This case was heard in the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench and was an appeal of the decision in R. v. Paul, 1996 CanLII 12436 (NB PC).
At trial, the respondent Thomas Peter Paul had been acquitted of the charge of harvesting timber from government land, a violation under section 67 of New Brunswick's Crown Lands and Forests Act. Mr. Paul had been acquitted at trial on the basis that he had a treaty right that exempted him from being charged for unlawful harvesting of timber on such land.
This appeal was put forward by the Government of New Brunswick, which argued that the trial court had erred in recognizing a treaty-based right to harvest. Ultimately, the Court held that although it did not agree with the trial judge's specific interpretation of Mr. Paul's treaty right to harvest timber, it nevertheless agreed with the result that the trial judge reached. The Court took a different view of the nature of Mr. Paul's treaty rights, but it held that applicable treaty rights existed all the same.
This decision was later appealed in R. v. Paul, 1998 CanLII 12246 (NB CA).