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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

UK Supreme Court Re-Visits Testamentary Freedom

In a decision released on 15 March 2017 , overturning the Court of Appeal, the UKSC reminds courts that when considering claims for financial support from the estate of a deceased, the test is not whether the deceased behaved unreasonably in leaving the will they did.

The right question for the court is: did the will/intestacy make reasonable financial provision?, not whether the deceased acted unreasonably.

Unreasonable testamentary behaviour of the deceased may be considered, but English law, the court confirmed, recognizes the freedom of individuals to dispose of their assets by will in whatever manner they wish, subject to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

University of Virginia Website on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

The University of Virginia School of Law has launched the Gorsuch Project, a website devoted to the career of Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016:

“Hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled to begin March 20 and interest in the nominee’s judicial record is high. To assist researchers, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Neil Gorsuch Project, a website that assembles all of Gorsuch’s written opinions, as well

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

Sometimes Legal Aid Is the Problem, Not the Solution

Introduction

Legal aid is intended to assist the most vulnerable in our society, and ensure that they obtain justice irrespective of their financial situations. Often it accomplishes this lofty objective. Far too frequently it does not.

What is more concerning is how references to legal aid are frequently invoked as an obstacle to legal reforms.

One such example would be for the proposal by the Bonkalo Report for paralegals to practice family law. Not unexpectedly, there are family lawyers and judges who have already come out against it. The most recent are several lawyer organizations and some judges of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Including Paralegals in Family Law – the Bonkalo Report

Few things are as contentious in the bar in Ontario as the scope of paralegals. Created in 2007, paralegals have been practicing under a limited scope which has explicitly excluded the provision of family services.

Last week, Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo released the Family Legal Services Review report, which was part of the Expanding Legal Services Options for Families review being conducted by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Although the report also focuses on more unbundled services and coaching by lawyers, and use of law students to provide family law, it recognizes,

The most controversial recommendations, however, will be

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 2006-2016

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Canada published a statistical overview of its work for the decade from 2006 to 2016.

It provides data on the following:

  • “Cases Filed”
  • “Applications for Leave Submitted”
  • “Appeals Heard”: by category of law, by regional origin, as of right/by leave
  • “Appeal Judgments”: the number of judgments rendered each year, how many were unanimous, how many were delivered from the bench/reserved
  • “Average Time Lapses”
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Limits on Accountants’ Duty of Confidentiality

On 18 February 2013 the Minister of national Revenue moved ex parte for an order under section 231.2(3) of the Income Tax Act, authorizing him to impose on KPMG LLP a requirement to provide information relating to certain of its unnamed clients, including their identities, and documentation relating to their participation in an offshore company tax structure.

KPMG moved for an order quashing the ex parte order. It sought a declaration that the sections of the Income Tax Act which authorized the order were of no force or effect because they unjustifiably infringe the protections of life, liberty and security . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Partisan Political Arguments in the Workplace

The U.S. 2016 presidential election and post-election is causing much debate, criticism, and protest outside of America. Canadians have actively participated in public marches and protests in response to Trump’s comments and proposed policies, as well as the recent U.S. ban on entry to that country from certain Muslim nations. According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, more than eight-in-10 Americans have said that the U.S. was more deeply divided on major issues in 2016 than in the past several years.

With this in mind, we need to ask where does political talk fit in the workplace? Or more importantly, . . . [more]

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

Systemic Racism as a Basis for Excluding Evidence

Introduction

The existence of racism in our legal system is no surprise.

David Tanovich has written extensively how the Charter has still largely been ineffective in addressing racism in the criminal justice system. Faisal Mirza has explained how mandatory minimum sentences disproportionate affect black Canadians, and he wrote this in 2001, before the additional sentences added in 2009.

We can go even further back to 1993, and the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System, which described a widespread and prevalent prejudice against blacks as follows:

First what we are dealing with at root, and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Despite Settlement Breach, an Award of Compensation Not Warranted

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, editor at First Reference

An Applicant recently went before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal), alleging that the Respondent failed to pay settlement monies owed to him per the schedule agreed to in Minutes of Settlement. The Applicant sought full payment of the general damages amount agreed to in the settlement and a further $1,000 for the harm caused by the breach. Although the Tribunal found there to be a contravention of settlement, it deemed that the delay in receiving the monies was relatively minor, and therefore an award of compensation was not warranted. . . . [more]

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

Comments Pro, Con and Neutral on Trump’s US Supreme Court Nominee

SCOTUSblog, the well-known American blog devoted to analysis of the United States Supreme Court, has been providing great coverage of US President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit) to fill the vacancy left on the top court of our Southern neighbour by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

Here are some links. Each of the SCOTUSblog posts below contains extensive links to news, commentary and analysis:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Just and Equitable Exception to Piercing Corporate Veil

After the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2015 decision in Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje, where the Court affirmed the ability of our legal system to hear foreign enforcement actions, the matter has returned to the Ontario Superior Court. The original stay by Justice Brown in 2013 was set aside by the Court, but the issue of the corporate separateness what not addressed until now.

A series of summary judgments, heard together, and a separate decision to amend the statement of claim further to add Chevron Canada Capital Company (“CCCC”), were recently released, shedding light on whether the corporate veil . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions