On one Sunday 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. (Jan. 17 – Feb. 12, 2014 inclusive).
Criminal Law: Search and Seizure
R. v. MacDonald(N.S.C.A., May 11, 2012) (34914) Jan. 17, 2014
To determine if a safety search is reasonably necessary, and therefore justifiable, factors must be weighed to balance the police duty against the liberty interest in question, including: 1. importance of the performance of the duty to the public good; 2. the necessity of the interference with individual liberty for the performance of the duty; 3. the extent of the interference with individual liberty.
Civil Procedure/Torts: Summary Judgments
Bruno Appliance and Furniture Inc. v. Robert Hryniak (Ont. C.A., Dec. 5, 2011) (34645) Jan. 23, 2014
Summary judgment may not be granted where a genuine issue requires trial, and the motion judge should ask whether the matter can be resolved in a fair and just manner on summary judgment, and will be the case when the process: allows the judge to make the necessary findings of fact, allows the judge to apply the law to the facts, and is a proportionate, more expeditious and less expensive means to achieve a just result. If there appears to be a genuine issue requiring trial, based only on the record, the judge should then ask if the need for a trial can be avoided by using the new powers provided under Rules 20.04(2.1) and (2.2), and may use those powers, provided that their use is not against the interest of justice.
Labour Law: Pensions
Telecommunications Employees Association of Manitoba Inc.v. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (Man. C.A., Feb. 10, 2012) (34763) Jan. 30, 2014
A new pension plan violated legal duties that arose in accordance with The Manitoba Telephone System Reorganization and Consequential Amendments Act and is not inconsistent with a Memorandum of Agreement signed with representatives of the plan members.
Labour Law: Privacy
Bernard v. Canada (Attorney General) (Fed. C.A., March 16, 2012) (34819) Feb. 7, 2014
Provision of personal employee information to a union for representational purposes is not a Charter breach.
Torts: Unlawful Interference with Economic Relations
A.I. Enterprises Ltd. v. Bram Enterprises Ltd. (N.B.C.A., April 12, 2012) (34863) Jan. 31, 2014
The tort should be kept within narrow bounds, and be available in three‑party situations where the defendant commits an unlawful act against a third party that intentionally causes economic harm to the plaintiff. Conduct is unlawful if it would be actionable by the third party or would have been actionable if the third party had suffered loss as a result. The “unlawfulness” requirement is not subject to principled exceptions. If the unlawful means tort is not available, there can still be liability for breach of a fiduciary duty.
Criminal Law: Delay
R. v. Auclair (Que. C.A., Apr. 11, 2013) (35372) Judgment rendered Jan. 21, 2014
Chief Justice: — “We all agree, essentially for the reasons given by Doyon J.A. of the Quebec Court of Appeal, that this appeal should be dismissed…”
Criminal Law: Police Use of Deadly Force to Arrest
R. v. Davis (Alta.C.A., Jan. 24, 2013) (35327) Judgment rendered Jan. 17, 2014
LeBel J.: — “The Crown has conceded and we agree with the Alberta Court of Appeal that the trial judge made an error in allocating the burden of proof. But we agree with Chief Justice Fraser, in dissent, that this error may have tainted the evaluation of the evidence… the appeal is allowed and the…conviction is quashed…a new trial is ordered on the same charges.”
Criminal Law: Sexual Assault
R. v. James (B.C.C.A., Apr. 09, 2013) (35373) Judgment rendered Jan. 17, 2014
Moldaver J.: — “We agree with the majority of the B.C.C.A. that there must be a new trial in this matter”.
Criminal Law: (Alleged) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
R. v. W.E.B. (Ont. C.A., Nov. 14, 2012) (35089) Judgment rendered Jan. 16, 2014
Moldaver, J. – “…we see no error in the Court of Appeal’s analysis or conclusion. For these reasons, we would dismiss the appeal.”
Criminal Law: ‘Psychological’ Detention
R. v. Koczab (M.B. C.A., May 30, 2013) (35411) Judgment rendered Jan. 22, 2014
The Chief Justice — “The appeal is allowed for the reasons of Monnin J.A., dissenting in the Court of Appeal.”
Criminal Law: Unreasonable Verdict
R. v. Yelle (N.W.T. C.A., July 19, 2013) (35361) Judgment rendered Jan. 22, 2014
The Chief Justice — “We agree with the majority of the Court of Appeal that the verdict was not unreasonable. The appeal is therefore dismissed.”
Criminal Law: Retrospectivity (Credit for Pre-Sentence Custody)
R. v. Clarke (Ont. C.A. Jan 11, 2013) (35487) Judgment rendered Jan. 24, 2014
Abella J. — “The appeal is dismissed. Reasons to follow.”
LEAVES TO APPEAL GRANTED
Pharmaceuticals: Utility; Obviousness
Is the patent valid here.
Apotex Inc., et al. v. Sanofi-Aventis, et al. (Fed. C.A., July 24, 2013) (35562) Jan. 30, 2014