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Strategizing in the Shadow of Precedent: Another look at Henry v British Columbia

An earlier post provided a summary of Henry v British Columbia, 2015 SCC 24 [Henry]. Unanimously overturning a decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”), the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”), held that the plaintiff, who was wrongfully convicted and consequently spent twenty seven years in prison for crimes he did not commit, […]

Henry v British Columbia: Defending Rights, or the State?

The Sorry Tale of Mr. Henry Mr. Henry is an average person with an average life. Then one day, he is convicted of 10 sexual offences, declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to indefinite imprisonment. He spends the next 27 years in prison, writing dozens of appeals and requests, and, presumably, spending the rest of […]

Teva v Pfizer: How Viagra Allowed the SCC to Stiffen Patent Disclosure Requirements

Canadian patent law has undergone a number of significant developments throughout the past year, with numerous issues capturing the attention of the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”). In particular, the issue of disclosure has undergone a great deal of juridical scrutiny. Disclosure constitutes a fundamental tenet of patent law aimed at striking a balance between […]

What Does Justice Nadon’s Nomination Mean for the Supreme Court?

On September 30th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his sixth nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). His pick, Justice Marc Nadon, replaced Justice Morris Fish—a Chrétien appointee and accomplished criminal law jurist. Justices LeBel and Abella are the only remaining Liberal appointees, though Justice Rothstein was short-listed by a committee convened by the […]

Race, Gender, and Religion in the Courtroom: Three Critical Implications of R v NS – Part II

In Part II of this comment on R v NS, 2012 SCC 72, I raise two additional implications of the case related to equity, inclusion and fairness. B. Religion and Culture in Bite-Sized Chunks The reasoning of the majority decision presents an incomplete picture of Canadian history and obscures “made-in-Canada” xenophobia in a way that impacts all racialized and […]

Race, Gender, and Religion in the Courtroom: Three Critical Implications of R v NS – Part I

At first glance, R v NS, 2012 SCC 72 [NS], appears to be a case about the limits of religious accommodation in Canadian courtrooms. While this issue is a significant concern, what is equally important about this case is the insight it provides into the Court’s ability to adequately address issues of equity, inclusion, and […]

Too Much Water in the Garden? Vertical Stare Decisis in Bedford v Canada

Trial Decision Bedford v Canada, 2010 ONSC 4264, was a constitutional challenge to several Criminal Code provisions prohibiting operation of brothels, criminalizing persons who live on the avails of prostitution, and prohibiting public communication for the purpose of engaging in prostitution [s. 210, 212(1)(j) and 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46]. Himel J. found that the impugned […]

Supreme Court of Canada condones copying in Cojocaru

In an era where the bench and society recognize that judges are hard-pressed for time and resources, and given Chief Justice McLachlin’s repeated calls for increased access to justice, the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision in Cojocaru (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital & Health Center, 2013 SCC 30, is hardly […]

Quebec (Attorney General) v A—Much ado about saying “I do”

In a decision handed down on January 25th, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with a Charter challenge to certain spousal support and property division articles in the Québec Civil Code. These provisions only applied to married or civil union spouses and it was argued that these provisions were unconstitutional under section 15(1) of […]

Appeal Watch: Assessing an Evidentiary Issue in R v Taylor

In R v Taylor 2012 NLCA 33, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal examined whether a judge can draw an adverse inference from evidence that was not disclosed to the police or the prosecution. The majority argued that on the facts of this case it was a material error and directed a new trial. […]