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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Court of Appeal Confirms Canada Is a Constitutional Monarchy

While the headline to this post shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, it has made headlines. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal of Ontario rejected claims that requiring potential Canadian citizens to swear an oath to Her Majesty was unconstitutional and reaffirmed that because Canada is a constitutional monarchy, it is acceptable to be required to verbally ascribe to what the Monarch represents. For those of us who are history geeks (me) and monarchists (also me), the decision is a fascinating read. It discusses our history, our Queen (she is the Queen of Canada) and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Appellate Lawyers Take Heed

Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp, 2014 SCC 53

will change existing practice (necessarily outside of Quebec civil law cases: I leave the effect on civil law to others) where the central appellate issue is the meaning of the contract.

From the headnote:

The historical approach according to which determining the legal rights and obligations of the parties under a written contract was considered a question of law should be abandoned. Contractual interpretation involves issues of mixed fact and law as it is an exercise in which the principles of contractual interpretation are applied to the words of the

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

Quebec Employer’s Right to Waive Resignation Notice Decided by Supreme Court of Canada

On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., on the issue of whether an employer who receives a notice of termination from an employee can terminate the contract of employment before the notice period expires without in turn having to give notice of termination or pay in lieu of such notice.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Important Notice on Notice: Supreme Court of Canada Reverses Quebec Court of Appeal

In a surprising decision, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed the Quebec Court of Appeal (QCA) last week in a decision regarding the provision and payment of “reasonable notice” on resignation. In the original QCA decision, the Court held that when an employee resigns and provides notice, the employer is free to forgo the notice period and let the employee leave immediately, without payment. This is different than in any of the common law provinces which would require the employer to pay out the common law “reasonable notice” or previously agreed upon contractual notice. While acknowledging that this may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Accessing Personal Information in Legal Opinions

A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union found that the Dutch immigration authorities were not required to give a person access to a legal opinion about the person’s immigration status, though the opinion contained personal information about the person. Here is a story about the decision. Giving a summary of the personal information contained in the opinion was sufficient to comply with the obligation under the EU Privacy Directive to let people see the personal information about themselves.

Would such a request have a similar outcome in Canada, or would PIPEDA provide a separate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Vexatious Employees Turned Vexatious Litigants

We’ve all had experience with vexatious employees (not to mention vexatious colleagues) but we employment and labour lawyers often deal with vexatious litigants who happen to be former or current employees. I’ve personally had experience with employees filing similar claims for similar incidents before the Human Rights Tribunal, Superior Court, the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Employment Standards Office. These claims can often by filed for free or minimal charge to the employee but generate huge cost for employers. Additonally, employees (particularly those who are self-represented) often file multiple pointless motions with each of those forums.

Thankfully, as chronicled here . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of Lotus Land and Outdated Bicycle Laws

Here out west you’ll find a “Beads and Granola” culture (thank you, Douglas Coupland), where our mild work ethic, sea-to-sky nature and hospitable year-round climate lures would-be lotus eaters from across the vast confederation. British Columbia’s fresh air and crisp scenery encourages outdoor activities of all kinds. Even our roadways are a balmy, unblemished asphalt invitation for physical enjoyment through bicycling.

So it’s somewhat surprising that despite a progressive vibe, BC’s cycling laws are among the least friendly in the country.

Even as BC’s capitol city boasts astonishing commuter stats—at 5.9% Victoria has basically three times more bike commuters . . . [more]

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

Quebec Bill Would Require Small Farms to Collectively Bargain

Quebec's new government wants to ensure that all farm workers have the right to unionize and collectively negotiate working conditions with their employers. Minister of Labour Sam Hamad has introduced Bill 8, An Act to amend the Labour Code with respect to certain employees of farming businesses, which would require small farms to let a union represent their employees.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

US Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Warrantless Cell Phone Searches. Will the Supreme Court of Canada Follow?

Lower courts in both Canada and the US have been deeply divided on the application of their respective Supreme Courts’ precedents on whether the police need a warrant to search the contents of a smart/cell phone seized during a lawful arrest. On June 25, 2014, the US Supreme Court unanimously settled US law in Riley v. California, No. 13-132. The court found that privacy interests at stake outweigh any legitimate governmental interest, absent any “exigent circumstances”.

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution provides protection against unreasonable search. A common law exception to the protection under the Amendment . . . [more]

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

Grand Chamber Judgment Validates the Prohibition on Wearing the Full-Face Veil in Public in France

On July 1, 2014, in a final judgment that cannot be appealed, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of S.A.S v. France (application no. 43835/11), validated French Law no. 2010-1192, which prohibits concealment of one’s face in all places open to the public in France and found that the law does not violate the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions