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 Hunt, 2016 NLCA 61

[32] In considering the integrity and repute of the justice system, particularly in light of the underlying principles discussed in Jordan, it is relevant to take account of the fact that a person under investigation, prior to a charge being laid, has no control over the process. He or she is at the mercy of the system. In general, this is an unavoidable aspect in the assessment of criminal allegations. However, a reasonable explanation is called for when delay caused by an investigation is unusually lengthy, where the person being investigated remains under a cloud in the community and for purposes of employment prospects, and is in the position of being unable to clear his name.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Orphan Well Association v Grant Thornton Limited, 2017 ABCA 124

[12] When oil and gas wells are producing, they are very valuable assets. However, when they cease to be productive they quickly turn into significant liabilities. For public safety and environmental reasons, the Alberta Energy Regulator has specific “end-of-life” rules on how a spent well must be rendered environmentally safe by being shut-in and “abandoned”. In general terms, the end-of-life obligations of the owner of the well are to cement-in various formations deep underground, to “cap” the well, and to restore the surface to its original condition: Alberta Energy Regulator Directive 020: Well Abandonment; Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, RSA 2000, c. E-12, s. 137. Compliance with those requirements can be expensive.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Quenneville v Volkswagen, 2017 ONSC 2448

[3] However, I needed a benchmark against which the Settlement could sensibly be measured. The most obvious was a legal benchmark. For example, how much would the class members in Canada have recovered under provincial consumer protection legislation or under the common law of tort?

[4] Because all of the vehicles have been driven and none of them can be returned in their original condition, the remedy provided under s. 18(1) of the Ontario Consumer Protection Act,[3] namely rescission of the purchase agreement, return of the car and recovery of the full purchase price, is not available. Under s. 18(2) of the Ontario Act and under tort law generally, the measure of damages that applies here, put simply, is “Price paid minus value received.”[4] I will refer to this formula as “the tort approach.”

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Wolfson, 2017 QCCS 1503

[20] La volonté de mettre fin à « la culture de complaisance à l’égard des délais qui s’est répandue dans le système de justice criminelle ces dernières années »[7] ressort clairement de l’arrêt Jordan, qui faut-il le rappeler, s’avère unanime quant au résultat dans cette affaire.

[21] Le nouveau cadre d’analyse mis en place par la Cour suprême se caractérise par une méthode fondamentalement différente et prospective à l’égard des accusations portées après cette décision, mais requiert une approche prudente, contextuelle et souple en ce qui concerne les dossiers en cours d’instance.

(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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