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. Gashikanyi, 2017 ABCA 194

[71] The presence of individual discretion in a system of assignment poses a risk that some may think that panelists will be selected based on their perceived predispositions.[1] An appellate court that utilizes discretionary non-random methods to assign (or to replace an assigned judge) leaves open the potential for manipulation. It is this potential that is problematic because, even if manipulation is not actually occurring, the lack of objective guarantees or protections against such abuse can breed suspicions or perceptions of want of impartiality, thereby eroding the integrity of, and public confidence in, the administration of justice.

[72] Judges are no different than butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. All are human beings with different backgrounds and life experiences, different views of the world, and different philosophies.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Parsaei v. Toronto (Police Services Board), 2017 ONCA 512

[3] All of this appears to have been prompted by the appellant’s complaints about the way in which her son was being treated by school staff and by an overreaction on the part of the three women regarding who won, or should have won, a spelling bee at the school (the student who was declared the winner, or the appellant’s son). Ms. Pitney was apparently retained to act as the appellant’s “family advocate” in respect of these concerns. It is not clear what the purpose of Ms. Tovell’s involvement was.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Douez v. Facebook, Inc., 2017 SCC 33

[1] Forum selection clauses purport to oust the jurisdiction of otherwise competent courts in favour of a foreign jurisdiction. To balance contractual freedom with the public good in having local courts adjudicate certain claims, courts have developed a test to determine whether such clauses should be enforced. This test has mostly been applied in commercial contexts, where forum selection clauses are generally enforced to hold sophisticated parties to their bargain, absent exceptional circumstances. This appeal requires the Court to apply this test in a consumer context.

[2] Deborah Douez is a resident of British Columbia and a member of the social network She claims that Facebook, Inc. infringed her privacy rights and those of more than 1.8 million British Columbians, contrary to the Privacy Act of that province. Facebook is seeking to have the action stayed on the basis of the forum selection clause contained in its terms of use, which every user must click to accept in order to use its social network.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Vigi Santé ltée c. Syndicat québécois des employées et employés de service, section locale 298 (FTQ), 2017 QCCA 959

[41] Avec égards, une distinction fondamentale doit être faite entre la surveillance des salariés, par le biais d’une caméra ou par tout autre moyen, et le lien qu’une famille veut maintenir avec son proche qui vit en permanence dans une résidence du type de celle exploitée par l’appelante. En confondant les deux situations, l’arbitre commet une erreur déraisonnable qui vicie le reste du syllogisme fondant sa décision.

(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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