CASE LAW - R v Seraji

BC Courts Coat of ArmsIt's relatively rare to see a traffic court decision appealed by the Crown. In this case, Aria Seraji was charged with excessive speed and disputed the traffic ticket. After his trial the judicial justice found that Mr. Seraji was not driving at excessive speed and convicted him of the lesser included offence of speeding. Crown appealed the decision.

In this review there were two issues to decide:

  1. Was Mr. Seraji driving at excessive speed?
  2. Does the Crown have the authority to appeal the lower court's decison?

Mr. Justice Williams examined the provisions of the Offence Act related to violation tickets and decided that Crown did have the authority to appeal the traffic court decision.

After reviewing the evidence from the original trial the justice also found that Mr. Seraji was driving at excessive speed and allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial.

Having done that, it appears to me that the justice also makes the suggestion that Crown decide not to do so:

Whether the Crown elects to proceed with the excessive speeding prosecution is not for this Court to decide. I would observe that the respondent has been subjected to a number of consequences to date, including the fact his vehicle was impounded from the site of the traffic stop, as well as the fact that the appeal of this matter has necessitated his attendance in court on at least two occasions. However, that decision is for the Crown to make.

Do you think that his suggestion is appropriate?