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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. Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2018 ONCA 761

[1] Given the urgency of this matter, an immediate decision on this stay motion is required to ensure that the Toronto municipal elections, set for October 22, 2018, proceed in as orderly a manner as possible. In the unusual circumstances of this case, we have decided to announce our decision without delay and with briefer reasons than otherwise might be expected for a matter of this importance.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Rogers Communications Inc. v. Voltage Pictures, LLC, 2018 SCC 38

[1] Online infringement of copyright has become commonplace. Using peer to peer file sharing networks, Internet subscribers can download copyrighted content such as films and music, while simultaneously uploading that content for download by others who are thereby able to do the same. Through this concurrent downloading and uploading, peer to peer networks facilitate the rapid sharing of copyrighted content with multiple Internet subscribers simultaneously. And, due to the anonymity of the Internet, the identity of Internet subscribers who participate in this illegal sharing of copyrighted content is concealed from copyright owners.

[2] In 2009, the Government of Canada launched a consultation on copyright modernization to address the issue of online copyright infringement. It heard both from copyright owners who demanded a way to discourage online copyright infringement, and consumers who requested a method to determine if they, or someone using their Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, could be infringing copyright.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Parker, 2000 CanLII 5762 (ON CA)

[144] The blanket prohibition on possession and cultivation, without an exception for medical use, does little or nothing to enhance the state interest. To the extent that the state’s interest in prohibiting marijuana is to prevent the harms associated with marijuana use including protecting the health of users, it is irrational to deprive a person of the drug when he or she requires it to maintain their health. As in Morgentaler, the court must consider the actual effect of the legislation. While the exemption for therapeutic abortions was designed to preserve the pregnant woman’s health, it had the opposite effect in some cases by imposing unreasonable procedural requirements and delays. [See Note 9 at end of document] If the purpose of the marijuana prohibition is to protect the health of users and thereby eliminate the related costs to society, [See Note 10 at end of document] the overbroad prohibition preventing access to the drug to persons like Parker, who require it to preserve their health, defeats that objective. Other harms, such as impaired drivi ng, must be considered in context. For example, prohibiting the small number of seriously ill patients who require it from having access to marijuana does little to enhance the state interest in the safety of the highways.

(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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