The Supreme Court of Canada will rule next week on whether the New Brunswick Court of Appeal made a mistake by denying Dennis Oland bail last winter while he was waiting to appeal his second-degree murder conviction.
Oland, 49, wound up being granted bail on Oct. 25 after he successfully appealed his conviction in the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, Saint John multimillionaire Richard Oland, and a new trial was ordered.
But in the interim, Oland's defence lawyers had asked the country's highest court to review the case and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter on Oct. 31.
Although the fight to get Oland released from custody had become a moot point by then, Oland's lawyers decided to proceed with arguments, saying the question of when convicted murderers should be granted bail while awaiting appeal remained "ripe" for discussion.
New Brunswick Crown prosecutor Kathryn Gregory and the four interveners — the attorneys general for Alberta, B.C. and Ontario and the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario — also submitted that the matter was of national importance and should be heard.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver its judgment on March 23 at 10:45 a.m. AT.
No one convicted of murder in New Brunswick has ever been granted bail before, and there have only been 34 such cases across Canada, according to the defence.