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, Supreme Advocacy Letter, 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) (Nov. 13 – Dec. 10, 2014 inclusive).


Contracts: Honest Performance
Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 (35380) Nov. 13, 2014
“A summary of the principles … (1) There is a general organizing principle of good faith that underlies many facets of contract law. (2) In general, the particular implications of the broad principle for particular cases are determined by resorting to the body of doctrine that has developed which gives effect to aspects of that principle in particular types of situations and relationships. (3) It is appropriate to recognize a new common law duty that applies to all contracts as a manifestation of the general organizing principle of good faith: a duty of honest performance, which requires the parties to be honest with each other in relation to the performance of their contractual obligations.”

Criminal Law: Circumstantial Evidence
R. v. Wills, 2014 SCC 73 (35804) Nov. 20, 2014
Rothstein J. — “The majority of the Court is of the view that the appeal should be dismissed for the reasons of Doherty J.A. in the Court of Appeal. Justices Cromwell and Karakatsanis, dissenting, would have allowed the appeal for the reasons of Pepall J.A.”

Extradition: Information Sharing
Wakeling v. United States of America, 2014 SCC 72 (35072) Nov. 14, 2014
Parliament has authorized the cross-border sharing of wiretap communications under s. 193(2) (e) of the Criminal Code, and the disclosure here was lawfully authorized by that provision, which taken as a whole, does not violate s. 8 of the Charter. Also, there is no evidence that the manner of disclosure was unreasonable.

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: Firearms Offences
R. v. Dunn, 2014 SCC 69 (35599)  Nov. 6, 2014.
The Chief Justice — “For the reasons of Justice Rosenberg in the Court of Appeal, we are all of the view that the appeal should be dismissed.”

Labour Law: Supplemental Employment Benefits Re Maternity/Parental Leave
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, 2014 SCC 70 (35623) Nov. 14, 2014
Karakatsanis J. — “The Court of Appeal erred in failing to give deference to the Arbitrator’s interpretation of the collective agreement and in failing to recognize the different purposes of pregnancy benefits and parental benefits. The Arbitrator was entitled to reach the conclusions that he did and we see no reason to interfere with the remedy. The appeal is allowed with costs and the Arbitrator’s award is restored.”

Leave to Appeals Granted

Aboriginal Law: Jurisdiction Over Métis/Non-Status Indians
Canada (Indian Affairs) v. Daniels, 2014 FCA 101 (35945) Nov. 20, 2014
Are Métis/Non-Status Indians a federal or provincial jurisdiction.

Criminal Law: Automatic Roadside Prohibitions
Wilson v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles)2014 BCCA 202 (35959) Nov. 27, 2014
Is a “warn” breathalyzer reading enough to justify a driving prohibition.

Criminal Law: Automatic Roadside Prohibitions
Sivia v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles)2014 BCCA 79 (35864) Nov. 27, 2014
Is a “warn” breathalyzer reading enough to justify a driving prohibition.

Criminal Law: Delayed Dial-a-Dope 
R. v. Jordan2014 BCCA 241 (36068) Nov. 27, 2014
Is a 32.5 month delay constitutional.

Insurance: Automobiles; “Pay First, Fight Later”
Zurich Insurance Company v. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada2014 ONCA 400 (36002) Nov. 27, 2014
Who is a MV insurer. 

Immigration: Refugees
Kanthasamy v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FCA 113 (35990) Dec. 3, 2014
When may government consider “humanitarian and compassionate considerations”.

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