Question regarding using due diligence defence with strict liability if harm done was not inherently toxic

Brewery used organic material (not inherently toxic-could cause harm to animal and plant life for example) to make product. Discharge of this material reguarily into nearby creek was within legal requirements as determined by testing. With the build up of this organic material it caused the growth of algae in the creek decreasing the quality of the creek putting the safety of animal and plant life. If under strict liability would the defendant be able to use due diligence if they have all appropriate measures in place?


Asked 26 days ago in Toronto, Ontario
Categories: Criminal Law

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Caryma Sa'd

Answer by Caryma Sa'd

VerifiedOntario lawyer

When a strict liability offence is charged, it is up to the defendant to establish the defence of due diligence, which must be proven on a balance of probabilities. This defence requires that a person took "all reasonable care" to avoid the harm that resulted. Note, however, that the defendant need not prove they took all conceivable steps to avoid the harm. Whether all reasonable care was taken will be measured against that of a reasonable person in similar circumstances. 

The due diligence defence could also be available where the accused "had an honest but mistaken belief in facts which, if true, would render the act innocent."

Feel free to get in touch if you would like a consultation, or to discuss your legal options. You can call or text me at 647-360-7182. 

Yours very truly,

CARYMA SA'D
Lawyer & Notary Public

Posted 26 days ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Caryma Sa'd, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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