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 (October 8 to November 11, 2015 inclusive).


Criminal Law: Automatic Roadside Prohibitions
Goodwin v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2015 SCC 46 (35864)

The “ARP” scheme is valid provincial legislation, and s. 11 of the Charter is not engaged ̶ the provincial regime does not create an “offence”. But the S.C.C. upheld the chambers judge’s finding that the scheme as it was constituted from September 2010 to June 2012 violated the s. 8 rights of drivers subject to a roadside breath demand who subsequently registered a “fail”; not saved by s. 1.

Criminal Law: Automatic Roadside Prohibitions
Wilson v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2015 SCC 47 (35959)

S. 215.41 (3.1) of the B.C. Motor Vehicles Act is not ambiguous, and the adjudicator’s interpretation was the only reasonable one. A genuine ambiguity exists only when there are two or more plausible readings, each equally in accordance with the intentions of the statute. Charter values may not be used “to create ambiguity when none exists” and consequently has no role to play as an interpretive tool in this case.

Oral Judgements

Criminal Law: Cheating; Fraud

R. v. Riesberry, 2014 ONCA 744 (36179) Judgment rendered Oct. 15, 2015

Justice Cromwell: “We are all of the view that the appeal should be dismissed.” Giving drugs to race horses can constitute defrauding the public and cheating while playing a game.

Criminal Law: Sexual Assault

R. v. M.J.B., 2015 ABCA 146 (36421) Judgment rendered Oct. 20, 2015

Justice Abella: “The majority is of the view that the appeal should be dismissed for the reasons of Justices Watson and Rowbotham in the Court of Appeal. Justice Côté is dissenting and she would allow the appeal substantially for the reasons of Justice Wakeling.” Sexual assault conviction upheld. 2:1 in C.A.; 4:1 in S.C.C.

Leaves to Appeal Granted

Aboriginal Law/Municipal Law: Highest & Best Use
Musqueam Indian Band Board of Review v. Musqueam Indian Band, 2015 BCCA 158 (36478)

How is leased aboriginal land assessed.

Civil Procedure/Employment Law: Freedom of Information v. Solicitor-Client Privilege
University of Calgary v. J.R., 2015 ABCA 118 (36460)

How do the above concepts intersect.

Civil Procedure in Québec: Contempt
Nadeau-Dubois v. Morasse, 2015 QCCA 78 (36351)

Was there contempt of court here.

Class Actions: Multi-Jurisdiction Process
Endean v. British Columbia, 2014 BCCA 61 (35843)

What is the appropriate procedure and process for national/multi-jurisdiction class actions.

Class Actions: Multi-Jurisdiction Process
Parsons v. Ontario, 2015 ONCA 158 (36456)
As above.

Medmal in Québec: Failure to Disclose
St.G. v. B., 2014 QCCA 2207 (36291)

There is a publication ban in this case, in the context of alleged failure to detect/diagnose.

Municipal Law/Transportation Law: Jurisdiction; Motions to Strike
Canadian Transit Company v. Windsor (Corporation of the City), 2015 FCA 88 (36465)

Which court has jurisdiction in this dispute.

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