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R v JSR. (2008), 237 CCC (3d) 305 (ONCA


Charged w 2nd degree murder. Gun battle on street. C died. There was a northbound and southbound shooter


Can we say “but for” the actions of J either shooting or preparing to shoot at the shooter would have no shot and killed the girl? – factual causation
Is the causal chain linking J to the death of the girl broken bc the last voluntary cause was the other shooter shooting girl? – legal causation


Acts by a 3rd party who is not acting independently but is acting in a furtherance of a joint activity undertaken by the accused and that 3rd party, will not sever the legal causal connection = joint endeavour.

An intervening, independent act by a 3rd party that is a more direct cause of a victim’s death then the prior act of an accused may sever the legal causation connection between the victim’s death and the prior act of the accused even though the prior act remains a factual or ‘but for’ cause of the victims death.


Where there are multiple wrongful acts it isn’t necessary to know whose wrongful act was more detrimental to the forbidden consequence.
**Both were involved in a joint endeavor, a mutual shootout – thus both are responsible for killing the girl, bc it is only be chance that A kill C and not B

If there is no reasonable basis upon which a jury could find that Js actions caused the girls death, then J could not be committed of murder or manslaughter.

Legal causation issue satisfied by the finding that they were in engaged in a joint endeavor.

A reasonable jury could find that each shooter induced the other the engage in a gun fight on a crowded street. “But for” the decision to engage in a gunfight on a crowded street and the resulting exchange of bullets, girl would not have been killed.


Judge did have a basis for concluding that there was reasonable evidence of causation to put to jury. J is factually and legally linked to the forbidden consequence (girls death)


Factual causation: But for test – factual chain of events culminating in the death of the victim.
Legal causation: Is about determining who among those who have factually contributed to an event should be held legally responsible for that event.

Harbottle – very serious crimes and causation – LEGAL CAUSATION
**H confined and raped a girl. Accomplice strangled her while he held legs
**s.231(5) to establish 1st degree murder they have to prove that the accused’s conduct was a substantial and integral cause of the victims death

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