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Archive For Entries On Constitutional Law

R v Crevier: Police Informants and the Balancing Act of Challenging Warrants

Police representatives often speak about the difficulties of soliciting information from the public about crimes that have taken place. Fear and a “don’t snitch” culture are common explanations for why this problem exists. In 2009, Kenneth Mark was gunned down after testifying as a witness in an attempted murder trial. His tragic story is a […]

Minority Language Education Entitlements & The Meaning of Substantive Equality under Section 23 of the Charter

Ass’n des parents de l’école Rose-des-vents v. British Columbia, 2015 SCC 21 [Rose-des vents] opens up a new series of questions surrounding minority language education rights guaranteed under Section 23 of the Charter. Section 23 guarantees minority language rights holders the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in English or French, giving effect to the […]

Guindon v Canada: It’s just a fine

Why We Should Be Suspicious of Timeshares Julie Guindon is the family and estate lawyer at the heart of Guindon v Canada, 2015 SCC 41 [Guindon] in which the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) confirmed that penalties under s.163.2 of the Income Tax Act, RSC 1985, c 1 (5th Supp) [ITA] are not criminal in […]

A Exclusive Interview: R v Spencer One Year Later

A New Hurdle To Protecting Our Children? A Perspective from the Toronto Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit Last year, published two key articles about the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling on Internet privacy. See Jordan Casey’s summary here and Stuart Wood’s analysis here. After its release, R v Spencer, [2014] 2 SCR 212 [Spencer] […]

Face-Coverings and the Canadian Citizenship Oath: The Federal Court of Appeal Decides Ishaq v Canada

Few legal disputes have the potential of being as deeply divisive and politically polarizing as Canada v Ishaq, 2015 FCA 194 [Ishaq Appeal]. In addition to its potential cultural, social, political, and religious implications, this case underscores the tension between fair, democratically enacted legislation, and fundamental freedoms protected in the Charter. Although the Federal Court […]

A Turn in Tide: Carter versus Rodriguez

Some months ago, the Supreme Court of Canada’s (“SCC”) ruling in Carter v Canada (Attorney General), [2015] 1 SCR 331 [Carter] made national headlines. Although all decisions of the SCC are important, this one seemed to strike a nerve or two on both sides of the playing field. In this case, as described in more detail here […]

Hinse v Canada: Incomplete Justice?

Ignored Cries In Hinse v Canada, 2015 SCC 35 [Hinse] an element of the Crown’s prerogative power is brought into the limelight. Hinse was exonerated approximately 30 years after his conviction for armed robbery. He served five years and ultimately received a settlement for the injustice he experienced. It was Hinse’s position that not only […]

A Web of Instinct: Kahkewistahaw First Nation v Taypotat

Kahkewistahaw First Nation v Taypotat, 2015 SCC 30, is the Supreme Court of Canada’s (“SCC”) most recent decision on equality. Coming in at a brief 35 paragraphs, this decision does not alter the law of section 15 of the Charter in any substantial way. Using the test laid out in Quebec v A, [2013] 1 SCR 61, Justice Abella […]

The BC Government vs. Freedom of Association in British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia

Much has changed this year with the Supreme Court of Canada’s (“SCC”) new “labour trilogy” of Mounted Police Association of Ontario v Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1 [Mounted Police], Meredith v Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 2, and Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4 [Saskatchewan]. These cases help define the scope […]

R v Kokopenace: Missed Opportunity for Action

Overrepresented in Jails, Underrepresented in Juries Since the 1970s, Grassy Narrows First Nation reserve has become synonymous with mercury poisoning and the associated health effects. By any measurement, the residents of the reserve have had a rough deal handed to them. In 2007, Grassy Narrows was also the site of a murder, the details of […]