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. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (January 1 to February 10, 2016 inclusive).


Transportation: Railway Interswitching
Canadian Pacific Railway Co. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 1 (36223)

Interswitching regulations valid.

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: (Alleged) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
R. v. Meer, 2016 SCC 5 (36448) Judgment rendered Jan. 22, 2016

…To succeed in setting aside a trial verdict on the basis of the ineffective assistance of counsel, the appellant must show “first, that counsel’s acts or omissions constituted incompetence and second, that a miscarriage of justice resulted”: R. v. G.D.B., 2000 SCC 22, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 520, at para. 26. Aside from finding that “[c]ounsel’s ineffectiveness pertains to critical aspects of the trial”, the learned dissenting Justice did not indicate how the instances which he identified of counsel’s incompetence had occasioned a miscarriage of justice…

Criminal Law: Hearsay; Confirmatory Evidence
R. v. Seruhungo, 2016 SCC 2 (36523) Judgment rendered Jan. 18, 2016

Justice Moldaver: “A majority of the Court would allow the appeal and restore the acquittal substantially for the reasons of O’Ferrall J.A. Moldaver and Gascon JJ. would dismiss the appeal substantially for the reasons of Brown J.A.In the result, the appeal is allowed and the acquittal is restored.”

Criminal Law: Sexual Assault
R. v. Spicer, 2016 SCC 3 (36532) Judgment rendered Jan. 18, 2016

Publication ban, re defence of mistaken belief.


Charter/Constitutional Law: Physician-Assisted Dying
Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 4 (35591) Judgment rendered Jan. 15, 2016

Federal Government, 4-month extension; Québec exempt; non-Québecers apply for individual exemption.

Leaves to Appeal

Criminal Law: Drug-Impaired Driving
Bingley v. R., 2015 ONCA 439 (36610)

When can ‘Drug Recognition Expert’ evidence be admitted.

Criminal Law: Mr. Big
R. v. B., 2015 BCCA 195 (36537)

What is the appropriate contextual analysis to assess threshold reliability.

Criminal Law: Search & Seizure
Paterson v. R., 2015 BCCA 205 (36472)

Is the police-seized evidence admissible.

Labour Law: Collective Bargaining
B.C. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of B.C., 2015 BCCA 184 (36500)

Constitutionality of provincial collective bargaining legislation.

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