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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

Should Canada Implement a Flat-Rate Reimbursement Model for Surrogacy Arrangements: A Summary From the Text Surrogacy in Canada

In the article “Should Canada Implement a Flat-Rate Reimbursement Model for Surrogacy Arrangements” (Chapter 5 of Surrogacy in Canada, 2018), law professors Vanessa Gruben, Angel Petropanagos, and Angela Cameron discuss reforming the current system. Presently, donors and surrogates are reimbursed for receipted expenses (see regulation SOR/ 2019-193). This is based on the guiding principle of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act that “commercial ends raise health and ethical concerns that justify their prohibition”. In line with this guiding principle, the authors recommend the adoption of a new model, the flat-rate model.

They argue that the flat-fee model is an . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

UK Blows Its Nose in Europe’s General Direction

On 13 June 2022 the UK government introduced a Bill that will authorize it to unilaterally re-write key terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol (“Protocol“) which is part of the Withdrawal Agreement it made with the EU on Brexit, less than 3 years ago.

Although trade intricacies between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain may not be high on our priorities here in Canada, the fact that this Bill has been introduced at all should be of concern to those who believe in commitment to international law.

Let me explain why I say this.

What the Protocol . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Status of Court Filings in Ontario and What to Do About It

Lately, there has been an explosion of court documents being rejected from filing. Reasons for rejection are numerous. There is almost no discernible pattern. Reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • failure to provide a back page,
  • submitting documents separately when they should be combined,
  • failing to have a witness to an electronic signature (not to be confused with a commissioned document),
  • a form is missing,
  • information is missing on the form,
  • disapproving of the affiant’s signature, and so forth.

It is speculated that the change in staffing at the courts is the cause for the increase in rejections. (E.g. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

The Milgaard Story’s Importance for the Presumption of Innocence

David Milgaard is reported to have passed away this weekend at the age of 69. He spent 23 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Milgaard was convicted in 1970, and spent the ages of 16 to 39 in prison, following the discovery of a nurse’s body in the snowbank. His appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal was dismissed the following year, and the Supreme Court of Canada refused him leave to appeal. That same year, a pattern of sexual assaults committed by Larry Fisher came to light, which matched the offence in question. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Importance of Right to Counsel

The Charter‘s right to counsel under s. 10(b) is an often misunderstood and confused right by many members of the public. This confusion likely emerges from unintentional analogies to the commonly cited American case Miranda v. Arizona, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966) in television and movies. The Court did adopt elements that mirrored Miranda rights in the early Charter case of R. v. Brydges, 1990 CanLII 123 (SCC). The Court found that s. 10(b) meant that police have a duty to informed individuals who are detained or arrested of their right to retain and instruct counsel, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Improving Access to Justice While Addressing Trauma

In the article, “Measuring Improvements in Access to Justice“, the authors Brea Lowenberger et al, expertly write about measuring the effectiveness of access to justice initiatives. A quick summary is outlined in the table below: In measuring initiatives, we should also be mindful on how they address litigants’ traumas. Many areas of litigation arise from or involve some sort of trauma.  In the book “Trauma: the invisible epidemic”, Dr. Paul Conti explains that “Trauma comes in various forms, frequencies, and intensities…” As a general rule, “the worst the trauma, the worse the cascade of harm that follows”. To . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Emergencies Act

INTRODUCTION When Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act in mid-October 1970 in response to a request by Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa, I was a grad student in Political Science at McMaster University. Justification was the “state of apprehended insurrection” existing in the province. Some of us posted a petition against its invocation in a hallway near our offices; someone tore it down, and we put it up again. We protested. In fact, protesting was illegal under the War Measures Act, but no one outside Quebec bothered about that. I remember telling people I knew that . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

12 Trends in Estate Litigation for 2022

If 2021 is any indication, 2022 promises to be another busy year in estate litigation. With the incredible transfer of inter-generational wealth occurring right now, skyrocketing real estate values, the increase in blended families, and the heightened level of emotion when a loved one dies, estate litigation is going to continue to be a reality for many people in Canada. Here are 12 of the top trends and recurring themes in estate litigation that I see as we start the New Year.

1. Challenging whether a person was actually the “spouse” of the deceased

Spouses have certain rights and available . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

The Divisional Court’s Decision in Ontario Teacher Candidates’ Council

INTRODUCTION In its December 2021 decision in Ontario Teacher Candidates’ Council v. The Queen, the Divisional Court held that the standardized Mathematics Proficiency Test (“MPT”) the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) had developed and the Ontario government had implemented for prospective teachers was unconstitutional because it disadvantaged Black and Indigenous candidates. As a remedy, the Court allowed all candidates who had otherwise satisfied teacher qualification requirements to enter the profession. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

45th Annual CIAJ Conference: Indigenous Peoples and the Law

From November 17-19, 2021, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ) will hold a national conference which focuses on “Indigenous Peoples and the Law.”

This event will take place in person in Vancouver and online (though in-person registration has sold out). The conference will be welcoming some thirty speakers, among which many representatives of Indigenous Peoples across Canada and key players in the justice system. The conference will explore the current state and future of the self-government of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Vital to the discussion will be the issues of the decolonization of legal institutions, . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Justice Issues

Community Organizations and Access to Justice

I’ve long thought that community non-profits play a major role in increasing access to justice — and can play an even more significant role under the right circumstances. In this post, I consider this view in light of a 2020 report on measures to advance the contribution of community-based organizations and an October 28, 2021 Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters event, “Advancing Community-Based Access to Justice”, involving representatives from four Canadian community-based organizations. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues