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. Climans v. Latner, 2020 ONCA 554 (CanLII)

[71] As I explain on the first issue, the trial judge found that the parties were spouses within the meaning of s. 29 of the FLA because they “cohabited” for a period of not less than three years. To determine whether the parties had cohabited, the trial judge applied s. 1(1) of the FLA and asked: did the parties “live together in a conjugal relationship”. She readily found that the parties had a conjugal relationship but struggled with whether they had lived together. A review of paras. 120, 128, and 139 of the Trial reasons makes this evident.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Charkaoui v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)[2007] 1 SCR 350, 2007 SCC 9

1 One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a government is to ensure the security of its citizens. This may require it to act on information that it cannot disclose and to detain people who threaten national security. Yet in a constitutional democracy, governments must act accountably and in conformity with the Constitution and the rights and liberties it guarantees. These two propositions describe a tension that lies at the heart of modern democratic governance. It is a tension that must be resolved in a way that respects the imperatives both of security and of accountable constitutional governance.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Bent v. Platnick, 2020 SCC 23 (CanLII)

[1] Freedom of expression and its relationship to the protection of reputation has been subject to an assiduous and judicious balancing over the course of this Court’s jurisprudential history. While in 1704604 Ontario Ltd. v. Pointes Protection Association, 2020 SCC 22, this Court recognizes the importance of freedom of expression as the cornerstone of a pluralistic democracy, this Court has also recognized that freedom of expression is not absolute — “[o]ne limitation on free expression is the law of defamation, which protects a person’s reputation from unjustified assault”: Grant v. Torstar Corp., 2009 SCC 61, [2009] 3 S.C.R. 640, at para. 2, per McLachlin C.J. Indeed, “the right to free expression does not confer a licence to ruin reputations”: para. 58. That is because this Court has likened reputation to a “plant of tender growth [whose] blossom, once lost, is not easily restored”: People ex rel. Karlin v. Culkin, 162 N.E. 487 (N.Y. 1928), at p. 492, per Cardozo J., cited by Cory J. in Botiuk v. Toronto Free Press Publications Ltd., 1995 CanLII 60 (SCC), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 3, at para. 92. Values, therefore, are not without countervailing considerations.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Attar c. Fonds d’aide aux actions collectives, 2020 QCCA 1121 (CanLII)

[18] L’appelant souligne néanmoins que depuis l’entrée en vigueur de l’art. 593 C.p.c., certains juges de la Cour supérieure ont accordé des indemnités à un représentant pour le temps consacré au dossier. Or, une lecture attentive de ces jugements permet de conclure que ceux-ci ne remettent pas vraiment en question le principe exprimé par l’article et repris avec vigueur par la jurisprudence depuis 2016. Ainsi, dans un cas, le règlement est survenu avant l’entrée en vigueur de l’art. 593 C.p.c.[16], dans un autre, le montant fut versé à même les honoraires des avocats[17], ou encore, la décision fut expressément fondée sur l’équité plutôt que sur le droit[18] ou l’indemnité fut versée pour le remboursement de débours et non pour des honoraires[19]. En somme, la jurisprudence à laquelle l’appelant réfère n’est soit pas pertinente, soit non motivée et non convaincante.

(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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