Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2022

Can Discovery Evidence Be Used in a Criminal Case, More Guidance From R v JJ, 2022 SCC 28

Four years ago, I wrote about the use of discovery evidence in criminal matters (linked: here). Today (June 30, 2022), the Supreme Court of Canada has provided greater guidance on this question, specifically in the context of sexual assault cases.

In R v. JJ, 2022 SCC 28, Justice Wagner and Justice Moldaver writing for the Majority upheld sections 278.92 to 278.94 of the Criminal Code, excerpted in part below.


Sections 278.92 to 278.94 were meant to remove barriers that deterred complainants from coming forward. Mainly by restricting defence counsel’s use of the complainant’s personal records (e.g. medical . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

The State of Administrative Law Teaching: A Review of Administrative Law in Context

Yes, Virginia, there is an administrative law.

But what is it?

…It is now recognized. But it is not quite accepted. It fits no antique mould. Not knowing just what it includes, the legal profession has never felt quite at ease with it nor quite known how to handle it.

Albert Abel, “The Dramatis Personae of Administrative Law”, 1972

“Administrative law is not for sissies — so you should lean back, clutch the sides of your chairs, and steel yourselves for a pretty dull lecture. There will be a quiz afterwards.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, “Judicial Deference to . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law, Dispute Resolution

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about. La version française suit.

For this last week, the most-consulted three English-language decisions were:

1. FCA Canada Inc. v Unifor, Locals 195, 444, 1285, 2022 CanLII 52913 (ON LA)

92. I observe that there is no “right” to remain unvaccinated and remain in active employment. The right is one of personal autonomy and bodily integrity, in this circumstance, having the choice to remain unvaccinated. Exercising that choice . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Should There Be a Different Code of Conduct for Family Lawyers?

In November 2021, the Child and Youth Law section, the Family Law section, and the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Subcommittee of the Canadian Bar Association (“CBA”) submitted a proposal for two amendments to the Model Code of Professional Conduct to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The CBA recommended that the Model Code include a section for non-adversarial advocacy as well as distinct standards for the practice of family law. To be sure, there are unique qualities to family law, but the question is whether family law is so different that distinct professional rules are required for lawyers. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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

Neil Guthrie

Translation: ‘too long; didn’t read’. This is the verdict, Aaron Orendorff argues, on most work-related writing. Orendorff, a writer and editor, suggested a while back in the New York Times that your work colleagues really don’t want to read anything you write in a professional setting. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

An Open-Access Teaching Q&A With UBC Law Professor Samuel Beswick, Editor of Tort Law: Cases and Commentaries

Samuel Beswick is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law. His primary scholarly interests are in the areas of torts, unjust enrichment, limitations, and remedies. Last year, Professor Beswick reached out to CanLII to discuss a new casebook and syllabus he was designing for his 1L Torts class. He wanted to create a teaching resource that would utilize CanLII’s online functionality and be freely accessible to students and professors. Last August, CanLII published the First Edition of his casebook. Now, we are thrilled to be able to share the Second Edition of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education, Legal Publishing

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 directives du juge de première instance pouvaient amener le jury à comprendre qu’il ne lui était possible d’acquitter l’appelant que s’il retenait le témoignage du témoin de la défense, alors que l’appelant avait droit à l’acquittement si ce témoignage soulevait un doute raisonnable; cette erreur de droit . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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:

  • Policy Counsel (Permanent, Full-time) | Ottawa, ON
    (Federation of Law Societies of Canada)
  • Board Member (Full-time) | Halifax, NS
    (Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board)
  • Barrister & Solicitor (Full-time) | Edmonton, AB
    (Municipal, Education and Service Alberta – Legal Services
. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

LTD Rejection and Flawed Medical Note Not Grounds to Deny Employee Disability

In a recent case, the employer dismissed the employee when she did not return to the workplace following an allegedly unauthorized medical absence. However, the employer had improperly denied the fact that the employer’s medical absence was tied to her suffering from an adjustment disorder with associated anxiety and depression, a disability that had been diagnosed by a medical professional.

As a result, the labour arbitrator in the case found that the employer had unjustly dismissed the employee by discriminating against her disability. The arbitrator ordered the employee to be reinstated to her position, and to be compensated for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

A Family Lawyer’s Duty to Discuss Reconciliation With Clients: Time for Change?

Should lawyers be marriage counsellors? The Divorce Act seems to think so. For reasons discussed below, I’m less sure.

The Divorce Act—the federal legislation that governs divorce in Canada— has been the subject of increased attention because of significant amendments made in 2021. On Slaw, for example, Deanne Sowter published two thoughtful columns addressing what these amendments mean for family law lawyers (see here and here). Not having practiced or taught family law, I wasn’t familiar with the details of the legislation, but was interested in the impacts of the 2021 amendments on lawyers. Before I could consider . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about. La version française suit.

For this last week, the most-consulted three English-language decisions were:

1. R v Ayyazi, 2022 ABQB 412 (CanLII)

[17] In the previously part of his Decision, I noted the well-established law that in Alberta, employing Strawman Theory immediately creates a presumption against the OPCA litigant that this act was done for illegal, bad faith, and ulterior purposes to defeat legal authority. That resulting . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

CALL Webinar: Law and Disability in Canada

The next CALL/ACBD webinar will occur on June 28th from 1-2:30pm EST. It will be presented by David Ireland (Associate Professor and Director of Clinics for the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba), Freya Kodar (Professor and faculty member Faculty of Law, University of Victoria ), Dr. Laverne Jacobs (Faculty of Law, University of Windsor) and Dr. Richard Jochelson (Dean of Law for the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba).

This webinar will explore the ways in which persons with disabilities interact with the law in Canada. This will be done through an examination of barriers regularly faced . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD