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. Norheim v Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta, 2021 ABQB 465 (CanLII)

[38] While the privative clause does purport to preclude any judicial review, that is not the law. For at least the last 40 years, case law has held that no privative clause enacted by any Legislature can remove a Superior Court’s jurisdiction to review actions and decisions of administrative bodies. Judicial review is constitutionally guaranteed: Crevier v Quebec (AG) 1981 CanLII 30 (SCC), [1981] 2 SCR 220; Dunsmuir v New Brunswick 2008 SCC 9 at para 31; and Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v Vavilov 2019 SCC 65 at para 24.

[39] Further, judicial review is not restricted to reviewing only those matters over which the Judicial Council had jurisdiction. Judicial review can also be combined with an application for other relief including Charter relief, which the administrative body may have been incompetent to consider: Gramaglia v Alberta (Government Services Minister) 2007 ABCA 93 at paras 37-41.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Pederson v Brandt Developments Ltd., 2021 SKPC 35 (CanLII)

[24] Put another way, contracts which are intended to govern any given relationship (including an employment relationship) may be held by a court to be null and void for a variety of reasons. Fraud, misrepresentation, non est factum and mistake are a few of these reasons but these are not pertinent to this action because there is no evidence to support these contentions. However, there are others. While I do not intend to speak to all of them (because they are not applicable to this action), there are three situations which do have application: unconscionability, ambiguity and illegality.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Chouhan, 2021 SCC 26 (CanLII)

[2] Although peremptory challenges were a long‑standing example of what Blackstone described as the “tenderness and humanity to prisoners, for which our English laws are justly famous”, they have drawn significant controversy in recent decades (Commentaries on the Laws of England (16th ed. 1825), Book IV, at p. 353). While peremptory challenges permitted the Crown and the accused to exclude prospective jurors for suspected bias, they also had a darker side — a side which allowed for the arbitrary exclusion of jurors, as well as discriminatory practices born of prejudice and stereotypes, deployed by one side or the other to secure not an impartial jury, but a favourable jury. This quiet discrimination had palpable and well‑documented effects on the composition of juries.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Aluminerie de Bécancour inc. c. Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Beaudry et autres), 2021 QCCA 989 (CanLII)

[33] Lorsqu’il est question de la contestation d’une mesure administrative fondée sur l’article 10 de la Charte québécoise, la Cour suprême a développé des critères d’analyse spécifiques. Ceux-ci n’exigent pas la preuve d’un désavantage découlant de préjugés ou de stéréotypes. L’arrêt de la Cour suprême le plus récent sur cette question est l’affaire Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) c. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aéronautique Centre de formation)[58]. Tout en reconnaissant que l’interprétation de la Charte québécoise doit se faire à la lumière de celle de la Charte canadienne, la Cour suprême décrit la preuve nécessaire pour assurer le succès d’un recours fondé sur l’article 10 de la Charte québécoise. Cette disposition requiert de prouver trois éléments, soit : (1) une « distinction, exclusion ou préférence »; (2) fondée sur l’un des motifs énumérés au premier alinéa; et (3) qui « a pour effet de détruire ou de compromettre » le droit à la pleine égalité dans la reconnaissance et l’exercice d’un droit ou d’une liberté de la personne. Elle n’exige pas autre chose :…

(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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