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Archive for October, 2021

Injustice Created by Crown Imbalance

Although litigation is frequently characterized as adversarial, some of the realities in the criminal justice system are slightly more nuanced. Crown counsel represent the public’s interest, and not that of a victim or complainant. Obviously the public has an interest on those impacted by a crime, but Crown counsel do not directly represent those parties or those interests.

In 1954, Justice Rand explained this in the Supreme Court of Canada decision, Boucher v. The Queen1954 CanLII 3 (SCC), as follows,

It cannot be over-emphasized that the purpose of a criminal prosecution is not to obtain a conviction,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Les objectifs visant à renforcer la protection de la santé des jurés et à favoriser le déroulement efficace et ininterrompu du procès constituent une «raison valable» au sens du pouvoir de dispense des candidats jurés prévu à l’article 632 c) C.Cr. et justifient la sélection d’un jury . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

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, Oral Judgments and Leaves to Appeal granted from August 20 to October 20, 2021 inclusive.


Courts/Media: Publication Bans
Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. Manitoba, 2019 MBCA 1222021 SCC 33 (38992)

The Court of Appeal here had ordered a continuing publication ban in its judgment on the merits without a hearing to . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Using Codes of Conduct in Parenting Coordination

Parenting coordination can be difficult work. The people for whom parenting coordination is a cost-effective alternative to litigation, because no one provides this sort of service for free and parenting coordination gets expensive quickly, tend to be overly invested in their dysfunctional relationship with the other parent; they usually prefer the all-or-nothing gamble of conflict over the humiliation of compromise, and happily see every disagreement as the perfect hill upon which to die.

I understand that resolving disputes about family law matters is trying and capable of triggering strong emotional responses, especially when a dispute concerns children and decisions about . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Libraries and Justis for Law

The UK-based legal information provider, Justis, as was, but now rebranded vLex, having been acquired by the Spanish-based company of that name, seems to me to be one which has been a model of its kind; the acquisition was made in 2019, using, for the purchase, part of a £4.2m loan. Originated as Context, in the mid-1980s, partly in consequence of Thomson having sold Eurolex to Lexis, it has survived changes in ownership. However, it appears to have retained consistency of purpose, a focus on sophisticated and evolving technology and closeness to core markets around the world. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

A Brief Look at Enforcing Restrictive Covenants: A Tale of Two Cases

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Generally, a contract in restraint of trade is where one party agrees to restrict their liberty in the future to freely carry on trade with others who are not parties to the contract. Restrictive covenants can take different forms, depending on their purpose. For example, non-competition and non-solicitation covenants aim to prevent a departing employee from setting up a competing enterprise with their former employer. A non-acceptance clause may purport to restrain someone from accepting business from a client of a former employer, and a confidentiality clause normally aims to prevent . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

A Reminder to Innovators: Change Is About Values and Identity

We know that change is hard, especially when (as it usually does) it involves changing the behaviour of human beings. Can we argue or persuade our way through this kind of change?

According to transformation expert Greg Satell, the answer is a resounding NO!

First, some background. Legal professionals are taught that success depends on sound and logical arguments to persuade the other party(ies) or a decision-maker of the rightness of the client’s position. Most of us are also firmly connected to the need to be “right”. While this approach may suit our adversarial system, it can create a . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Lavallee et al. v. Isak, 2021 ONSC 6661

[34] To succeed on a defence of justification, a defendant is required to adduce evidence showing that the statement was substantially true. The burden is on the defendant to prove substantial truth of the “sting” or main thrust, of the defamation: Bent v. Platnick, 2020 SCC 23, 449 D.L.R. (4th) 45, at . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Obligation for Constitutional Actors to Act in Good Faith


In this post, I propose that the concept of bona fides, or acting in good faith, be applied to the conduct of constitutional actors. It is not unreasonable to expect that constitutional actors act in good faith towards one another. In this sense, I argue, the bona fides principle is a fundamental element of the rule of law that could serve to invalidate government action, depending on various factors which I discuss below, including the relevance of other principles and rules. A judicial conclusion that an actor had not acted in good faith might, in the balance, result . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Let’s Table That
Neil Guthrie

What does it mean when you table a motion at a meeting? It depends on where you live. For those in the non-US parts of the English-speaking world, to table means to submit something formally for discussion or consideration. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

FACL BC Presents “but I Look Like a Lawyer” Documentary November 5th on Zoom!

Update: The documentary video is now available (and embedded below!)

But I Look Like a Lawyer from FACL BC on Vimeo.

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers of British Columbia (FACL BC) would like to invite all members of the legal community, whether you are a law student, senior member of the bar or a member of the judiciary, to attend the premiere of our documentary, But I Look Like a Lawyer, on November 5th, 2021 at 12:30pm (PST) on Zoom.

FACL BC is a diverse coalition of legal professionals established in 2011. We are an . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements