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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Wigmore Criteria Upheld for Journalistic Sources

The Supreme Court of Canada released the highly-anticipated decision in Globe and Mail v. Canada on Friday. The court considered three appeals emerging from the Sponsorship Scandal or “AdScam,” where a misappropriation of public funds in Quebec under Paul Martin’s Liberal Party of Canada, which ultimately led to his party’s downfall. The scandal is still cited as one of the main reasons why the Federal Liberals continue to suffer in the polls.

The Globe & Mail has made their factum and the respondent’s factum available on their website, along with responses from various individuals in the legal and publishing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Privacy Commissioner Finds Google Street Contravened Privacy Laws

There has been a lot of press over the Privacy Commissioner’s decision that the Google Street View collection of information from unprotected wifi signals breached PIPEDA. See the press release, and the decision. See examples of press reports by the CBC and CTV. The CTV report says that Spanish regulators announced they were filing a lawsuit against Google for the incident, seeking millions in fines.

I know nothing more about this than I read in the press – but I think we need to put Google’s actions in perspective here. Yes, it should not have collected that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

The Charter Right to Criticize a Prof

This past week the Alberta Queen’s Bench released Pridgen v. University of Calgary, 2010 ABQB 644, a decision which quashed the academic discipline of students who had criticized a university professor.The applicants were participants in a Facebook group that used potential defamatory statements, which prompted in a complaint by the professor that resulted in non-academic discipline for misconduct.

The university did not allow the students to appeal the decision to the Board of Governors Discipline Appeal Committee, thereby preventing them from exhausting all internal remedies before seeking judicial review. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Fifty Gallons Rum

In the course of this profession you occasionally come across little oddities that catch your attention and amuse you. When it happens to me I often share them here at Slaw. The most recent oddity to catch our attention is an interestingly named case from Nova Scotia in 1919, The King v. Fifty Gallons Rum, (1919) 53 NSR 131, 31 CCC 10. Hitherto I had been unaware that an inanimate object could be named in an criminal case. In this instance it seems that Fifty Gallons of Rum, was caught at the wrong place, at the wrong . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Appeal Granted by Federal Court for 1-Click Patent Application

With a hat-tip to my young colleague, Michael Ladanyi:

While the decision is not yet posted online, according to the Federal Court website,’s appeal of the Commissioner’s Decision denying a patent for its 1-click purchasing was granted today. The status update giving notice that the appeal was granted can be seen here. The application describes purchasing items over the Internet using a single-action by transmitting a client identifier associated with information about a buyer.

Here is the full text of the status update posted online today:

Reasons for Judgment and Judgment dated 14-OCT-2010 rendered by The

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Sex Workers in British Columbia Launch Their Own Challenges to Canada’s Prostitution Laws

Following the landmark ruling on September 28, 2010, by Ontario’s Superior Court Justice Susan Himel, which struck down various sections of the Criminal Code of Canada dealing with prostitution because of safety and security concerns to sex trade workers, and effectively decriminalized prostitution in Ontario, another case in British Columbia would like to follow suit.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

SCJ Jurisdiction Over Academic Disputes

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Jaffer v. York University, 2010 ONCA 654, which reaffirms the proposition that the Superior Court of Justice does have jurisdiction over academic disputes that are grounded in contract or tort.

University administrators will find the ruling important in assessing their liability to civil claims, and students bringing civil suits against universities will find it useful in constructing proper pleadings.


The plaintiff, Ashif Jaffer, had Trisomy 21, also known as Down’s Syndrome, and was accepted to York’s Glendon College in September 2006. Although attempts were made to determine . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Supreme Court of Canada Facta for Upcoming Hearings Available Online

The fall 2010 session of the Supreme Court of Canada began earlier this week.

Not everyone knows that electronic facta filed by the parties in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada are available on the Court’s website. This has been so for cases filed since February 2009.

For example, if you want to find out about the arguments of the parties in upcoming hearings of the fall season, you only need to click on the style of cause (party name) link for a particular case.

For example, today, the Court heard an appeal in the case of Information . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

European Court of Human Rights Factsheets

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) based in Strasbourg has published a series of Factsheets that deal with various themes such as the situation of the Roma, the rights of homosexuals, prison conditions and environmental rights. They include both decided cases and pending applications before the Court.

The full list of Factsheets:

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

Decriminalizing the Oldest Profession in the World

On September 28, 2010, the Superior Court, without deciding whether or not there is a constitutional right to sell sex or the right policy model (criminalization, regulation or abolition), agreed with the plaintiffs’ arguments, ruling that the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution contribute to the danger faced by sex-trade workers in Ontario.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Text of the Bedford v. AG Canada Prostitution Case

As followers of Canadian legal news will know, a judge of the Ontario Superior Court today ruled that Canada’s prostitution laws violate the Charter. To quote from the National Post story:

The judge struck down three sections of the Criminal Code that make it illegal to operate a “common bawdy house,” to profit from prostitution-related activities or “communicates” on the street for the purpose of prostitution. The provisions “force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person,” said the judge, in finding that the laws breached the Charter of Rights.

A PDF . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions