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Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Strudwick v. Applied Consumer & Clinical Evaluations Inc., 2016 ONCA 520

[115] With respect, however, I am of the view that in assessing the quantum of punitive damages the motion judge fell into legal error in two respects. First, he viewed Applied Consumer’s failure to try to conceal the misconduct or failure to profit from the misconduct as mitigating the company’s level of blameworthiness. I disagree. In my view, in the circumstances of this case, these factors are neutral. Second, the motion judge over-emphasized the impact of a damage award on the company, particularly given the lack of evidence about the company’s financial situation. In my view, these errors led the motion judge to award an amount insufficient to accomplish the objectives of retribution, deterrence and denunciation. As a result, this court is justified in conducting its own analysis of the appropriate quantum of punitive damages.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27

[1] Timely justice is one of the hallmarks of a free and democratic society. In the criminal law context, it takes on special significance. Section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms attests to this, in that it guarantees the right of accused persons “to be tried within a reasonable time”.

[2] Moreover, the Canadian public expects their criminal justice system to bring accused persons to trial expeditiously. As the months following a criminal charge become years, everyone suffers. Accused persons remain in a state of uncertainty, often in pre-trial detention. Victims and their families who, in many cases, have suffered tragic losses cannot move forward with their lives. And the public, whose interest is served by promptly bringing those charged with criminal offences to trial, is justifiably frustrated by watching years pass before a trial occurs.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518

[6] TWU wants to establish a law school. Although members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (“LGBTQ”) community may apply to the proposed law school, they will not be admitted unless they are willing to sign and adhere to TWU’s Community Covenant, described below, which forbids sexual intimacy except between married heterosexual couples. The consequence is that LGBTQ students are discriminated against in terms of admission to, and life at, TWU. TWU, on the other hand, says that its Community Covenant is protected by its right to freedom of religion.

[7] This appeal arises from a decision by the Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC”) on the accreditation of TWU’s proposed law school. TWU wants to be sure that its graduates will be eligible to be called to the bar throughout Canada, and so it has applied to the provincial law societies, including the LSUC, for accreditation of its proposed law school.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Jordan, 2016 CSC 27

[1] La justice rendue en temps utile est l’une des caractéristiques d’une société libre et démocratique. Elle revêt une importance particulière en matière criminelle. L’alinéa 11b) de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés en est la preuve, puisqu’il garantit à l’inculpé le droit « d’être jugé dans un délai raisonnable ».

[2] La population canadienne s’attend en outre à ce que son système de justice criminelle juge les inculpés de manière diligente. Quand les mois suivant une inculpation au criminel deviennent des années, tout le monde en pâtit. Les inculpés demeurent dans l’incertitude et souvent détenus avant leur procès. Les victimes et leurs familles, qui dans bien des cas ont subi des pertes tragiques, ne peuvent tourner la page. Le public, quant à lui, dont l’intérêt est servi lorsque les inculpés sont traduits rapidement en justice, est frustré avec raison de voir des années passer avant la tenue d’un procès.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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