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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. […]

Peeling Back the Court’s Decision in R v NS

On December 20th, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v NS, 2012 SCC 72. As Osgoode’s Professor Faisal Bhabha stated in an article written for the Globe & Mail: “The key question for the judges was: Can religious ritual and observance trump the right of defendants to a fair trial? […]

Supreme Court Clarifies the Law of Duress, Ends Nicole Ryan’s Tragic Ordeal

“This appeal raises a novel question,” Justices LeBel and Cromwell’s majority decision starts out: “[M]ay a wife, whose life is threatened by her abusive husband, rely on the defence of duress when she tries to have him murdered? While the lower courts took a more expansive view of the defence of duress—as being available to […]

BULLETIN: United States Supreme Court to rule on two gay marriage cases

The United States Supreme Court (USSC) announced today that it will hear two cases dealing with constitutional challenges to state and federal laws that undermine same-sex marriage. The first case, Hollingsworth v Perry, No. 12-144, concerns a constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, a controversial ballot proposition that amended California’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage […]

Appeal Watch: Court to Decide if National Security Certificates are Constitutional

Background Mohamed Harkat is a former gas station attendant, pizza delivery driver, and for the past decade, a suspected terrorist. Harkat was arrested on December 10, 2002 on a national security certificate alleging that he had ties with terrorists. Since 2006, Harkat has been required to wear an electronic tracking device, be in the presence […]

No Right to “Know One’s Past”: The BCCA in Pratten v British Columbia (Attorney General)

In a decision released on November 27, 2012, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA) in Pratten v British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 480, reversed the British Columbia Supreme Court’s (BCSC) decision that provisions of the provincial Adoption Act are unconstitutional as a result of their failure to take into account the rights of people conceived […]

Hezbollah rocket attacks launch jurisdiction expansion in New York

It is safe to assume that New York tort law was not on the minds of the Hezbollah teams that launched rockets into Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War. However, the victims responded to these acts by taking Hezbollah’s bank to court in New York and launching a legal battle that has stretched the scope […]

BULLETIN: Rob Ford Found to be in Conflict of Interest, Ousted from Mayor’s Office

At 10:00 AM this morning, Justice Hackland’s released his reasons for decision in Magder v Ford, the much anticipated application to have Mayor Ford removed from officer pursuant to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. The application was brought by a municipal voter, Paul Magder, who was represented by the prominent Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby.