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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Law Library of Congress Report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative law report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms.

The report analyzes legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) plants and foods in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States.

There is also a bibliography.

Earlier comparative law reports from the Law Library of Congress have covered topics such as:

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

Officers of the Worker and Employer Advisers Who Give Legal Advice Must Be Licensed Paralegals

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that employees of Ontario’s Office of the Worker Adviser and Office of the Employer Adviser who provide legal services relating to the Occupational Health and Safety Act must be licensed paralegals. The Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers provide certain legal services under the OHSA to employees and employers in non-union environments.
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Unconscionable and Unenforceable

The practices of some “form-filler” companies who assisted residential school survivors with filing their claims under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) were described as “unconscionable” in a decision from the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench issued last week.

The form-filler companies were charging a contingency fee of some 15-25% of settlement amounts paid to claimants under the Agreement. The terms of the IRSSA permit lawyers to charge a maximum legal fee of 30% of a settlement, of which the federal government will pay up to 15%. Where form-fillers were used, many claimants paid fees over and above the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Family Status Discrimination – the Federal Court of Appeal Rules

Balancing work and life is a challenge. We all wish we could take time off from work for every personal and family activity that takes place during work hours and in most provinces, human rights laws have created protection against what is referred to as “family status” discrimination. There has been much confusion over the interpretion of this language. Employees want time off and flexible schedules to spend time with their families. Employers need employees to be working at certain times and, for operational needs, often cannot accommodate every request - even if they wanted to. Conflicting decisions from different . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Massive Aggravated Damage Awards Contain a Punitive Element

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled in a monumental employment law claim which included intentional infliction of mental suffering, affirming an unprecedented award in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. 

The case dealt with a workplace conflict where the plaintiff claimed to be constructively dismissed. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded 20 weeks salary in damages, the amount specified in her employment contract, $200,000 in aggravated damages against the employer for the manner of dismissal, and $1,000,000 in punitive damages. The jury also awarded an additional $100,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering against the manager with . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Update: Bill 52, Assisted Suicide Bill Passes Third Reading

The Quebec National Assembly has adopted a historic “right-to-die” legislation (94-22 margin/0 Abstention), the first in Canada. All 22 votes against Bill 52 were from Liberal members, including 10 cabinet ministers. The Bill gives terminally ill adult patients in the province of Quebec, who are of sound mind, the right to palliative care and medical assistance to die in exceptional circumstances and safeguards.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Federal Court of Appeal Rulings on Landmark Family Status Cases

On May 2, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal released its long-awaited decisions in Canada (Attorney General) v. Johnstone, 2014 FCA 110 (CanLII) and Canadian National Railway Company v. Seeley, 2014 FCA 111 (CanLII). The rulings confirm that child care obligations fall under the scope of family status under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and clarify the test for meeting a prima facie case of discrimination on the prohibited ground of family status. Let's examine what is involved in the accommodation of family status.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Justice Clément Gascon

In five days, Justice Clément Gascon of the Cour d’Appel will assume Justice Fish’s seat on the Supreme Court.

The announcement from the Prime Minister’s office is terse:

« Je suis ravi d’annoncer la nomination de M. le juge Clément Gascon à la Cour suprême du Canada. M. le juge Gascon, qui siège actuellement à la Cour d’appel du Québec, possède un important bagage d’expérience et de connaissances juridiques dont profitera grandement cette importante institution canadienne. Sa nomination survient au terme de vastes consultations menées auprès d’éminents membres du milieu juridique du Québec. » –

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

Neighbours From Hell – Marcel Proust to Ed Morgan via the Carlisle

Three delightful legal curios remind us that when neighbours fall out, balance and judgment cascade out the window – or are defenestrated.

Let’s start with Monsieur Proust – who was sensitive beyond sensitivity. Yet even a cork-lined writing room couldn’t shield him from shoes on wooden floors and thin walls, from the harp-playing wife of an American dentist, Marie Williams.

Gallimard published the recently found letters as an epistolary novel, Lettres à sa voisine, last year. The catalogue descibes it thus::

«C’est un vrai petit roman, fondé sur une surprise : la découverte de ces vingt-trois lettres

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

The Jaylene Redhead Inquest Report

Twenty-month old Jaylene Redhead was killed by her mother on June 29, 2009 while both were resident in a second-stage housing facility in Winnipeg. Jaylene had been apprehended from her mother’s care at birth by Awasis Agency of Northern Manitoba but had been returned to her mother’s care at the Native Women’s Transition Centre in the months before her death.

The Inquest Report of Judge Lawrence Allen into her death, released May 23, reveals the awful details of this child’s short life. The inquest was called in 2011 under the provisions of Manitoba’s Fatality Inquiries Act to:

  • inquire into the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Implications of Mandatory Retirements in Partnerships

The Supreme Court of Canada decision in McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, mentioned recently by Simon Chester, will have implications beyond just how human rights legislation applies to mandatory retirement provisions in partnership agreements. Because such provisions will be upheld, firms can be expected to include and rely on them further, and the baby boomer population of lawyers who are quickly approaching retirement age may now expect a forced retirement from partnership.

Some economists reject the “lump labour” theory, which suggests that unemployment can be, in part, attributable to the refusal of older workers to retire. However, even . . . [more]

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