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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Are Common Law Couples Victim of Discrimination?

This year, Quebec’s highest court had to decide if common-law couples residing in Quebec were victims of discrimination based on section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Quebec’s Civil Code does not afford common-law partners access to alimony, the sharing of family property and the protection of the family residence, among other rights that married or civil union couples enjoy (see sections 585, 401–430, 432, 433, 448–484 of the Code).

The Quebec Civil Code, which governs relations between private persons, treats common-law spouses as two independent individuals, regardless of the length of their union. It . . . [more]

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

The Sound of Silence

Six Canadian provinces have legislative recognition of Remembrance Day, though only two mention Two Minutes Silence, Ontario and Alberta. Nova Scotia for example says:

Every employer carrying on or engaged in an industry to which Section 3 does not apply shall, subject to Section 8, relieve the employees in the industry from duty, and suspend the operations of the industry, for a period of three minutes, at one minute before eleven oclock in the forenoon.

This post is about silence, and the legal protection of silence.

You have the right to silence. And in Quebec, a judge cannot refuse . . . [more]

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

Social Media Use in the Workplace – Slagging Your Boss

Today’s New York Times is reporting on a Federal labor relations board decision last week to proceed with a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service, American Medical Response, that canned an emergency medical technician for breaching a company policy that bars employees from depicting the company “in any way” on Facebook or other social media sites in which they post pictures of themselves.

This is the first case in which the US board has stepped in to argue that employees’ criticisms of their companies or bosses on a social networking site will be a protected activity and that employers would . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Office Technology

Return to the Halifax Conflicts Debate

In addition to our post last Monday, here is the video of what happened at Dalhousie Law School during the Wickwire Lectures.

Our thanks to Richard Devlin and his colleagues for making it available. Wickwire Lecture 2010

Be patient with it loading – it’s a 1350 MB beast of a file, which will load wonderfully on university broadband, but may be slow to load on the computers of mere mortals. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Update on Anti-Hate Provisions of Human Rights Legislation

On October 28, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission leave to appeal the decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in the Whatcott case. In this appeal, the commission will be asking the Court for guidance on where the line should be drawn between extreme speech and the right of citizens to express their beliefs freely. You can read more on the case and topic in previous Slaw posts here and here.

A date for the hearing hasn’t yet been set.

In the meantime, the Saskatchewan government say they plan to introduce amendments . . . [more]

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

Tweeting, Jurors and the Florida Clampdown

If you’re summoned for jury duty in Florida keep your thoughts on your civic responsibilities and leave your personal electronics at home.

Many of you have cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Even though you have not yet been selected as a juror, there are some strict rules that you must follow about using your cell phones, electronic devices and computers. You must not use any device to search the Internet or to find out anything related to any cases in the courthouse.
Between now and when you have been discharged from jury duty by the judge, you

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

Negligence and Young Children

Most Slaw readers will have read from one source or another that a New York trial court has ruled that a child still four years of age can be sued for negligence. The child defendant was riding a bike with training wheels when she and her friend ran into an old woman, knocking her down; the fall broke the woman’s hip. (The woman died three months later of unrelated causes.) The story in the New York Times provides the basic facts.

The judgment, Menach v Breitman, is available as a photocopied image in PDF. I’ve OCR’d that judgment . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Sedona Canada Commentary on Proportionality in Electronic Disclosure & Discovery

Last week, the Working Group 7 of The Sedona Conference – “Sedona Canada” – issued a public comment draft of “The Sedona Canada Commentary on Proportionality in Electronic Disclosure & Discovery.”

As explained by Justice Colin Campbell in his Foreword, proportionality is not a new concept in civil procedure, but has become a critical practical imperative and conceptual ideal given the impact of electronically stored information on litigation. He says, “Civil litigation simply becomes cost-prohibitive and burdensome without early and careful attention to identifying key sources of potentially relevant data and ensuring that only potentially relevant and unique data is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Appeal of Gomery Quashing Denied

Last week I covered the litigation from the Adscam controversy relating to journalistic privilege in Globe and Mail v. Canada. This week, the Federal Court released Canada (Attorney General) v. Chrétien relating to the Gomery Inquiry (pdf), the Royal Commission charged under the Inquiries Act with investigating the scandal.

From the outset, the inquiry was burdened with charges of bias and conflicts of interest. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien then sought judicial review of the inquiry of the Commission’s findings, which quashed the findings. The current appeal was an attempt to overturn this decision to quash . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions