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. Bowman v. Martineau, 2019 ONSC 1468

[213] I reject the diminution in value approach for the following reasons. This approach fails to take into account the purpose of damages in a tort claim – to ensure that “the damages awarded to a plaintiff should put him or her in the same position as they would have been in had they not sustained the wrong for which they are receiving compensation or reparation.” In the context of property loss matters, where a purchaser believes it had purchased a home free of defects, “the fairest measure of damages is that which would provide the [plaintiffs] with what they bargained for – a home free of defects.”[53]

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Jordan2016 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. R v Cantwell, 2019 ABPC 50

[119] I am satisfied that his belief was a reasonable one in light of his experiences in this province. Certainly, the fact that the Crown did not proceed with two prosecutions against him—and withdrew on a third—could in my view reasonably lead to the belief that his actions were lawful. Likewise, the remark of the RCMP to him would, in my view reasonably reinforce that belief. His belief is based on more than a mere moral belief in a colour of right. It is formed by his experiences with booting in this province and elsewhere in Canada, compounded with an honest but mistaken belief in the powers that a private property owner has to remedy a trespass.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was 9147-0732 Québec inc. c. Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales, 2019 QCCA 373

[121] Aussi, dans le contexte de la garantie juridique accordée par l’article 12, prétendre que l’utilisation de la personne morale ne peut servir de paravent ne me convainc pas[88]. La personne morale constitue un instrument juridique mis à la disposition des citoyens qui, dans une très grande majorité des cas, l’utilisent à des fins légitimes. Elle agit toujours par l’entremise de ses dirigeants, employés ou agents.

[122] Le cadre d’analyse de la « peine cruelle et inusitée » a été élaboré à partir de situations impliquant des personnes physiques uniquement. Or, l’amende peut être cruelle pour la personne morale. Une personne morale peut souffrir d’une amende cruelle qui se manifeste par sa dureté, sa sévérité et une sorte d’hostilité[89]. L’analyse de la situation doit être entreprise en fonction de la réalité vécue par la personne morale et non en fonction d’une réalité qui ne la concerne pas.

(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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