Instead of calling a fall election, the Parti Québécois government has decided, among other things, to devote resources to fighting the federal government over a court challenge to An Act respecting the exercise of the fundamental rights and prerogatives of the Quebec people and the Quebec State (commonly called Bill 99), the provincial law that outlines Quebec’s rules for secession from Canada. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Case Comment’
Justice Pardu has quashed the decision of Arbitrator E.E. Palmer, and as a result (former) Hamilton Tiger Cats’ wide receiver Chris Williams is free to explore greener pastures in the NFL.
Williams had been under a two year contract with the Tiger Cats which contained a team option for a third year. The Tiger Cats had attempted to exercise the third year option and Williams tried to get out of the contract in order to explore potential options in the NFL, where he would earn significantly more money.
The Canadian Football League Players’ Association (who brought the case on . . . [more]
A recent American case has raised questions (more, again) about the future of privacy rights in the digital age and how to adapt current laws to an ever evolving technological world.
On July 18, 2013, in State of New Jersey v. Earls, 22 A.3d 114, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Constitution protects an individual’s right to privacy in the location of his or her cell phone and that police must therefore obtain a search warrant, based on probable cause, to access this information. The section of the New Jersey Constitution at issue in State . . . [more]
Last week the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled on a 7 year long custody battle between gay parents. At issue was the constitutionality of the Alberta Family Law Act and Family Law Relations Act.
At the centre of the drawn out family law litigation was the best interests of a 10 year old girl who spent her first 3 years living with her two dads. When the men split up the biological father and the birth mom objected to the non-bio dad having custody and access to his daughter. In his quest to be declared a legal parent and . . . [more]
Q: How many Canadian judges does it take to create a paradox?
A: 9 Supreme Court of Canada judges paying insufficient attention to the inconsistent text of their reasons for judgment and 1 trial judge applying a portion of those reasons literally.
(1) the but-for test is currently the ONLY test in Canadian tort law for proof of factual causation;
(2) the ONLY method of applying the but-for test is the method set out in Snell: the robust, pragmatic, approach;
(3) the robust pragmatic method isn’t applicable “when there is evidence to . . . [more]
The Supreme Court of Canada will announce Thursday at 9:45 am whether or not it will hear Magder’s appeal in the ongoing Rob Ford case.
In case you have been living under a rock (or outside of Toronto at least), Justice Hackland ordered the Mayor of Toronto out of office last September. The Mayor won his appeal before the Divisional Court in January, and was permitted to remain in office.
With an election scheduled for 2014, the Supreme Court ruling, should the Supreme Court elect to hear the appeal, will likely be largely academic.
Nevertheless, many will be . . . [more]
I recently wrote a post that sparked a firestorm of comments; most felt that I had overstepped myself for daring to suggest that the Law Society of Upper Canada ignores obvious conflicts in connection with its operations. This week we have another LSUC conflict issue.
Canadian Lawyer Magazine has reported on the ongoing proceedings between LSUC and Joseph Groia. As you are aware, Joseph Groia was found guilty of misconduct by a LSUC disciplinary panel last summer and he is appealing that decision.
The panel that will hear the appeal is comprised of 5 benchers – one of which . . . [more]
It’s a big week at the Supreme Court for our professional and personal communities. As most of us are already aware, tomorrow the SCC will hear arguments in the Bedford case and will ponder the criminality of certain acts related to sex work, namely communicating for the purposes of prostitution, being found in a common bawdy house and living off the avails of prostitution.
At the heart of the decision are questions of constitutionality, specifically whether these three Criminal Code provisions violate section 2 and 7 of the Charter. Both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada maintain . . . [more]
Some of you might be interested in recent comments of Professor Jason Neyers (of the University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law), which I repeat with permission, on the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Antrim Truck Centre Ltd. v. Ontario (Transportation), 2013 SCC 13 (CanLII).
Although from a very high level of generality, the Antrim case really changes nothing in relation to the way Canadian courts decide nuisance cases (a two-step test of substantialness and reasonableness) on many points of detail the case is very troubling. What are some of these troubling bits?
. . . [more]
The Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision in Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, found here.
A series of human rights complaints were filed against William Whatcott under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code for various flyers that he had been distributing in the community, expressing his dismay at the presence of “sodomites,” “filth and propaganda,” and “buggery” at local schools. Mr. Whatcott sought to challenge the constitutionality of the human rights complaints, arguing that they were incompatible with his Charter right to freedom of expression. A right that Mr. Whatcott believes in so fervently, by the way, that . . . [more]
On February 11, 2013, an adjudicator of the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner decided that Alberta’s Legal Aid Society is subject to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), with consequences for all non-profit organizations that conduct activities with a commercial character. . . . [more]
On Friday, January 25, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a tight majority judgment (five: McLachlin, Deschamps, Abella, Cromwell and Karakatsanis, against four: LeBel, Fish, Rothstein and Moldaver) that the Quebec Civil Code discriminates against common-law spouses because it does not grant them the same rights as married couples in regard to spousal support and division of property. However, and thankfully, the Court does not find that the discriminatory nature of these Civil Code provisions is unconstitutional. According to the Court’s decision, the infringement is a reasonable limit prescribed by law that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
. . . [more]