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Archive For Entries On Constitutional Law

Veils, Oaths, and Canadian Citizenship: Ishaq v Canada

On February 6, 2015, in the well-publicized decision of Ishaq v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 156 [Ishaq], the Federal Court ruled that it was unlawful for the Canadian Government to ban new citizens from reciting the citizenship oath with a face-covering veil. Since the decision was released, the Harper Government has […]

Minority Language Schools Don’t Have to Be Perfect: NWT v Association des parents ayants droit de Yellowknife

Minority language rights were at the centre of a recent case heard by the Northwest Territories Court of Appeal (“NWTCA”), with the court ruling that equality does not mean perfect schooling conditions. The court, in Northwest Territories (Attorney General) v Association des parents ayants droit de Yellowknife, 2015 NWTCA 2, set aside a lower court […]

Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Prohibition against Physician-Assisted Dying in Carter v Canada: Part II

This is the second part of a three-part series discussing the Supreme Court of Canada’s paramount decision in Carter v Canada (Attorney General). Part I has addressed the notion that stare decisis is not a straitjacket that condemns the law to stasis. Part II will address the changes that the Carter decision will have on […]

Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Prohibition against Physician-Assisted Dying in Carter v Canada: Part I

This is the first part of a three-part series discussing the Supreme Court of Canada’s paramount decision in Carter v Canada (Attorney General). Part I will address stare decisis. Part II will address the changes that the Carter decision will have on our understanding and interpretation of s. 7 of the Charter. Part III will […]

Presenting TheCourt.ca‘s Third Annual Golden Gavel Awards

And the Nominees Are… After a four-year hiatus, we at TheCourt.ca thought it time we revive our public announcement of our list of nominees for the prestigious Golden Gavels, formerly known as the OZZY. Unfortunately, TheCourt.ca’s editors have not yet secured the funds to rent out the Dolby Theatre for the annual Golden Gavel awards ceremony. […]

RCMP Permitted to Form Unions: A Purposive Approach to Freedom of Association in Mounted Police Association of Ontario v Canada

In Mounted Police Association of Ontario v Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) made a major pronouncement on the scope of the section 2(d) freedom of association right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In doing so, the court overturned Delisle v Canada (Deputy Attorney General), [1999] […]

R v Fearon: Cell Phones, Privacy, and the Supreme Court in the Digital Age

In R v Fearon, 2014 SCC 77 [Fearon], the Supreme Court of Canada considered the circumstances under which police officers can justifiably conduct a warrantless search of an arrestee’s cell phone or other digital device. Fundamentally, the decision required the court to assess and balance the public purposes served by effective law enforcement against the dignity and privacy […]

The Retirement of Justice Louis LeBel and the Secretive Process that Led to the Appointment of Suzanne Côté

The government has slammed the door on parliamentary and public involvement regarding the replacement of retiring Justice Louis LeBel. On November 30, 2014, Justice LeBel turned 75, the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court judges. Most justices often depart some months before their birthdays, but LeBel decided to take his tenure right to the end. […]

Grassy Narrows v Ontario: A Legal Battle Against Logging Lost, The Political Fight Continues

In Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) unanimously determined that Ontario has the jurisdiction under the Crown to take up land covered by the Ontario Boundaries Extension Act, SC 1912, c 40, s 2, Treaty No. 3 (1873) (“Treaty 3”), thus limiting First Nation […]

Live from the Supreme Court of Canada: The Unconstitutionality of Section 95 in R v Nur and R v Charles

On November 7, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) heard oral arguments for the case Her Majesty the Queen, et al v Hussein Jama Nur, et al [Nur] and Her Majesty the Queen, et al v Sidney Charles, et al [Charles] regarding the constitutionality of the section 95 Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46 […]