Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

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, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with ((May 12 – June 8, 2016 inclusive).


Professions: Professional Secrecy in Québec
Canada (Attorney General) v. Chambre des notaires du Québec, 2016 SCC 20 (35892)

Professional secrecy is a principle of fundamental justice within the meaning of s. 7, and must remain as close to absolute as possible. A requirement under the federal Income Tax Act constitutes a seizure within the meaning of s. 8 of the Charter. A.G. Canada and CRA have not established it is absolutely necessary here to impair professional secrecy, and because the impugned provisions do not minimally impair the right to professional secrecy, they cannot be saved under s. 1.

Professions: Solicitor-Client Privilege
Canada (National Revenue) v. Thompson, 2016 SCC 21 (35590)

Given the holding in Chambre des notaires that the exception contained in the definition of “solicitor-client privilege” in s. 232(1) is constitutionally invalid, CRA’s request that the lawyer here be compelled to disclose must be rejected; information contained in those documents is presumptively privileged, and its disclosure cannot be required unless a court first determines whether solicitor-client privilege actually applies.

Leaves to Appeal Granted

Criminal Law/Securities: Trial by Jury

R. v. Peers, 2015 ABCA 407 (36865)
R. v. Aitkens, 2015 ABCA 407 (36866)

Can there be a trial by jury for provincial Securities Act changes.

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