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. Roberts v. Hamilton, 2018 BCPC 24

[39] Abbotsford is a city located within the Province of British Columbia, coincidentally the same province that Vancouver is located in. It is not in a foreign country and one may access Abbotsford by motor vehicle without having to clear Customs, ride a ferry or proceed through any sort of checkpoints. No one is asked to present their “papers” when entering this city. Persons visiting Abbotsford from Vancouver do not require a passport or any type of inoculation or shots before coming here. According to Google Maps, the distance from the Vancouver Provincial Court to the Court House in Abbotsford is 67.5 kilometres. While this trip cannot be compared to a leisurely Sunday drive, patient drivers make this trek each day with most of their sanity intact afterward. For many years now Abbotsford has had electricity and indoor plumbing. Its drinking water is not only safe, but has even won international awards. Abbotsford is generous community and often ranks first in the nation in charitable donations per capita. This community has many other virtues that are best left to the local Chamber of Commerce to extol.

[40] If I may be forgiven for that lapse into facetiousness, I would simply remind any parties who feel disadvantaged or abused by the fact that their out-of-town counsel are required to personally travel here, that this city is home to a large number of very able and competent lawyers and law firms and those parties may wish to consider the option of retaining local counsel as an alternative. I don’t view this as supporting the concept of abuse of process.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27

[1] Timely justice is one of the hallmarks of a free and democratic society. In the criminal law context, it takes on special significance. Section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms attests to this, in that it guarantees the right of accused persons “to be tried within a reasonable time”.

[2] Moreover, the Canadian public expects their criminal justice system to bring accused persons to trial expeditiously. As the months following a criminal charge become years, everyone suffers. Accused persons remain in a state of uncertainty, often in pre-trial detention. Victims and their families who, in many cases, have suffered tragic losses cannot move forward with their lives. And the public, whose interest is served by promptly bringing those charged with criminal offences to trial, is justifiably frustrated by watching years pass before a trial occurs.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Singh c. Attorney General of Quebec, 2018 QCCA 257

[5] The central question is whether principles of parliamentary privilege allow the National Assembly to exclude kirpans from its precincts or whether constitutional rights such as the freedom of religion and expression preclude the Assembly from excluding them. Both parliamentary privilege and guaranteed rights form part of the Constitution of Canada, and thus part of the supreme law. This appeal thus concerns the separation of powers. Its resolution requires consideration of principles of parliamentary privilege and the extent to which courts may review their exercise by the National Assembly in accordance with the freedom of religion or expression.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Rice, 2018 QCCA 198

[26] Toutefois, si cela constitue un résultat décevant en ce sens où l’affaire n’est pas dûment jugée et que la collectivité, incluant la victime, peut se sentir laissée pour compte, chaque arrêt des procédures doit pour l’instant devenir un électrochoc pour tous les acteurs du système et les gouvernements. Il permet de s’assurer que les affaires sont traitées avec célérité, à l’avantage de tous, y compris de l’accusé et de la victime. L’arrêt des procédures réaffirme les priorités du système de justice si un relâchement des efforts est noté.

(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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