Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

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 this last week:

1. R. v S.B., 2016 NLCA 20

[43] If the complainant had denied having the affair and said that she had been truthful in her statements to police, one can see the rationale for defence counsel putting to the complainant, “Don’t these messages show that you were having an affair and, therefore, you lied in your statements to the police?” But when the complainant readily admitted the affair and the untruthfulness in her statements to police, what purpose did reading out the text messages serve? It was not to show that she had an affair; she admitted that. It was not to show that she had lied in her statements to police; she admitted that, too. Both are legitimate in the truth-seeking function of a trial. What is not legitimate is the gratuitous humiliation and denigration of a complainant, which was what occurred when C.M.’s text messages were read aloud to the jury by defence counsel.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Childs v. Desormeaux, [2006] 1 SCR 643, 2006 SCC 18

1 A person hosts a party. Guests drink alcohol. An inebriated guest drives away and causes an accident in which another person is injured. Is the host liable to the person injured? I conclude that as a general rule, a social host does not owe a duty of care to a person injured by a guest who has consumed alcohol and that the courts below correctly dismissed the appellants’ action.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Harkat, 2014 SCC 37

[1] The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (collectively, “the ministers”) seek to have Mohamed Harkat, a non-citizen, declared inadmissible to Canada. Mr. Harkat is alleged to have come to Canada for the purpose of engaging in terrorism. He has been detained, or living under strict conditions, for over a decade. He potentially faces deportation to a country where he may be at risk of torture or death, although the constitutionality of his deportation in such circumstances is not before us in the present appeal.

[2] The reasonableness of the ministers’ decision to declare Mr. Harkat inadmissible to Canada is subject to judicial review, under Division 9 of Part 1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27 (the “IRPA scheme”). This scheme prevents Mr. Harkat from seeing some of the evidence and information tendered against him, because its public disclosure would harm national security.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Godbout v. Pagé, 2017 SCC 18

[4] Essentiellement, les pourvois soulèvent la question de savoir si une personne qui a été blessée dans un accident d’automobile et qui est admissible à des indemnités prévues par la Loi, mais dont l’état s’aggrave en raison d’une faute commise par une tierce partie, peut intenter contre cette dernière un recours civil pour être indemnisée du préjudice corporel résultant de cette faute subséquente. En d’autres mots, notre Cour est appelée à se prononcer sur la portée du régime d’indemnisation sans égard à la faute du préjudice corporel « causé dans un accident » au sens de la Loi. Elle doit par la même occasion se prononcer au sujet du corollaire de ce régime, c’est-à-dire la règle prohibant l’exercice de tout recours civil lorsque ce préjudice est indemnisé en vertu de la Loi (art. 83.57 de la Loi).

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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