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Counsel for the Defence

Counsel for the Defence

The Bernard Cohn Memorial Lectures in Criminal Law

Edited by Edward L Greenspan QC

Bernard Cohn QC (1908-1982) was one of Canada's foremost criminal lawyers whose remarkable legal career spanned fifty-two years. Mr Cohn was called to the Ontario bar in 1930 and quickly established a law practice in Windsor Ontario devoted exclusively to criminal defence work. Following his death, the friends and family of Bernard Cohn established the Bernard Cohn Memorial Lecture Series Trust in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor. The Bernard Cohn Memorial Lecture in Criminal Law has been delivered annually since 1987. This volume brings together fifteen of the Bernard Cohn lectures by some of Canada's leading defence counsel and jurists.

The collection has been edited by Edward L Greenspan, QC, who is a member of the Lecture Series Trust and who delivered the first lecture in 1987.


Foreword - Mr Justice Saul Nosanchuk

Introduction - Edward L Greenspan QC

Part One - Proof and Innocence

Innocence and Proof
R v John Alexander MacKenzie QC
Susan Nelles:The Defence of Innocence
Austin Cooper QC
The Presumption of Guilt:Experiences from Milgaard and Other Cases
Hersh Wolch QC
Thomas Sophonow:A Long Road to Innocence
G Greg Brodsky QC

Part Two - A Variety of Defences

Revisiting the Insanity Defence: The Capital Murder Trial of Matthew Charles Lamb
Mr Justice Saul Nosanchuk
Sleepwalking as Non-Insane Automatism: R v Parks
Marlys Edwardh
Automatism-Legitimate Defence or Legalized Irresponsibility: R v Joudrie
Noel C O'Brien QC
The Mystique of Science: The Influence of Experts on the Administration of Criminal
Justice Brian H Greenspan
Taking the Law into Your Own Hands: Child Abduction and the Defence of Necessity
Raphaël H Schachter

Part Three - Defence Counsel and the Truth

Reflections on a Half-Century of Criminal Practice
Hon G Arthur Martin QC
The Art of the Advocate: R v Thatcher
Hon Gerald N Allbright
You Can't Judge a Crown Brief by Its Cover: How Preliminary Inquiries Can Avoid Unnecessary Trials
David M Cohn
The Murder of Bruce Lorenz: The Role of Defence Counsel
Edward L Greenspan QC
Do We Care about the Truth? Real Truth v Legal Truth
Hon Michel Proulx QC

Part Four - From Law to Politics

From Defence to Offence: Criminal Law Practice as a Prelude to Politics
Frank J McKenna PC QC


It is no accident that good advocates are good storytellers. Because each of the lectures is based on one or more cases, each is interesting reading by itself. Each lecture also illustrates how a skilled advocate weaves the facts and law together to lead the tribunal (and the reader) to the desired conclusion. This aspect of the book—hearing each lecturer retell the story of the case and annotate it with the strategy behind the defence—makes it a useful guide to criminal defence advocacy.
Good advocates become good advocates by studying the methods and approaches of other advocates. Unfortunately, most of the time the observer learns what not to do. This collection of lectures recommends itself for just the opposite reason: seeing what strategies work. Most of the lectures illustrate what works in the context of an actual prosecution with a cutting-edge defence. . . .
All in all, this is a good collection of lectures on criminal advocacy for persons interested in learning or improving their skills as an advocate. All law society, law school, and court libraries should own a copy. So should law firms with a serious trial or appellate practice. Librarians should recommend it to lawyers with an interest in advocacy.

Charles D Cole, Jr, Newman Fitch Altheim Myers, PC, New York, New York


Published January 2005
Publisher Irwin Law (Canada)
ISBN 9781552211021
Australian RRP $85.00
International Price $80.00
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Law - Canadian Law
Law - Criminal Law & Procedure

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