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 as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (February 15 – March 29, 2018 inclusive).

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: Sexual Assault
R. v. A.R.J.D., 2018 SCC 6 (37715) Judgment rendered Feb. 13, 2018

The Chief Justice: “The appellant was acquitted at trial of three sexual offences … A majority of the Court of Appeal of Alberta allowed the Crown’s appeal … We would dismiss … In considering the lack of evidence of the complainant’s avoidance of the appellant, the trial judge committed the very error he had earlier in his reasons instructed himself against: he judged the complainant’s credibility based solely on the correspondence between her behaviour and the expected behaviour of the stereotypical victim of sexual assault. This constituted an error of law. We do not read the majority reasons, including paras. 39 and 41 highlighted by the defence, as suggesting otherwise.”

Criminal Law: Sexual Assault
R. v. G.T.D., 2018 SCC 7 (37756) Judgment rendered Feb. 19, 2018

There is publication ban in this case and on the name of the party, with oral reasons by Justice Brown, in which Chief Justice Wagner dissented, in the context of the “hold off” period for police questioning.

Criminal Law: Sexual Assault with a Weapon
R. v. A.G.W., 2018 SCC 9 (37795) Judgment rendered Feb. 19, 2018

There is a publication ban in this case and on the name of the party, with unanimous oral reasons by Justice Abella, dismissing the appeal, for the reasons of the majority in the C.A. upholding the conviction.

Criminal Law: Sexual Interference
R.A. v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2018 SCC 13 (37757) Judgment rendered March 26, 2018

Justice Moldaver: “A majority of the Court would dismiss the appeal, substantially for the reasons of the majority of the Court of Appeal. Justice Gascon, dissenting, would have allowed the appeal for the reasons of Justice Trotter.”

Criminal Law: Judges’ Reasons
R. v. Black, 2018 SCC 10 (37665) Judgment rendered March 15, 2018

The Chief Justice: “Mr. Black was convicted at trial of importing cocaine into Canada, contrary to s. 6(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c. 19 . His appeal against conviction was dismissed by a majority of the Court of Appeal for Ontario … We agree with Justice Pardu that the trial judge’s reasons, even when read as a whole and in the context of the trial record, fail to reveal the basis on which the trial judge concluded that the Crown had proven the mental element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. The reasons fail to fulfil the function of permitting effective appellate review. The appeal is therefore allowed, and a new trial is ordered.”

Labour Law: Representation Orders
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 773 v. Lawrence, 2018 SCC 11 (37617) Judgment rendered March 21, 2018

Brown J.: “A majority of the Court dismisses the appeal, substantially for the reasons set out in paras. 16, 27 and 28 of Justice Sharpe at the Court of Appeal. Justice Abella, dissenting, would have allowed the appeal for the reasons of Justice Hourigan. The appeal is dismissed with costs.”


Contracts/Trusts: Labour & Material Bonds
Valard Construction Ltd. v. Bird Construction Co., 2018 SCC 8 (37272)

When a beneficiary would be unreasonably disadvantaged not to be informed of a trust’s existence, the trustee’s fiduciary duty includes an obligation to disclose the existence of the trust, and where that prevented the beneficiary from making a claim within the prescribed notice period, the duty was breached. Compensation is what could have obtained under the terms of the trust had the beneficiary been aware of its right to claim.

Criminal Law: Influence Peddling
R. v. Carson, 2018 SCC 12 (37506)

The phrase “any matter of business relating to the government” in s. 121(1)(d) includes publicly funded commercial transactions for which the government could impose or amend terms and conditions that would favour one vendor over others, and must not be considered strictly with reference to existing government operational and funding structures.

Leaves to Appeal

Civil Procedure/Military Law: Juries
Stillman, et al. v. R., 2017 CMAC 2 (37701)

Does s.130 (1)(a) of the National Defence Act violate s. 11(f) of the Charter.

Criminal Law: Homicide
Barton v. R., 2017 ABCA 216 (37769)

Should there be a new trial for homicide.

Class Actions in Québec: Certification
L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal v. J. J., 2017 QCCA 1460 (37855)

Should the class action herein be authorized.

Class Actions: Litigate or Arbitrate
TELUS Communications Inc. v. Avraham Wellman, 2017 ONCA 433 (37722)

Claim against a telecom. Arbitrate or litigate.

Criminal Law: DUI
R. v. Cyr-Langlois, 2017 QCCA 1033 (37760)

What is the proper observation period for D.U.I.

Tax: Deemed Trusts
Callidus Capital Corporation v. R., 2016 FCA 162 (37768)

What do tax deemed trusts cover.

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