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Archive For Entries On Constitutional Law

Safeguarding Online Anonymity: R v Spencer Revisited

Last month, TheCourt.ca senior contributing editor Jordan Casey analyzed R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, a case that clarifies the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) position on what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy in the digital age. This post further explores one of the themes touched on by Casey—the nature and significance of the […]

A Case about Complete Denial of Access to Counsel: R v Taylor

In R v Taylor, 2014 SCC 50, Abella J. declared that section 10(b) Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated, which resulted in Jamie Kenneth Taylor’s “inability to exercise a meaningful and informed choice as to whether he should or should not consent to the taking of blood samples at the hospital” (at […]

Individuality and Community: Expounding the Fundamental Freedoms’ Normative Antinomy

I It has been said that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a liberal document. On this view, the Charter presupposes an individualistic conception of the rights-bearer. It conceives of persons as having pre-politically discrete identities and as being free, autonomous, and independent of the community. Its function is to “police the boundary that […]

The Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in the Information Age: R v Spencer

On June 13, 2014, Cromwell J., in R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, gave a ruling on whether or not Matthew David Spencer had a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to his subscriber information. Contrary to the decision of the trial judge, Cromwell J. concluded that since “[t]he disclosure of the subscriber information will […]

Guns and Butter: The Policy Consequences of Quebec v Canada

In the fall session, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) is set to hear an appeal of Quebec (Attorney General) v Canada (Attorney General), 2013 QCCA 1138 [Long-Gun Registry case]. In the case, Quebec seeks a declaration of constitutional invalidity of section 29 of the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act (“Bill C-19″). Bill C-19 permits […]

A Logical Flaw in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Analysis of Positive Entitlements to Expressive Freedom

I In Baier v Alberta, 2007 SCC 31 [Baier], Justice Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada articulated a test for whether an underinclusive statutory platform of expression infringes section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and thus whether a claimant has a positive entitlement to access that platform. He adopted the test from […]

Cuts to Refugee Health Care Found Unconstitutional: Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care v Canada

On July 4, 2014, in Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care v Canada (Attorney General), 2014 FC 651, Justice Anne Mactavish declared invalid the federal government’s 2012 cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for violating section 12 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This ruling is compelling for the novelty […]

Revisiting Aboriginal Title Part III: SCC Clarification in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia

This comment is the third in a series detailing the ongoing development of Aboriginal title in Canada. Part I and Part II focused on the British Columbia Court of Appeal decision William v British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 285 [William]. This third part aims to provide an exegesis and analysis of the Supreme Court’s resolution of the appeal from William in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 […]

Revisiting Aboriginal Title Part II: An Alternative View of Sufficient Occupancy

This commentary is the second in a series detailing the ongoing development of Aboriginal title in Canada. It follows a discussion of the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision, and is drawn from a larger essay, available in full, on SSRN. Part I of this series rehearsed and critiqued the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision […]

Revisiting Aboriginal Title Part I: The BCCA and Sufficient Occupancy

This commentary is the first of several parts detailing the ongoing development of the doctrine of Aboriginal title in Canada. This first part is a condensed and informal version of a longer paper that treats these issues in much greater detail. The longer version, complete with citations, is available here.   A previous TheCourt.ca comment by […]