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. Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103, 1986 CanLII 46

1. The Chief Justice‑‑This appeal concerns the constitutionality of s. 8 of the Narcotic Control Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. N‑1. The section provides, in brief, that if the Court finds the accused in possession of a narcotic, he is presumed to be in possession for the purpose of trafficking. Unless the accused can establish the contrary, he must be convicted of trafficking. The Ontario Court of Appeal held that this provision constitutes a “reverse onus” clause and is unconstitutional because it violates one of the core values of our criminal justice system, the presumption of innocence, now entrenched in s. 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Crown has appealed.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Weyerhaeuser Company Limited v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2017 ONCA 1007

[99] Ontario submits the motion judge erred in law by failing to acknowledge a general principle that an indemnity only compensates an indemnitee for losses caused by third party claims, unless specific language provides that it covers losses caused by the first party indemnitor. Ontario advances a related argument that the “more plausible interpretation” of the phrase “statutory or otherwise” in s. 1 of the Ontario Indemnity is that it covers statutory claims by the federal government and individuals, not by the Ontario government.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Hryniak v. Mauldin, [2014] 1 SCR 87, 2014 SCC 7

[2] Increasingly, there is recognition that a culture shift is required in order to create an environment promoting timely and affordable access to the civil justice system. This shift entails simplifying pre-trial procedures and moving the emphasis away from the conventional trial in favour of proportional procedures tailored to the needs of the particular case. The balance between procedure and access struck by our justice system must come to reflect modern reality and recognize that new models of adjudication can be fair and just.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Cyr-Langlois c. R., 2017 QCCA 1033

[40] Le problème de fonctionnement ou d’utilisation de l’alcootest que la preuve tendra à démontrer pourra, dans certains cas, être tel que son influence possible sur la fiabilité des résultats sera évidente. Il existe toutefois certains autres problèmes dont l’influence possible ne s’imposera pas d’emblée. En de tels cas, l’accusé devra offrir une preuve additionnelle démontrant que le problème en est un susceptible d’avoir un impact sur la fiabilité des résultats.

(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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