THE COURT is the online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada.*

Archive For Entries On Constitutional Law

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 comment by […]

BULLETIN: SCC Rejects Appointment of Nadon J. to Its Bench

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, 2014 SCC 21, which dealt with the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon of the Federal Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court’s previous discussions of the case can be found here and here. […]

Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Drug Offences Struck Down by BC Provincial Court in R v Lloyd

After finding the mandatory minimum sentence for drug possession for the purpose of trafficking (contrary to s. 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act [CDSA]) violated s. 12 of the Charter (R v Lloyd, 2014 BCPC 0008 [Lloyd]) in January 2014, Galati J. of the Provincial Court of British Columbia has found that the […]

Metadata and the Fourth Amendment

The American National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk metadata collection program has been the subject of considerable scrutiny ever since The Guardian revealed the program’s existence last summer as part of its reporting on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Perhaps the most salient legal issue regarding the metadata program is whether it violates the […]

Appeal Watch: Religiosity in Government to be Deliberated by SCC in MLQ v. City of Saguenay

Over the past couple of decades, there have been calls to remove God from Canada’s national anthem, ban the wearing of religious symbols by public servants in Quebec, and abolish the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer during town council meetings in Ontario. The Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodation in Quebec recommended that municipal councils abandon […]

Oral Arguments: Professor Alan Young on Bedford

Alan Young, Osgoode Professor and lead counsel in Canada v Bedford, 2013 SCC 72 provides an overview of the litigation strategy employed in his successful challenge to three criminal code provisions related to sex work. Drawing on the lessons learned from R v Malmo-Levine; R v Caine, 2003 SCC 74, Professor Young outlines how he structured the […]

Banking for Federalism: SCC to hear Appeal in Bank of Montreal (BMO) v Marcotte

BMO v Marcotte (Marcotte) is part of a trilogy of cases (Federation des Caisses Desjardins du Quebec v Marcotte, and Amex Bank of Canada v Adams) that question the banks’ role in society. All three of them will be heard at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Winter 2014. Marcotte in particular is a class action against […]