Should an accused person have to pay for a complainant’s optional legal fees?
This is one of the many questions the Summary Conviction Appeal Court at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto will have to answer when it hears Mustafa Ururyar’s appeal on March 14, 2017. Mr. Ururyar was convicted of sexual assault by Justice Marvin Zuker of the Ontario Court of Justice. Justice Zuker’s Reasons for Judgment have been criticised by many members of the criminal defence bar. The restitution order he imposed forcing Mr. Ururyar to pay $8,000 to cover the complainant’s legal fees has also drawn heavy criticism, considering that the complainant did not have to privately retain counsel, and Mr. Ururyar’s ability to pay was never addressed. If the Summary Conviction Appeal Court nevertheless upholds the restitution order, it would have a significant impact on future sexual assault trials and sentencing. Our firm will continue to monitor the case as it proceeds through the appeal system and advise our clients accordingly.
You can read more about the issue in this Toronto Star article.