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Supreme Court to hear arguments on when convicted killers should be granted bail pending appeal

Dennis Oland heads from a bail hearing after being released from custody in Fredericton on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. .
Dennis Oland heads from a bail hearing after being released from custody in Fredericton on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. . The Canadian Press

The Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear arguments on a potentially groundbreaking legal question: When should convicted killers be granted bail pending appeal?

READ MORE: Dennis Oland granted bail ahead of new murder trial in father’s death

The case is from Dennis Oland‘s bid for bail after he appealed his second-degree murder conviction last December in the July 7, 2011, beating death of his father, Richard Oland in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The case is being heard, despite the fact Oland has been granted a retrial and is free on bail.

Toronto lawyer Alan Gold says the Supreme Court wants to decide difficult areas of law that only rarely come before the court.

Nicole O’Byrne, an associate law professor at the University of New Brunswick, says today’s appeal is of national importance.

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READ MORE: Why a single piece of evidence mattered so much in Dennis Oland murder case

Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have filed motions for leave to intervene.

O’Byrne says the key argument concerns the question of whether public confidence in the justice system would be shaken if the person was released on bail.

No one in New Brunswick has ever been granted bail after being convicted of murder, and there have only been about three dozen such cases in Canada.