SCC Fall Preview

As those of us at Osgoode, students and professors, gear up for another busy Fall semester, we would do well to note that the Supreme Court is also preparing for the start of their regular Fall Session. After enjoying a relatively light summer schedule, the SCC’s Fall schedule is anticipated to begin on October 9th. The following ten cases are presently listed on the SCC’s October docket:

1. Her Majesty the Queen v. D.B. (Ont.) (Criminal) (By Leave) 31460

A criminal law case originating in Ontario challenging the constitutional validity of sections of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, S.C. 2002, c. 1. In particular, this case involving a youth convicted of manslaughter considers whether the Act‘s adult sentence and publication presumptions represent unjustified infringements of section 7 of the Charter.

2. Jedfro Investments (U.S.A.) Limited, et al. v. Nadia Jacyk, in her capacity as Litigation Administrator for the estate of Peter Jacyk, et al. (Ont.) (Civil) (By Leave) 31561

A commercial law case contemplating whether a party to a contract can be deprived of existing contractual rights or be relieved of existing obligations through an unconcluded attempt to negotiate a variation or termination of the contract.

3. Marco Trotta, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen (Ont.) (Criminal) (By Leave) 30987

A case involving parents convicted in the death of their eight month old child. The conviction was largely secured by the testimony of a forensic pathologist whose work has been subject to review by the Office of the Chief Coroner. The appellants unsuccessfully appealed their conviction and applied for the disclosure of the Chief Coroner’s assessment. The SCC will be considering whether the request for disclosure was properly denied.

4. Robert Albert Gibson v. Her Majesty the Queen (N.S.) (Criminal) (By Leave) 31546

A criminal law case originating in Nova Scotia concerning the role of blood alcohol evidence and the statutory opportunity to present evidence to the contrary under 258(1)(c) of the Criminal Code.

5. Martin Foster MacDonald v. Her Majesty the Queen (Alta.) (Criminal) (By Leave) 31613

A criminal law case originating in Alberta considering similar issues to that immediately above.

6. Transportaction Lease Systems Inc. v. Jennifer Yeung, by her litigation guardian Heidi Yeung, et al. (B.C.) (Civil) (By Leave) 31549

A British Columbia case looks at section 86 of the Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c.318, and considers whether finance companies should be subject to vicarious liability as “owners” for motor vehicle accidents involving cars which they have helped a consumer obtain through a “lease with an option to purchase” contract.

7. Société des acadiens et acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc., et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al. (FC) (Civil) (By Leave) 31583

A case concerning language rights and Charter obligations in New Brunswick which considers an intergovernmental agreement between the province and the RCMP, providing the latter fulfill the role of a provincial police force. The case considers which body should ultimately be held responsible for ensuring that RCMP officers be able to provide services in French and which court has proper jurisdiction to contemplate such questions.

8. Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec v. Yvan Cyr, et al. (Que.) (Civil) (By Leave) 31657

A case that contemplates whether principles of procedural fairness should be applied to Crown corporations’ contractual arrangements with persons appointed to act on their behalf. Specifically, this case concerns the actions of the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), which had revoked their approval of a mechanic certified to conduct mechanical inspections of motor vehicles as part of the SAAQ’s mechanical inspection program.

9. Justin Ronald Beatty v. Her Majesty the Queen (B.C.) (Criminal) (By Leave) 31550

A case considering whether the British Columbia Court of Appeal has created a presumption that any accident caused by driver negligence will result in a conviction for dangerous driving unless the driver can provide an explanation for the vehicle’s operation.

10. Arias Miguel Jackson v. Her Majesty the Queen (Que.) (Criminal) (As of Right) 31847

A criminal appeal by a Quebec man convicted of producing cannabis. After learning that cannabis was being grown in an area of the Laurentians, police surrounded the area and arrested five people. The appellant was arrested in a tent at the site of the crop. It is his contention that he was merely camping at the site and was not involved in cannabis cultivation. The appellant argues that the trial judge reached an unreasonable verdict given a total lack of evidence suggesting his involvement. His appeal was dismissed by the majority of the Quebec Court of Appeal.

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