Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.
For the week of May 14 – 21:
- R. v. Duncan 2013 ONCJ 160
5. At heart, Mr. Duncan’s case was unremarkable. A minor alleged Highway Traffic Act offence led to a police-citizen interaction in the parking lot of Mr. Duncan’s apartment building in the wee hours of the morning. A request that Mr. Duncan produce his licence led to an alleged refusal, which led to an attempt to arrest him, which led to a struggle, which was captured on a very poor quality video taken on a mobile phone, at the end of which Mr. Duncan found himself being placed under arrest for allegedly assaulting a police officer. Nothing unusual in all that. The bread and butter of provincial court.
- Meads v. Meads 2012 ABQB 571
1. This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following descriptions: Detaxers; Freemen or Freemen-on-the-Land . . .
- Cojocaru v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre 2013 SCC 30
At trial, the Hospital, Nurse Bellini and the three doctors were found liable in negligence and damages were awarded to the plaintiffs in the amount of $4 million. The trial judge’s reasons reproduced large portions of the submissions of the plaintiffs. However, the trial judge did not accept all the submissions of the plaintiffs, discussed a number of issues and stated his final conclusions in his own words. The majority of the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge’s decision should be set aside because of the extensive copying from the plaintiffs’ submissions and ordered a new trial. The dissenting justice did not set aside the judgment because of the copying, but reviewed the case on its merits, and determined that the actions against Dr. Steele, Dr. Edris, the Hospital and Nurse Bellini should be dismissed. He indicated that he would have also reduced the damage award against the remaining defendant, Dr. Yue. The plaintiffs appealed the order of a new trial. The Hospital and Nurse Bellini cross‑appealed asking that the issue of liability and damages be resolved by the Court, rather than sending the matter back for a new trial.
The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. A.D.H. 2013 CSC 28
1. L’infraction criminelle est généralement constituée d’un acte prohibé (l’actus reus) et de l’élément de faute requis (la mens rea). Le pourvoi porte sur l’infraction d’abandon d’enfant que prévoit l’art. 218 du Code criminel, L.R.C. 1985, ch. C‑46 (le « Code »). La disposition criminalise l’acte d’abandonner ou d’exposer un enfant de moins de 10 ans de manière que sa vie soit effectivement mise en danger (ou exposée à l’être), ou que sa santé soit effectivement compromise de façon permanente (ou exposée à l’être). (Le texte intégral de la disposition est reproduit en annexe.) Le litige a pour objet l’élément moral de l’infraction : la faute doit‑elle être appréciée subjectivement ou objectivement?