quelle constituerait un rsultat
draisonnable qui ne sappuie pas sur la preuve.

With respect, R. v. Yebes, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168, has


no application here. The test in Yebes relates to the
question of whether a verdict is unreasonable on
an appeal taken under s. 686(1)(a)(i), which does
not include appeals from acquittals. Therefore, an
unreasonable result unsupported by the evidence
is not a proper ground for appeal where the trial
judges verdict was to acquit. Nor is the test one to
be applied to individual ndings of fact. In my view,
it was not open to the Court of Appeal to determine
the question of provocation based on its own view of
the evidence in the absence of a denitive nding by
the trial judge that Mr. Paice consented to the ght.

En toute dfrence, larrt R. c. Yebes, [1987] 2


R.C.S. 168, ne sapplique pas en lespce. Le critre
de larrt Yebes est applicable pour dcider si un verdict est draisonnable dans le cadre dun appel fond
sur le sous-al. 686(1)a)(i), qui ne vise pas les appels
interjets contre des acquittements. En consquence,
[TRADUCTION] un rsultat draisonnable qui ne
sappuie pas sur la preuve nest pas un moyen dappel lgitime dans le cas o le juge du procs a prononc un verdict dacquittement. Le critre ne doit
pas non plus sappliquer des conclusions de fait
prises isolment. mon avis, en labsence de conclusion dnitive du juge du procs voulant que M.
Paice ait consenti la bagarre, la Cour dappel ne
pouvait pas trancher la question de la provocation en
fonction de sa propre perception de la preuve.

Second, the Court of Appeal was of the view


that, on the evidence, the only conclusion that could
be reached was that Mr. Paice had in fact intended
grievous bodily harm. Applying the standard in
Yebes, the Court of Appeal concluded that the serious harm mentioned by the trial judge in the context of consent must, in this case, be the same as
grievous bodily harm within the meaning of s.
34(1), notwithstanding his express conclusion that
Mr. Paice had not intended death or grievous bodily
harm. The Court of Appeal reasoned as follows, at
para. 12:

Deuximement, la Cour dappel a estim que la


preuve permettait seulement de conclure quen fait
M. Paice avait eu lintention de causer des lsions
corporelles graves. Appliquant le critre de larrt
Yebes, la Cour dappel a considr quen lespce les
lsions graves que le juge du procs a mentionnes dans le contexte du consentement sont ncessairement des lsions corporelles graves au sens du
par. 34(1), et ce, en dpit de sa conclusion expresse
que M. Paice navait pas eu lintention de causer
la mort ou des lsions corporelles graves. La Cour
dappel donne lexplication suivante, au par. 12 :

The inicting of a hard blow leading to someone falling on the pavement and his head bouncing on it, followed by no reaction on the part of the fallen person with
two further blows to the head, all facts found by the trial
judge, lead to the conclusion that in this case, at least,
the serious bodily harm is the same as grievous bodily
harm under s. 34(1). Any other conclusion, based on the

[TRADUCTION] Le coup violent assen une personne


qui, en tombant, se heurte la tte sur le pav, ainsi que les
deux autres coups ports la tte de cette personne alors
quelle gt immobile sur le sol des faits qui ont tous t
constats par le juge du procs , amnent conclure
que, dans la prsente affaire, du moins, les lsions corporelles graves correspondent des lsions corporelles

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

22

23

R. v. PAICE

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

Fish J.

judges fact nding, again would not meet the standard


of Yebes.

graves au sens du par. 34(1). L encore, compte tenu


des conclusions de fait du juge du procs, toute autre conclusion ne respecterait pas le critre de larrt Yebes.

Again here, the Court of Appeal misapplied the


principle in Yebes. Further, the court seemed to conate the question of intention with the consequences
of the act. There is nothing in the trial judges reasons that would suggest that he was of the view that
Mr. Paice intended what actually happened. In any
event, these are all questions to be determined afresh
based on the evidence at the new trial.

Je rpte que la Cour dappel a mal appliqu le principe de larrt Yebes. De plus, elle semble avoir confondu la question de lintention et les consquences
de lacte. Rien dans les motifs du juge du procs nindique quil tait davis que M. Paice avait eu lintention de causer ce qui sest rellement produit. Quoi
quil en soit, ces questions devront toutes tre tranches nouveau en fonction de la preuve qui sera
prsente au nouveau procs.

IV. Disposition

IV. Dispositif

For these reasons, I would conrm the order for a


new trial and dismiss the appeal.

Pour ces motifs, je suis davis de conrmer lordonnance de nouveau procs et de rejeter le pourvoi.

The following are the reasons delivered by

Version franaise des motifs rendus par

Fish J.

Le juge Fish
I

24

Like Justice Charron, I would dismiss the appeal


and afrm the judgment of the Saskatchewan Court
of Appeal ((2003), 238 Sask. R. 195, 2003 SKCA
89). In reaching this conclusion, however, I nd
it unnecessary to rely on the passage from R. v.
Jobidon, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 714, cited by my colleague
at para. 11 of her reasons.

linstar de la juge Charron, je suis davis de rejeter le pourvoi et de conrmer larrt de la Cour dappel de la Saskatchewan ((2003), 238 Sask. R. 195,
2003 SKCA 89). Cependant, pour arriver cette
conclusion, je ne crois pas quil soit ncessaire de
se fonder sur lextrait de larrt R. c. Jobidon, [1991]
2 R.C.S. 714, que ma collgue cite au par. 11 de ses
motifs.

25

For ease of reference, I reproduce that passage


here:

Je reproduis cet extrait pour en faciliter la consultation :

Attorney Generals Reference makes it clear that a


conviction of assault will not be barred if bodily harm is
intended and/or caused. Since this test is framed in the
alternative, consent could be nullied even in situations
where the assailant did not intend to cause the injured
person bodily harm but did so inadvertently. In Canada,
however, this very broad formulation cannot strictly
apply, since the denition of assault in s. 265 is explicitly restricted to intentional application of force. Any test
in our law which incorporated the English perspective
would of necessity have to conne itself to bodily harm
intended and caused. [Emphasis in Jobidon.]

Laffaire Attorney Generals Reference montre clairement quon nempchera pas une dclaration de culpabilit de voies de fait sil y a [TRADUCTION] lintention
ou le fait de causer des lsions corporelles, ou les deux .
tant donn que ce critre est prsent comme une alternative, le consentement pourrait tre invalid mme dans
le cas o lassaillant navait pas lintention de causer
des lsions corporelles, mais la fait par inadvertance.
Toutefois, au Canada, cette formulation trs gnrale
ne saurait sappliquer tel quel, tant donn que la dnition des voies de fait gurant lart. 265 est expressment limite lutilisation intentionnelle de la force.
Tout critre, dans notre droit, qui incorpore la conception
anglaise doit ncessairement se limiter aux lsions corporelles voulues et causes. [Soulignements dans larrt
Jobidon.]

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

352

R.

c. PAICE Le juge Fish

353

This passage raises two difculties. The rst


relates to the fault element of assault in Canada. It
is true, of course, that s. 265(1)(a) of the Criminal
Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, provides that a person
commits an assault when, without the consent of
another person, he applies force intentionally to that
other person, directly or indirectly. In virtue of s.
265(2), this requirement the intentional application of force applies to all forms of assault.
Accordingly, the fault element of assault causing
bodily harm, set out in s. 267 of the Code, is an
intentional application of force: where bodily harm
ensues, a conviction will lie even if the accused, in
committing the assault, neither intended nor foresaw that consequence. For an interesting discussion
of this issue, see D. Stuart, Canadian Criminal
Law: A Treatise (4th ed. 2001), at pp. 263-65.

Ce passage pose deux difcults. La premire


difcult concerne llment de faute de linfraction de voies de fait au Canada. Certes, il est vrai
quaux termes de lal. 265(1)a) du Code criminel,
L.R.C. 1985, ch. C-46, commet des voies de fait,
ou se livre une attaque ou une agression quiconque, dune manire intentionnelle, emploie la
force, directement ou indirectement, contre une
autre personne sans son consentement . En vertu
du par. 265(2), cette condition lemploi intentionnel de la force sapplique toutes les espces de voies de fait. Par consquent, llment de
faute de linfraction de voies de fait causant des
lsions corporelles, nonc lart. 267 du Code,
est lemploi de la force intentionnel : lorsquil sensuit des lsions corporelles, laccus sera dclar
coupable mme si, en se livrant aux voies de fait,
il na ni voulu ni prvu cette consquence. Pour
une analyse intressante de cette question, voir
D. Stuart, Canadian Criminal Law : A Treatise
(4e d. 2001), p. 263-265.

26

In this light, I am reluctant to ground our conclusion in this case on the assertion in Jobidon
that [a]ny test in our law which incorporated the
English perspective would of necessity have to
conne itself to bodily harm intended and caused
(p. 760 (emphasis in original)).

Dans ce contexte, jhsite fonder la conclusion


laquelle nous arrivons en lespce sur lafrmation de larrt Jobidon, selon laquelle [t]out critre, dans notre droit, qui incorpore la conception
anglaise doit ncessairement se limiter aux lsions
corporelles voulues et causes (p. 760 (soulign
dans loriginal)).

27

Second, I see no reason of policy or principle


for distinguishing in the context that concerns us
here between two participants in a consensual st
ght who, both intending to cause serious harm or
injury, swing simultaneously at one another with
varying degrees of success one breaking the
others nose for example, and the second merely
inicting a bruise. I would nd it incongruous to
hold, on the strength of Jobidon, that the consent
of only one of these willing combatants is vitiated, though both intended to cause bodily harm
and both pursued their shared objective with equal
force and determination.

Deuximement, dans le contexte qui nous


occupe, je ne vois aucune raison de politique
gnrale ou de principe dtablir une distinction
entre deux adversaires consentants qui se battent
coups de poing et qui, dans le but de siniger
mutuellement des lsions ou blessures graves, se
dcochent des coups de poing avec plus ou moins
de succs lun fracturant le nez de lautre, par
exemple, et lautre ne parvenant qu iniger une
ecchymose. mon avis, il serait incongru de conclure, sur la foi de larrt Jobidon, au caractre
vici du consentement dun seul de ces adversaires consentants, bien quils aient eu tous les deux
lintention de causer des lsions corporelles et
quils aient tous les deux tent avec la mme force
et la mme dtermination de raliser leur objectif
commun.

28

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

29

R. v. PAICE

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

Fish J.

In mentioning these concerns, I do not wish to


be taken to favour the adoption in Canada of the
rule laid down by the English Court of Appeal in
Attorney Generals Reference (No. 6 of 1980),
[1981] 2 All E.R. 1057, which is set out by Charron
J. at para. 11 of her reasons. The importation of that
common law rule, even as modied in the passage I
have cited for Jobidon, raises difcult issues that we
are not required, nor even invited, to consider afresh
in this case. I refer in this regard to the reasons of
Sopinka J. in Jobidon, concurring in the result but
on different grounds.

En mentionnant ces proccupations, je ne veux


pas que lon croie que je prconise ladoption, au
Canada, de la rgle tablie par la Cour dappel dAngleterre dans larrt Attorney Generals Reference
(No. 6 of 1980), [1981] 2 All E.R. 1057, et nonce par la juge Charron au par. 11 de ses motifs.
Limportation de cette rgle de common law, mme
sous sa forme modie dans lextrait prcit de larrt Jobidon, soulve des questions difciles sur
lesquelles nous ne sommes ni tenus de revenir en
lespce, ni mme invits le faire. ce propos, je
renvoie aux motifs que le juge Sopinka, souscrivant
au rsultat mais pour des raisons diffrentes, a rdigs dans larrt Jobidon.

II

II

The trial judge acquitted the appellant in virtue


of s. 34(1) of the Criminal Code, which reads:

Le juge du procs a acquitt lappelant en application du par. 34(1) du Code criminel, dont voici le
texte :

34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without


having provoked the assault is justied in repelling force
by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death
or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary
to enable him to defend himself.

34. (1) Toute personne illgalement attaque sans provocation de sa part est fonde employer la force qui est
ncessaire pour repousser lattaque si, en ce faisant, elle
na pas lintention de causer la mort ni des lsions corporelles graves.

31

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal set aside


the appellants acquittal at trial on two grounds:
rst, that the trial judge overlooked the unprovoked
assault requirement of s. 34(1); second, that he erred
in law with respect to the meaning of grievous
bodily harm in that provision.

La Cour dappel de la Saskatchewan a annul,


pour deux raisons, lacquittement de lappelant prononc lissue du procs : dabord, parce que le
juge du procs na pas tenu compte de lexigence du
par. 34(1) que lattaque ait eu lieu sans provocation;
ensuite, parce quil a commis une erreur de droit
quant au sens de lexpression lsions corporelles
graves contenue dans cette disposition.

32

Like Charron J., I agree with the conclusion of


the Court of Appeal on the rst point and, as to the
governing principles, expressly adopt my colleagues
analysis at para. 20 of her reasons. In my respectful view, the appellants acquittal at trial must be set
aside on this ground alone.

linstar de la juge Charron, je souscris la conclusion de la Cour dappel sur le premier point et, en
ce qui concerne les principes applicables, je souscris
expressment lanalyse queffectue ma collgue au
par. 20 de ses motifs. En toute dfrence, jestime
que lacquittement de lappelant lissue du procs
doit tre annul pour cette seule raison.

III

III

On the second point, the trial judge concluded


that the appellant intended to cause Mr. Bauck
serious bodily harm and that he, in fact caused

Quant au deuxime point, le juge du procs a


conclu que lappelant avait eu lintention de causer
des lsions corporelles graves ( serious )

30

33

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

354

R.

c. PAICE Le juge Fish

Mr. Baucks death. This was an understandable, if


not inevitable, conclusion.
In this regard, the trial judge stated:

355

M. Bauck et quil avait, en fait, caus la mort de ce


dernier. Cette conclusion tait comprhensible, voire
invitable.
cet gard, le juge du procs a afrm :

34

. . . I have found, just as the trial judge did in Jobidon,


that both combatants to this ght intended to cause the
other bodily harm that was serious and not trivial, and
that, in fact, serious harm did occur.

[TRADUCTION] . . . jai conclu, comme la fait le juge


du procs dans Jobidon, que les deux adversaires qui se
sont bagarrs avaient lintention de siniger mutuellement des lsions corporelles graves et non ngligeables,
et quen fait des lsions graves ont t iniges.

The trial judge nonetheless concluded that the


appellant, while intending to cause the deceased
serious bodily harm, did not intend to cause him
grievous bodily harm within the meaning of s.
34(1) of the Criminal Code.

Le juge du procs a nanmoins dcid que, mme


sil avait eu lintention de causer des lsions corporelles graves ( serious ) la victime, lappelant
navait pas eu lintention de lui causer des lsions
corporelles graves ( grievous ) au sens du par.
34(1) du Code criminel.

35

Section 2 of the Criminal Code denes bodily


harm as

Larticle 2 du Code criminel donne la dnition


suivante des lsions corporelles :

36

any hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the


health or comfort of the person and that is more than
merely transient or triing in nature.

Blessure qui nuit la sant et au bien-tre dune personne


et qui nest pas de nature passagre ou sans importance.

Grievous bodily harm is nowhere dened in the


Code.

Il nexiste aucune dnition de lexpression lsions


corporelles graves dans le Code.

Dealing with this aspect of the matter, Gerwing


J.A., in delivering the reasons of the Court of Appeal,
stated (at para. 12):

Au sujet de cet aspect de la question, la juge


Gerwing, qui a rdig les motifs de la Cour dappel,
a afrm ceci (par. 12) :

Another reason that the application of s. 34(1) is inappropriate, in our view, is that for it to apply it must be shown
that the respondent did not use force that was intended
to cause grievous bodily harm. The Crown urged us to
accept a denition from R. v. Bottrell (1981), 60 C.C.C.
(2d) 211 (B.C.C.A.), dening grievous bodily harm as
serious hurt or pain. Similar comments were made by
the Alberta Court of Appeal in R. v. Martineau (1988),
89 A.R. 162; 43 C.C.C. (3d) 417 (C.A.). While there may
be a nuance in grievous beyond serious, it having been
dened sometimes as very serious, if any such difference existed here, the trial judge did not indicate what
it was and it seems on the facts impossible to nd it. He
concluded that the respondent intended to inict serious
harm and indeed did do so. The inicting of a hard blow
leading to someone falling on the pavement and his head
bouncing on it, followed by no reaction on the part of
the fallen person with two further blows to the head, all
facts found by the trial judge, lead to the conclusion that
in this case, at least, the serious bodily harm is the same
as grievous bodily harm under s. 34(1). Any other

[TRADUCTION] Selon nous, une autre raison pour


laquelle il ne convient pas dappliquer le par. 34(1) est que,
pour quil sapplique, il faut dmontrer que lintim na pas
employ une force cense causer des lsions corporelles
graves. Le ministre public nous a invits accepter une
dnition tire de larrt R. c. Bottrell (1981), 60 C.C.C.
(2d) 211 (C.A.C.-B.), selon laquelle lexpression lsions
corporelles graves dsigne une blessure ou douleur
srieuse . La Cour dappel de lAlberta a fait des commentaires similaires dans larrt R. c. Martineau (1988),
89 A.R. 162; 43 C.C.C. (3d) 417 (C.A.). Quoiquil puisse
y avoir une nuance dans le qualicatif grave au sens
de plus que srieux, du fait que lon ait parfois considr
quil signiait trs srieux , si jamais une telle diffrence existait en lespce, le juge du procs nen a pas
indiqu la nature et, daprs les faits, il semble impossible de la dcouvrir. Il a dcid que lintim avait eu lintention de causer des lsions srieuses et quil tait
parvenu le faire. Le coup violent assen une personne
qui, en tombant, se heurte la tte sur le pav, ainsi que les
deux autres coups ports la tte de cette personne alors

37

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

R. v. PAICE

Fish J.

[2005] 1 S.C.R.

conclusion, based on the judges fact nding, again would


not meet the standard of Yebes.

quelle gt immobile sur le sol des faits qui ont tous


t constats par le juge du procs , amnent conclure que, dans la prsente affaire, du moins, les lsions
corporelles graves correspondent des lsions corporelles graves au sens du par. 34(1). L encore, compte
tenu des conclusions de fait du juge du procs, toute autre
conclusion ne respecterait pas le critre de larrt Yebes.

38

The appellant submits that the Court of Appeal


erred in applying to this case the standard of review
set out in R. v. Yebes, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 168, both here
and in dealing with the issue of provocation. With
respect, I agree. Yebes dealt with the powers of a
court of appeal under s. 686(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal
Code. That provision empowers the court, on an
appeal against a conviction, to set aside the verdict
if it is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the
evidence and the governing test is whether the
verdict is one that a properly instructed jury, acting
judicially, could reasonably have rendered (Yebes,
at p. 186). The Criminal Code, however, does not
vest in courts of appeal any equivalent or analogous
power on an appeal by the Crown against an acquittal, as in this case: the Crown, respondent in this
Court, was the appellant in the Court of Appeal.

Lappelant fait valoir que la Cour dappel a eu tort


dappliquer, la fois ce stade et en examinant la
question de la provocation, le critre dexamen tabli
dans larrt R. c. Yebes, [1987] 2 R.C.S. 168. En toute
dfrence, je partage cet avis. Larrt Yebes traite des
pouvoirs dont le sous-al. 686(1)a)(i) du Code criminel investit une cour dappel. Cette disposition habilite la cour, lors de lappel dune dclaration de culpabilit, annuler le verdict sil est draisonnable
ou ne peut pas sappuyer sur la preuve , et le critre applicable consiste se demander si le verdict
est lun de ceux quun jury qui a reu les directives appropries et qui agit dune manire judiciaire
aurait pu raisonnablement rendre (Yebes, p. 186).
Cependant, le Code criminel ninvestit pas les cours
dappel dun pouvoir quivalent ou analogue dans le
cas o, comme en lespce, il est question de lappel
dun acquittement interjet par le ministre public :
le ministre public, intim devant notre Cour, tait
lappelant devant la Cour dappel.

39

Mr. Paice, the appellant in this Court, contends


that the Court of Appeal erred as well in substituting its own view of the evidence for that of the trial
judge. I see no merit in this submission.

M. Paice, qui est lappelant devant notre Cour,


soutient que la Cour dappel a galement eu tort de
substituer sa propre perception de la preuve celle
du juge du procs. mon avis, cet argument nest
pas fond.

40

Finally, Mr. Paice urges us to nd that the trial


judge understood, and applied correctly, the notion
of grievous bodily harm contemplated by s. 34(1)
of the Criminal Code. Considering the trial judges
reasons as a whole, I am not persuaded that he did.
I nd it unnecessary, however, to express a decided
view on this branch of the matter, since I have concluded that a new trial must in any event be had
because the trial judge failed to consider whether
the appellant was assaulted by the victim without having provoked the assault, as required by s.
34(1).

Enn, M. Paice nous invite conclure que le juge


du procs a saisi et appliqu correctement la notion
de lsions corporelles graves dont il est question
au par. 34(1) du Code criminel. Compte tenu de lensemble des motifs du juge du procs, je ne suis pas
convaincu que ce soit le cas. Toutefois, je ne juge pas
ncessaire dexprimer une opinion dcisive sur cet
aspect de laffaire, tant donn ma conclusion quun
nouveau procs est requis en tout tat de cause du
fait que le juge du procs ne sest pas demand si
lappelant avait t attaqu par la victime sans provocation de sa part , comme lexige le par. 34(1).

41

For the guidance of the judge who will preside


at the appellants new trial, I nonetheless believe it

An de guider le juge qui prsidera le nouveau


procs de lappelant, je considre nanmoins utile

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

356

R.

357

c. PAICE Le juge Fish

2005 SCC 22 (CanLII)

[2005] 1 R.C.S.

helpful to add that grievous bodily harm, within


the meaning of ss. 34 and 35 of the Criminal Code,
is not limited to harm or injury that is permanent
or life-threatening. In ordinary usage, grievous
bodily harm means harm or injury that is very
severe or serious: see The Canadian Oxford
Dictionary (2nd ed. 2004), at p. 664. These terms
respect the statutory context in which that expression was adopted by Parliament in the relevant provisions of the Code.

dajouter que lexpression grievous bodily harm


( lsions corporelles graves ), utilise aux art. 34
et 35 du Code criminel, ne vise pas seulement les
lsions ou blessures permanentes ou mettant la vie en
danger. Dans le langage courant, grievous signie very severe or serious ( trs grave ou trs
srieux ) : voir The Canadian Oxford Dictionary
(2e d. 2004), p. 664. Cette interprtation saccorde
donc avec le contexte dans lequel le lgislateur a
adopt lexpression grievous bodily harm dans
les dispositions applicables du Code.

IV

IV

I am satised that the trial judge, but for the rst


of the two errors of law identied by the Court of
Appeal, might very well have reached a different
conclusion.

Je suis convaincu que, net t la premire des


deux erreurs de droit releves par la Cour dappel, le
juge du procs aurait trs bien pu arriver une conclusion diffrente.

42

Accordingly, as mentioned at the outset, I would


dismiss the appeal.

Par consquent, comme je lai mentionn au


dpart, je suis davis de rejeter le pourvoi.

43

Appeal dismissed.

Pourvoi rejet.

Solicitors for the appellant: McDougall Gauley,


Regina.

Procureurs de lappelant : McDougall Gauley,


Regina.

Solicitor for the respondent: Attorney General


for Saskatchewan, Regina.

Procureur de lintime : Procureur gnral de la


Saskatchewan, Regina.

Solicitor for the intervener: Attorney General of


Ontario, Toronto.

Procureur de lintervenant : Procureur gnral


de lOntario, Toronto.