Spring Session Opening April 23

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Supreme Court pundits recently with the Charter’s 25th anniversary. The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) will follow that up with a busy week of its own as it kicks off its spring session on April 23. There will be four hearings that week (Tuesday through Friday) as well as a day of motions on Monday.

Its first case of the session comes out of British Columbia. The file is currently sealed and under a publication ban. In the case, a trial judge provided information which was subject to a claim of informer privilege to members of the media (specifically the Vancouver Sun, The Province, BCTV, CBC, CKNW, CityTv and CTV) and their counsel. This was done to enable them to make submissions on whether the proceedings should be held in camera. A condition of access was the provision of undertakings that the media and their counsel would not publish or disclose the information.

The informant (styled a “Named Person” in the Supreme Court file) challenged this ruling. The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether the extradition judge erred by granting access to this information.

On Wednesday, the SCC hears a case out of Quebec. But like many of us (in Toronto, at least, where we are eagerly awaiting the return of seasonably warm weather) the Court’s mind will be in Mexico. Puerto Vallarta to be specific, home of the Qualton Hotel, whose Mexican operators signed an exclusive deal with Quebec-based Transat Tours to provide rooms for their package tours. The contract designated Quebec law as the applicable law.

When Transat found out that another Quebec tour operator, MyTravel, was selling Qualton Hotel packages as well, it sought an injunction in the Quebec courts against the hotel operator. The defendants brought a motion requesting that the Quebec court decline to hear the matter as the Mexican courts were the better forum for the resolution of the dispute. The trial judge agreed, but the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the decision.

The SCC has two more cases on its docket for Thursday and Friday of next week. Details, of course, will follow right here.

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