Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On the second Sunday in each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, SupremeAdvocacyLett@r, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted (so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with). For leaves, both the date the S.C.C. granted leave and the date of the C.A. judgment below are added in, in case you want to track and check out the C.A. judgment. (July 12 to August 8, 2013 inclusive).


Civil Procedure/Language Rights: English Translation of French Court Documents
Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie‑Britannique v. British Columbia (B.C.C.A., June 27, 2012) (34908) July 26, 2013
The B.C. legislature has exercised its power to regulate the language to be used in court proceedings by adopting two different legislative provisions which require civil proceedings, including exhibits attached to affidavits filed as part of those proceedings, to be in English.

The B.C. legislature has ousted the inherent jurisdiction of the courts whereby the courts do not have a residual discretion to admit documents in languages other than English without an English translation.

Constitutional Law: Division of Powers
Marine Services International Ltd. v. Ryan Estate (N.L.C.A., June 15, 2011) (34429) Aug. 2, 2013
The Newfoundland and Labrador workers comp regime applies in this maritime accident case, not federal maritime law.

Criminal Law: Prior Inconsistent Statements
R. v. Youvarajah (Ont. C.A., October 20, 2011) (34732) July 25, 2013
The trial judge here may have overstated the scope of solicitor-client privilege and its consequences for the cross-examination of a co-accused, but the Crown has not satisfied its burden to show any errors would have materially affected the trial judge’s conclusion. Certain factors in this case made it difficult to assess the veracity of the prior inconsistent statement.

Immigration: Refugees; Complicity in Crimes Against Humanity
Ezokola v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) (Fed. C.A., July 15, 2011) (34470) July 19, 2013
Individuals can be excluded from refugee protection for international crimes through a variety of modes of commission, but guilt by association, however, is not one of them. The following list is a guide in assessing whether an individual has voluntarily made a significant and knowing contribution to a crime or criminal purpose:

(i) size and nature of the organization;
(ii) part of the organization with which the refugee claimant was most directly concerned;
(iii) refugee claimant’s duties and activities within the organization;
(iv) refugee claimant’s position or rank in the organization;
(v) length of time the refugee claimant was in the organization, particularly after acquiring knowledge of the group’s crime or criminal purpose;
(vi) method by which the refugee claimant was recruited and opportunity to leave.

Professions: Amicus Hourly Rates
Ontario v. Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Ontario (Ont. C.A., April 19, 2011) (34317) Aug. 1, 2013

Courts do not have jurisdiction to set hourly rates for amici curiae.

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