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Archive For Entries On Constitutional Law

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Rights Face Legislative Challenge: British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia

The government of British Columbia (BC) recently filed an appeal challenging the decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia (“BCSC”) in British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia, 2014 BCSC 121 (“BCTF”) which found in favour of the provincial teachers’ union. The leader of the governing BC Liberal Party, Christy Clarke, has signalled the province’s […]

Minority Language Education for Majority Students: CS Francophone du Yukon v Yukon Territory

On  26 June 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) agreed to hear an appeal of Commission Scolaire Francophone du Yukon v Attorney General of the Yukon Territory, 2014 YKCA 4 [CS Francophone]. The case concerns a dispute over the control and management of the Territory’s French language education system and is the first time […]

Torture and the Limits of Sovereign Immunity: Kazemi Estate v Islamic Republic of Iran

In Kazemi Estate v Islamic Republic of Iran, 2014 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) looks at whether Canadians have the right to sue foreign governments for damages resulting from acts of torture. The SCC ultimately denied the victims’ claim for a civil action, finding that acts of torture are not exceptions to the general […]

Banks Forced to Repay Added Charges Plus Punitive Damages: Bank of Montreal v Marcotte

On September 19, 2014, the Supreme Court released its decision in Bank of Montreal v Marcotte, 2014 SCC 55 [BMO v Marcotte], and its two companion cases, Amex Bank of Canada v Adams, 2014 SCC 56, and Marcotte v Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, 2014 SCC 57. The case in BMO v Marcotte was based on major banks […]

New Test for When an Appellate Court Can Raise a New Issue: R v Mian

In R v Mian, 2014 SCC 54 [Mian, SCC], the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) attempted to strike a balance between two competing roles for appellate courts – of neutral arbiter and of justice-doer. In the process, the SCC set a new precedent for determining when an appellate court can raise a novel legal issue.

Prisoners Cannot Be Punished Twice: Canada (Attorney General) v Whaling

This past March, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous 8-0 decision on Canada (Attorney General) v Whaling, 2014 SCC 20. This ruling upholds the Charter right of prisoners not to be punished twice for the same offence. History In 1992, Parliament brought in a simplified process for accelerated parole review (“APR”) that would benefit non-violent […]

The Supreme Court Upholds Security Certificate Regime: Canada v Harkat

Canada has used the process of issuing a “certificate of inadmissibility,” also known as a “security certificate,” to detain and remove foreign nationals suspected of being involved with terrorist activity. That process is legislated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 (“IRPA”), which has been the subject of several Charter challenges […]

Access to Justice and the Rule of Law Principle: Trial Lawyers Association v British Columbia

In its ruling in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59, the Supreme Court of Canada found that court hearing fees imposed by regulation in British Columbia were unconstitutional because they interfered with access to the constitutionally protected core jurisdiction of the provincial superior courts and the rule of […]

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 […]