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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Breath Samples at Prom an Unreasonable Search

High school administrators have a challenging burden of ensuring the health and safety of children in their schools. High school students often get into trouble, including using alcohol before they are of the age of majority.

Although the high school prom is supposed to be a memorable occasion, many high school students only recall a haze due to drinking around and surrounding this event. One high school principal sought to use mandatory breathalyzers at his prom, but an Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling by Justice Himel in Simon Gillies et al v. Toronto District School Board found that this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Supreme Court Confirms Right to Strike Constitutionally Protected

For some, this decision took a long time to arrive.

The Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan confirmed once and for all that the right to strike is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This landmark decision strikes down Saskatchewan’s essential services legislation, which prevented a wide range of public sector employees from striking. This decision does not conclude that all essential services legislation that imposes limits on strike action will be unconstitutional; however, it will have an impact on the future of labour relations across Canada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Do We Need to Legislate Against Revenge Porn?

The UK has just passed a law to criminalize revenge porn (see ss 33 – 35). A fair amount of discussion clearly went into the drafting, considering the qualifications and the language. The law prohibits the publication or distribution of a ‘private sexual photograph or film’ without the consent of the subject and with the intention to cause the subject distress. There are fairly subtle definitions of the images, a broad definition of distribution (online or offline), and a requirement that the intention be specific, not just inferred as a reasonable consequence of publication or distribution.

This article describes the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Remedial Costs for Unreasonable Settlements by Insurers

In the threshold motion in Maxwell v. Luck, previously discussed here, Justice Howell pushed back against what is increasingly becoming a routine attempt by insurers to dismiss chronic pain on the basis of the lack of objective symptoms in personal injury claims.

The cost award, released shortly thereafter, may have significant effects on how insurers in Ontario approach threshold motions in the future.

Justice Howden awarded fixed costs of $150,400, and disbursements of $ 56,332, taking into account that the plaintiff was under a statutory obligation to pursue accident benefits as well. This approach was upheld in Moodie . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Does Including a Forwarding Feature to Defamation Amount to Republication?

The Supreme Court of Canada in Crookes v Newton held that the mere linking to a web site that contained defamatory material did not make the linker liable for defamation. Adding content to the link might change that result.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has recently held, however, that offering a link to an email program (e.g. ‘mailto:’) on a web page that contains defamatory material constitutes republication of that material, apparently whether or not anyone used it.

Weaver v Corcoran 2015 BCSC 165 (CanLII)

Here is the main passage on that point:

[261] The invitation to email the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Report on the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act Review

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure released the 79-page report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act review to the public on February 13, 2015. Overall, the report indicates that although the government and public and private sectors have shown strong support and commitment to accessibility, the slow implementation of the AODA has resulted in rather modest improvements for persons with disabilities in the areas of jobs and access to goods or services.
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Privacy Commissioner Issues Guidance on Police Body Cameras

The federal Privacy Commissioner has just released a report giving guidance on the privacy implications of police wearing body-worn cameras, and what police need to do to comply with privacy laws.

It points out that the issues around body-worn cameras are more complex than on fixed cameras.

As is usually the case with privacy issues, it is about balance – in this case balancing the advantages of the cameras with privacy concerns.

The report has this to say about balance:

There are various reasons why a LEA might contemplate adopting BWCs. LEAs could view the use of BWCs as bringing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Of Digital Legacies and Changes to Facebook’s Memorial Pages

I must preemptively refer you to John Gregory’s post from last year when it comes to canvassing the laws, and lack thereof, around how third party services (like Google, Facebook, PayPal, etc.) are obliged to act upon the death of an account holder. The whole legal terrain is fascinating, and consists of a stewing heap of conflicting rationales, policies, privacy legislation and common laws around the rights of heirs, deceased people, states and private corporations. It’s all heading in a better direction, probably, with the advent of uniform legislation like FADA, but for some time it has been quite . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Supreme Court Declines to Enshrine the Independence of the Bar as a Principle of Fundamental Justice

This morning in Federation of Law Societies of Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of Canada upheld (with minor adjustments) the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal and Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, was held defective since it did not adequately protect solicitor-client privilege in its search procedures. Parliament will have to significantly revise the scheme to add more safeguards.

A narrow set of professional duties was held to meet the principle of fundamental justice test, established in the Malmo-Levine test: R. v. Malmo-Levine; R. v. Caine: . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

UN Launches Database of Cases by Expert Committees on Human Rights

The UN Human Rights Office has launched a major public online database that contains all the case law issued by the UN human rights expert committees known as the Treaty Bodies.

The Treaty Bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. There are 10 of them including the Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The database was developed using data from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at the Utrecht . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Age Limit for Loss of Earnings Benefits Doesn’t Violate Charter

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act’s age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits does not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario’s Divisional Court decided in Gouthro v. Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal et al.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Plaintiff Awarded $13,000 Judgment and $90,000 in Costs

There are provisions in the Rules of Civil Procedure which provide that if a plaintiff brings a lawsuit in Superior Court and recovers an amount that is within the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court ($25,000), it is open to the court to order that the plaintiff shall not recover any of its legal costs of the lawsuit.

The rationale behind these provisions is straightforward. If a litigant fails to recover more than $25,000, then its claim ought to have been brought in the Small Claims Court which provides for a more streamlined, less expensive, procedure. A plaintiff, theoretically, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law