Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

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 as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (June 22 to July 13, 2018 inclusive).


Civil Procedure/Tobacco Litigation: Disclosure
British Columbia v. Philip Morris International, Inc., 2018 SCC 36 (37524)

Health databases constitute “health care records and documents of particular individual insured persons or . . . documents relating to the provision of health care benefits for particular individual insured persons” as set out in the Act, and are therefore not compellable. Neither their relevance to the pleadings in the Province’s action nor their anonymization insulate them from the text of the statute, read in its entire context and grammatical and ordinary sense, in harmony with the Act’s scheme and object. The concern of “trial fairness” is premature; the Legislature has provided a number of mechanisms through which trial fairness may be preserved.

Criminal Law: Sentencing; Post-Crime Vigilante Violence
R. v. Suter, 2018 SCC 34 (37247)

There is no requirement that collateral consequences emanate from state misconduct in order to be considered as a factor at sentencing. Here the violence suffered by the accused at the hands of non-state vigilante actors can be considered when determining an appropriate sentence. The violent attack on the accused, and both the permanent physical injury and psychological trauma resulting from this attack necessarily form part of the accused personal circumstances. In light of the sentencing principles of individualization and parity, the vigilante attack was a relevant collateral consequence to consider at sentencing. But this particular collateral consequence should only be considered to a limited extent; giving too much weight to vigilante violence at sentencing allows this kind of criminal conduct to gain undue legitimacy in the judicial process, which should be avoided.

Municipal Law in Québec: Expropriation
Lorraine (Ville) v. 2646 8926 Québec inc., 2018 SCC 35 (37381)

The judge below had appropriately exercised his discretion in dismissing the action in nullity for being out of time. But this has no bearing on the claim for an indemnity for disguised expropriation, which can continue in the Québec Superior Court for claims remaining unresolved.

Leaves to Appeal Granted

Criminal Law: Fines In Lieu of Forfeiture
Rafilovich v. R., 2017 ONCA 634 (37791)

When can a fine in lieu of forfeiture be ordered.

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