Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, SupremeAdvocacyLett@r, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted (so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with)(Sept. 12 – Oct. 8, 2014 inclusive).


Class Actions in Québec: Credit Card Conversion Charges
Bank of Montreal v. Marcotte, 2014 SCC 55 (35009)
Québec’s Consumer Protection Act applies to credit card issuers re conversion charges on purchases made in foreign currencies. All relevant provisions of the Act are constitutionally applicable and operative, and the plaintiffs have standing to bring this class action.

Class Actions in Québec: Credit Card Conversion Charges; Bills of Exchange
Marcotte v. Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, 2014 SCC 57 (35018)
Similar summary to that immediately above. Payment by credit card does not fall under the exclusive federal jurisdiction over bills of exchange, and as such, the application of the Québec Act to credit cards issued is consistent with the division of powers, and neither the interjurisdictional immunity nor the paramountcy doctrines apply.

Class Actions in Québec: Credit Card Conversion Charges; Restitution
Amex Bank of Canada v. Adams, 2014 SCC 56 (35033)
Similar summary to that in BMO case above. The power to refuse to grant restitution under art. 1699 para. 2 if restitution would confer an undue advantage on one party is “quite exceptional”, must be exercised sparingly and on the basis of full proof, the burden of which falls to the debtor of the restitution.

Courts: Court “Hearing” Fees
Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59 (35315)
…are unconstitutional, as restricting access to the courts.

Criminal Law: Hospital Treatment Orders
R. v. Conception, 2014 SCC 60 (34930)
Courts cannot make treatment orders without hospital/physician consent except in rare cases. Consent is required for the disposition order in its entirety, not simply to the treatments aspect of it.

Criminal Law: Mr. Big; Wiretaps; Vetrovec warnings
R. v. Mack,2014 SCC 58 (35093)
Three grounds of appeal: trial judge should have excluded the confessions made to undercover officers during a Mr. Big operation; if confessions were admissible, trial judge did not adequately instruct jury on the dangers; trial judge failed to properly instruct jury on dangers associated with evidence of a central Crown witness. The S.C.C. did not give effect to any of these grounds and dismissed the appeal; at the end of the day, these were the problems the trial judge had to convey to the jury in his charge, “that is exactly what he did”.

Criminal Law: New Issues on Appeal
R. v. Mian, 2014 SCC 54 (35132)
Appellate courts have discretion to raise a new issue, but only in rare circumstances, and only when failing to do so would risk an injustice.
Leaves to Appeal

Bankruptcy & Receivership: Application of Provincial Statutes
Attorney General for Saskatchewan v. Lemare Lake Logging Ltd., 2014 SKCA 35 (35923)
Is there an operational conflict between the Sask. Farm Security Act and federal BIA.


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