Jun 1, 2020

MLB Headnote and Key Numbers

R. v. Li, 2016 ONCA 573 (CanLII)

R. v. Li (X.) (2016), 352 O.A.C. 101 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2016] O.A.C. TBEd. JL.017

Her Majesty the Queen (respondent) v. Xiaomin Li (appellant)

(C59326; 2016 ONCA 573)

Indexed As: R. v. Li (X.)

Ontario Court of Appeal

Strathy, C.J.O., Pepall and Hourigan, JJ.A.

July 18, 2016.


The accused was convicted of unlawfully producing marihuana and possession of marihuana for the purpose of trafficking. She received an 18 month conditional sentence. The accused appealed her conviction, arguing that the trial judge erred in failing to relate the expert evidence regarding battered spouse syndrome to the objective elements of duress (i.e., to her defence).

The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. While the elements of duress were described and the expert's testimony was summarized, no effort was made to relate her evidence to the legal issues and principles in a manner that would equip the jury to reach its verdict. Read as a whole, the charge did not provide the jury with the tools it needed to assess the accused's defence. As a result, the convictions could not stand. At the close of the Crown's submissions on appeal, the Crown agreed with the accused that if the court allowed the appeal, an appropriate result would be an acquittal. The appellant had served her sentence, was facing imminent immigration issues, and the judge had accepted the accused's and expert's evidence in his sentencing reasons. In the circumstances, at the close of oral argument, the court allowed the appeal, set aside the convictions and entered acquittals on both charges.

Criminal Law - Topic 4357

Procedure - Charge or directions - Jury or judge alone - Directions regarding defences and theory of the defence - See paragraphs 11 to 15.


Timothy E. Breen, for the appellant;

Carolyn Otter, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on June 1, 2016, before Strathy, C.J.O., Pepall and Hourigan, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The following decision was released by the court on July 18, 2016.