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 (August 24 –October 13, 2017 inclusive).
Aboriginal Law: Document Retention/Destruction
Canada (Attorney General) v. Fontaine, 2017 SCC 47 (37037)
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement records can be destroyed. Interpreting the Agreement is a question of mixed fact and law reviewable for palpable and overriding error.
Civil Procedure/Class Actions: Discovery; Disclosure
Canada (Attorney General) v. Thouin, 2017 SCC 46 (36869)
Provincial rules on discovery do not apply to the Crown in proceedings where it’s not a party. Without a clear and unequivocal expression of legislative intent, it’s not open to the courts to depart from a recognized common law rule in this regard.
Criminal Law: Status of Tipline Callers
R. v. Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc., 2017 SCC 45 (37052)
This appeal was released on the following publication ban basis: “There is a ban on the publication of evidence, under ss. 517 and 539(1) of the Criminal Code, and an order under s. 648 of the Criminal Code. No information regarding evidence at the show cause hearing and the preliminary inquiry shall be published in any document nor broadcast or transmitted in any way before the trial has ended. No information regarding any portion of the trial at which the jury is not present shall be published in any document nor broadcast or transmitted in any way before the jury retires to consider its verdict. Although the reasons for judgment cannot be posted on our website while these publication bans are in effect, print copies are available from the Registry of the Supreme Court of Canada.” The S.C.C. (unanimously) dismissed the appeal.
India v. Badesha, 2017 SCC 44 (36981)
The Minister of Justice received assurances from the Indian government re concerns about health and safety in custody, and concluded there was no substantial risk of torture or mistreatment. The S.C.C. was of the view the Minister’s conclusion was reasonable, and the surrenders were not otherwise unjust or oppressive.
Torts/Municipal Law in Québec: Prescriptive Periods
Montréal (City) v. Dorval, 2017 SCC 48 (36752)
The short 6-month prescriptive period for actions against municipalities under the Québec Cities and Towns Act conflicts with the interpretation of art. 2930 C.C.Q., whereby a 3‑year general law prescriptive period in art. 2925 C.C.Q. applies where an action in damages is “based on the obligation to make reparation for bodily injury caused to another”. When art. 2930 applies, it precludes the application of the six‑month prescriptive period in the Act.
Leaves to Appeal
Criminal Law: (Alleged) Inappropriate Police Actions
R., A.G. Canada v. D.B. et al., 2017 BCCA 84 (37476)
There is a publication ban in this case, as well as a sealing order, in the context of alleged inappropriate actions by four police officers re the “Surrey Six”.
Professions in Québec: Liability for Referral
Salomon v. Matte-Thompson, 2017 QCCA 273 (37537)
When can lawyers be liable for making professional referrals.