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Legal Analysis Canadian Law

Jesse owns and operates a store in a rough downtown neighbourhood. Last week, he received a shipment of switchblade knives. He placed one of the knives in his store window, alongside a small notice board that said, “Switchblade Knives- $25 each”. That display soon caught the attention of Officer Norm, a member of local police department. Jesse was arrested and charged with a crime under Section 7 of the Prohibited Weapons Act, which says that it is illegal to “manufacture, rent, sell or offer for sale or rent….any knife…which has a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife”. There is no doubt that the switchblade that appeared in Jesse’s store window falls within the description.

Question – Is it therefore safe to assume that Jesse has committed a crime? Explain your answer.

Answer –

Generally “restricted weapons” and “prohibited weapons” are distinguished as subclass of “weapons” by The Criminal Code. “Prohibited” and “restricted” weapon’s definitions form the main basis to classify the weapons-related offences.

S.84(1) of the act states that-
“prohibited weapon” means

(a) A knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, or

(b) any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a prohibited weapon (Harald, 2012);

  1. v. Murray, (1985), 24 C.C.C. (3d) 568 – spiked wristband is considered as a weapon

R v Murray, (1991), 65 C.C.C. (3d) 507 – nunchaku sticks are not considered as weapons

For the mens rea, it is required to only prove that either recklessness or knowledge was there about the characteristic feature of the knife that it is “prohibited” or not – R. v. Archer, (1983), 6 C.C.C. (3d) 129 at 132 (Ont. C.A.)

It is only required to be shown that the weapon is “prohibited” rest The Crown does not need to prove if the person in possession of the weapon actually used or even intended to use it as stated in – R. v. Strong, 2012 BCCA 279 at para 35.

Since Jesse had no lawful justification for this trade of possession, rent, sale etc, it can be assumed that he committed a crime even if there was no means-Ra (MacDonald, 2011).


Billy’s grandmother wrote Billy a letter proposing that if he got more than 75 on the CMLW 2201 midterm, she would award him with $1000. Billy got an 80 on the midterm, however, Billy got into an argument with his grandmother earlier that week. Billy’s grandmother refused to award Billy with any money. Billy’s grandmother said that there is no contract because there is no consideration.

Question – is Billy’s grandmother correct? Why or why not?

Answer –

A legally binding agreement between 2 persons or more that too for a particular purpose is known as a “contract”.

Firstly, a person has to offer another person to give him something, or a service, or even to refrain from doing a thing. Then, if that offer is accepted by the other party, then it is a valid contract. There even has to be a set consideration as decided by the parties to the contract. A contract therefore leads to transfer or an economic exchange for a purpose (Agency, 2013).

Contracts are legally binding on the parties to it, unlike the agreements. If there is a failure in the completion of a contract, then it is a breach of contract and the aggrieved party may seek remedies provided by the statute to claim compensation and damages suffered by the party (BAUDOUIN, 2013).

5 conditions are to be fulfilled to constitute to a valid contract. These are –

  1. Mutual consent between the parties.
  2. The parties should be capable to make contracts.
  3. There should be some purpose or an object to contract.
  4. There should be a lawful consideration and a lawful cause for the contract.
  5. There must be a valid written agreement between the parties. This condition is not mandatory for some of the cases.

Since there was a set consideration of $1000, there was a valid offer and there is a written document in for of a letter from his grandmother, therefore, on completion of the obligations by one of the parties, the other party becomes liable to fulfil its obligation too, as agreed upon. Therefore Billy may claim for compensation or may file a suit for breach of contract by his grandmother.

But what the facts are silent about is that Billy never accepted or never showed is intent to accept the proposal of his grandmother, so there is a valid offer but not a valid or in fact no acceptance of the contract.

So Billy’s grandmother shall be correct, even if she doesn’t award Billy.


Agency, C. B. (2013). Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada. Canada: CBSA.

BAUDOUIN, J.-L. (2013, December 16). Contract Law. Retrieved from The Canadian Encyclopedia:

Harald, B. (2012, May 3). Legal knife carrying in Canada. Retrieved from The 72 Hour Kit:

MacDonald, M. (2011, June 03). Knife seizure results in 86 charges; storeowner says he’ll fight charges. Retrieved from The Guardian:

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