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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Elementary My Dear Watson

I’m guessing that of the readers of Slaw that there is a substantial subset that are fans of the BBC series Sherlock. So, fair warning if you haven’t seen the 3rd episode of Season 3 – “His Last Vow”, stop reading before you make the jump.

Now that I am sad that there will not be any new episodes for about two years, I have been thinking more about past episodes and I have a very simple question based on Episode 3. Let’s just say for the sake of my flight of fancy that Mary shoots Charles Augustus Magnussen and . . . [more]

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

English Law Commission Report on Contempt of Court: Court Reporting

The English Law Commission earlier this week released its report on Contempt of Court: Court Reporting.

The report is part of the Commission’s Contempt of Court Project that also looked at juror misconduct on the Internet and contempt in the face of the court.

Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, publication of material which has the effect of risking serious prejudice to active court proceedings can in some circumstances be punished as a contempt of court. Liability can arise irrespective of whether the publisher was aware that the publication would create such a substantial risk.

The Commission’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Superior Court of Justice Certifies a Class Action for Wrongful Dismissal Against IQT

On January 2, 2014 Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a class proceeding by 527 wrongfully terminated employees led by Bob Brigaitis and Cindy Rupert (represented by Ted Charney of Charney Practice Group) against their now bankrupt employer, IQT Solutions and the officers, directors, shareholders John Fellows, Alex Mortman, David Mortman, Renae Marshall and affiliated companies IQT Canada, Ltd., JDA Partners LLC, and IQT Inc. The employees seek to recover $20 million in unpaid wages and severance plus aggravated and punitive damages of $10 million. . . . [more]

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

Wearing My Religion: The European View

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
wearing my religion.
[apologies to R.E.M.]

As surely everyone in Canada will know there’s currently an attempt in Québec to impose a “charter of values” that would restrict the ability of some government employees to wear conspicuous religious symbols. Indeed, there has been discussion of extending to employers the freedom to impose rules excluding the use of conspicuous religious symbols.

In light of this, you might be interested to read “Religious Symbols, Conscience, and the Rights of Others” by Andrew Hambler and Ian Leigh in the Oxford Journal of Law . . . [more]

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

The Nadon Decision and the Wonderful Elasticity of Language

What struck me most about the Supreme Court of Canada’s Nadon decision was the simplicity of the underlying issues. “How should s. 5 and s. 6 of the Supreme Court of Canada Act be interpreted?” These questions go to basic issues of statutory interpretation involving the very composition of the Court. Yet the issue prompted a diversity of views from intelligent people – six on behalf of the majority, versus possibly four others (if the legal opinions of former Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron and scholar Peter Hogg are included together with Justice Moldaver’s dissent).

The only questions the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

It’s Time to Amend the Bank Act So Clients Can Collect on Judgments

Ontario utilizes a “loser pays” legal system in which the losing party is usually ordered by the court to pay a portion of the successful party’s legal fees. As a result, regardless of who wins, someone ends up with a piece of paper requiring the other party to pay money.

Assuming that the losing party does not voluntarily cut a cheque, a bank garnishment ought to be the most straightforward and direct means to collect. I emphasize the word “ought”.

Put simply, once a bank is served with a Notice of Garnishment it is required to seize any funds the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Black Spider Memos

A fascinating freedom of information/constitutional/administrative law case is winging its way to the UK Supreme Court.

It concerns 27 letters sent by Prince Charles to seven government ministers between September 2004 and April 2005 in which the heir to the throne lobbied for changes in policy.

A Freedom of Information tribunal decided in 2012 on the application of the Guardian newspaper that the Prince’s handwritten letters (dubbed the “black spider memos”) should be released because the public had a right to see how he had sought to influence government.

The Attorney General vetoed the tribunal’s decision and blocked publication, citing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Victim Compensation Reexamined in Ontario

In the aftermath of the disappearance and death of a high profile Toronto lawyer, the legal community has expressed a greater interest in the victim compensation fund in place for clients of lawyers and paralegals practicing in Ontario.

At the February Convocation, new guidelines were put in place for the victim Compensation Fund, which has been in place since 1953. The fund serves to protect the public per s. 51(5) of the Law Society Act, and is administered by a Compensation Fund Committee established under By-Law 12. The Guidelines created by this Committee was recently upheld by the Divisional . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Heather Robertson (March 19, 1942 – March 19, 2014)

We note the death of Canadian author, Heather Robertson, last Wednesday. She published her first book, Reservations are for Indians, in 1970, and her last book, Walking into Wilderness, four years ago. She was a founding member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

For the Slaw community she is best known for being the representative plaintiff in the action by freelancers to be paid royalties for electronic and digital access to their work. Robertson v. Thomson Corporation is the seminal case on copyright in a digital environment as it affects freelancers . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

“… and the Insight to Know When You Have Gone Too Far”

The title being a snippet of the Irish Proverb: “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.” Why that title? Well on Monday of this week it was the 17th, better known as St. Patrick’s Day. We all know St. Paddy’s Day (anyone else notice the push back at “St. Patty’s” day this year that I have not noticed previously?) is named after Saint Patrick who reputedly led the snakes out of Ireland and we all know the festivities . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Nadon Cannot Sit, Supreme Court Rules

In a six to one jointly written decision (Moldaver, J. in dissent), the Supreme Court of Canada has answered the questions In the Matter of a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning sections 5 and 6 of the Supreme Court Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-26, as set out in Order in Council P.C. 2013-1105 dated October 22, 2013 2014 SCC 21 as follows:

1. Can a person who was, at any time, an advocate of at least 10 years standing at the Barreau du Québec be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada as a member of the Supreme . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Electronic Evidence Case – Criminal Law and Social Media

The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently admitted into a criminal case screenshots of a Facebook conversation that took place the day after an alleged sexual assault between the complainant and the accused. R v Nde Soh, 2014 NBQB 20

The court held – properly, in my view – that the screenshots were electronic documents within the meaning of ss. 31.1ff of the Canada Evidence Act, which reflect the Uniform Electronic Evidence Act. It found that the documents were properly authenticated. It decided that the computer system was sufficiently reliable in the absence of any evidence from . . . [more]

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