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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Ethical Conduct in Cabinet Absent Precise Definitions of Conflict

The Conflict of Interest Act (the “Act”) is likely one of the most reviewed pieces of legislation this week, as a result of the release of the the Trudeau II Report. The characterizations of the Report, and the underlying lessons that may be gleaned, risk being lost to partisan narratives absent close scrutiny.

The history of attempts to define rules around conflicts of interest go back to at least the 1970s, but despite several discussion papers, task forces, committees, inquiries, and reports, very little was actually achieved for over three decades.

The first of these was a green paper introduced . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Supreme Court of Canada Refuses to Hear an Appeal on Campbell River Family Status Test

A previous Slaw article (which you can read here) discussed the recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision that confirmed that the stringent test set out in Health Sciences Assoc of BC v Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (Campbell River) to determine if there was a duty to accommodate based on family status and if there is a prima facie case of discrimination based on family status, continues to be the applicable test in British Columbia.

Since this decision, the employee was seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to address the inconsistency in . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Employee Entitled to Rescind Retirement Notice

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that an employee had the right to unilaterally revoke her notice of resignation due to changing circumstances, and was wrongfully dismissed when her employer would not allow her to do so.

Quick facts

December 31, 2016, a 64-year-old employee resigned after her employer said it would be implementing a new computer system, citing her concern with learning a new system. The employee’s supervisor offered the employee an opportunity to reconsider and told the employee she could revoke the notice if she changed her mind.

On October 11, 2016, the employer announced it wouldn’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Broadly Defining a Director’s Duty in Bill C-97

Corporations are essential to the modern economy. They allow for the organization and strategic application of capital in focused manner that allows for wealth to grow, and have been a fundamental legal innovation for the emergence of the capitalist economy.

Of course, corporations as legal entities are a legal fiction that converts what would otherwise be a piece of property into a party with its own free-standing rights. These rights are limited, however, and continue to be defined.

The Court in cases like Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Quebec and British Columbia Securities Commission v. Branch confirmed that although they enjoy . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Confirmation of Stringent British Columbia Test for Family Status Duty to Accommodate

A recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision confirmed that the stringent test set out in Health Sciences Assoc of BC v Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (B.C.C.A., 2004 “Campbell River“) to determine if there was a duty to accommodate based on family status and if there is a prima facie case of discrimination based on family status, continues to be the applicable test in British Columbia. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Accommodation of Disabilities and the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test administered by the American-based Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and is one of the most ubiquitous criteria for law school admissions across North America, including at Canadian law schools. Its use is not without controversy or its detractors, and there are some unique challenges that emerge in administering the LSAT in the context of applicants with medical disabilities.

The LSAT is notably not used in numerous law schools overseas. The Fairness Commissioner confirms that the number of internationally trained lawyers has risen from 7% in 2005, to over a third . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Contrasting Petersoo v. Petersoo and Moore v. Apollo Health [And] Beauty Care: Should a Judge or Arbitrator Ever Become an Advocate?

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently held in Petersoo v. Petersoo that a family law arbitrator should not ensure that a represented party is aware of an issue that is raised in the arbitration. This contrasts with Moore v. Apollo Health [and] Beauty Care, in which the Court of Appeal determined in 2017 that a judge who did not ensure that an unrepresented plaintiff who had intended to raise a claim had failed in his responsibility. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Accommodation of Religious Holidays in the Federal Election

Any planning of a public calendar can be challenging in a diverse and multicultural society. The Law Society of Ontario, for example, learned this the hard way when they scheduled the Barrister exam this year on June 4, 2019, which coincided with Eid celebrations of Muslims across the province.

The planning of a Federal election is a more extensive endeavour, not only in the national scope of the exercise, but in the more significant limitations imposed by statute. The Canada Elections Act, states,

Date of General Election

Powers of Governor General preserved

 …

Election dates

(2) …each general

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Continued Utility of Privacy Class Actions in Deterrence

Several years ago, I covered in the Western Journal of Legal Studies the emergence of class actions as a viable mechanism to promote privacy interests in the public. Central to this promise was the inability of statutory remedies to provide any meaningful deterrence against these breaches. I specifically focused on the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), which had never had a successful prosecution at that time.

Since then, there has been successful prosecutions under PHIPA starting in 2016, and there have been some changes that might make it more viable in protecting privacy interests. Amendments under Bill . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Years Spent as Contractor to Be Included in Calculation of Reasonable Notice

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Cormier v 1772887 Ontario Ltd., 2019 ONSC 587 (CanLII) involved the number of years of service that were included in the calculation of notice, whether a termination clause was valid, and also if inappropriate deductions were made from the employee’s pay.

Quick facts

The employer operated a business across Canada that involved marketing and advertising.

A long-time employee (with almost 23 years of service) was dismissed without cause and claimed $136,577.75 in damages for wrongful dismissal. In her claim, the employee submitted that she was entitled to 24 months of . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

My Horse for a Civilization: Regulating Carbon Emissions and Emergence of Climate Change Law

A century ago, Western civilization was still extensively using domesticated animals, specifically the horse, as one of the main means of transportation. Though domesticated for at least 6,000 years, this animal provided an invaluable means for people, goods, and services to move throughout North America, especially in inland areas away from shipping routes.

As could be expected, the common law at the time contained ample number of decisions that related to horses or incidents connected to horses. The horse was a central piece of technology that enabled civilization. Of course, all of that changed with the introduction of the Model . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has released a report on the Regulation of Artificial Intelligence that looks at AI regulation and policy in jurisdictions around the world.

It was written in January and published on the Library’s website recently:

“This report examines the emerging regulatory and policy landscape surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in jurisdictions around the world and in the European Union (EU). In addition, a survey of international organizations describes the approach that United Nations (UN) agencies and regional organizations have taken towards AI. As the regulation of AI is still in its infancy, guidelines, ethics

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law