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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Australian Decisions With JADE

I am a big fan of LIIs, CanLII, BAILII, CommonLII, WorldLII and as Yul Brynner channelling the King of Siam would say: et cetera et cetera et cetera. AustLII is on my list of happy sources. There is a non-LII alternative for free access to Australian legal judgments that is worth sharing here as well.

BarNet/JADE was recently complimented in a blog post at the International Association of Law Libraries site. JADE which is an acronym for Judgment and Decisions Enhanced was created as a practitioners resource.

A complimentary sign up for the service is painless and the site . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Outlandish Reputation Not a Defence in Online Defamation (Awan v. Levant)

We may not all like Ezra Levant, but we do have a lot to thank him for. As a defendant, I cannot think of a single individual who has developed the jurisprudence of online defamation more than him.

The judgement against him in Vigna v. Levant, and the related costs decision, has for several years now been the best authority on which blog content may be defamatory, and what may not be. However, the modest damages award in this case, and others, have still made online defamation a challenging area for plaintiffs.

Not one to disappoint, Levant was . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Suzanne Côté Takes Justice LeBel’s Chair at the Supreme Court

On the eve of Justice Louis LeBel‘s retirement, the PMO has announced his replacement. A Gaspésienne. A woman. A litigator in private practice at Osler’s Montréal office. Suzanne Côté. In every way a safe appointment, which has already been warmly received, and which raises none of the delicate difficulties of the previous announcement concerning Justice Marc Nadon. The timing is interesting on a day when all eyes are on Pierre Karl Peladeau announcing that he’ll run – and Doug Ford saying he won’t. This story may get lost.

The announcement stated:

« Je suis ravi d’annoncer la nomination

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Pregnancy and Parental Leave Top-Ups Are Separate and Distinct

It is discriminatory for employers to deny parental supplemental employment benefits (top-ups) to birth mothers because they receive pregnancy benefits. So said the Supreme Court of Canada in its unanimous oral decision from the bench on November 12, 2014, agreeing with the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Rejected Romantic Advance Led to Reprisal

Hank Peelle, the owner of Peelle Company Ltd., deluded himself into believing the company’s financial controller, Christine Horner, had a romantic interest in him, despite his 25-year marriage and her long-term relationship. When he thought the time was right, he tried to kiss her and she rebuffed him. Despite some genuine efforts to work it out, Peelle treated Horner differently and the relationship deteriorated. She resigned, making a claim of sexual harassment and reprisal against the employer.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Supreme Court Creates Duty of Honest Performance

Caveat emptor (buyer beware) or ubberima fides (utmost good faith)? What is a contracting party to do?

The Supreme Court of Canada released a decision this week in Bhasin v. Hrynew which revamps the understanding of how representations made during contractual negotiations are adhered to. The unanimous Court created an “incremental step” in developing a duty of honest performance, which was described as follows:

[93] …

(1) There is a general organizing principle of good faith that underlies many facets of contract law.

(2) In general, the particular implications of the broad principle for particular cases are determined by resorting

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

Real Estate Agent Loses $120,000 Commission for Not Sending Simple Email or Letter

The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned a trial decision costing a commercial real estate agent over $100,000 all because the agent failed to send a simple email or letter.

The facts of the case are relatively straight forward.

The vendor signed a listing agreement with Ariston Realty Corp. (“Ariston”). The listing agreement contained a holdover clause which provided that the vendor would pay Ariston a commission of 5% of the sale price in the event that the property was sold within six months after the expiry of the listing agreement to any party to whom Ariston introduced the property . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Does the Section 7 Bone Connect to Section 12 Bone?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been described as a symbol of Canadian identity. It is a fundamental part of our constitution, yet the notion of protecting our rights and freedoms is something which is often misunderstood.

In 1983, soon after the Charter‘s inception, Peter Russell described the notion of protection as something which was often explained as either present or not. Instead, as he stated in his article, “The Political Purposes of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,”

…in our actual civic experience we do not encounter these rights and freedoms in such a zero-sum

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

State Immunity, Torture, and Impunity

Today, justice was denied to Zahra Kazemi and her family. After an eight year struggle, the Supreme Court of Canada released the decision many of us feared: Iran and its functionaries are immune from the civil jurisdiction of the Canadian courts for having arrested, tortured and murdered Ms. Kazemi, a Canadian journalist.

There will be time to pick apart the decision over the coming months, and years. Right now, though, I can’t do much more than shake with frustration and grief. In my 2009 comment on this case, when it was still pending before the Quebec Superior Court, I . . . [more]

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

Of the Vilardell Case and a Victory for BC’s Middle Class

The thing about writing for a blog (especially one that commits you to weekly posts) is that often times you can only barely introduce a topic or idea.

And undoubtedly one of the best things about blogs is that cursory introductions are totally fine. Want popcorn commentary on a landmark decision from the country’s highest court? Bam. Here you go.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s October 2, 2014 majority decision regarding the (non) constitutionality of pricey court fees in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59, is big news here in BC. . . . [more]

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