TheCourt’s Docket: January 4-16, 2011

Editor’s Note: We are introducing a new feature at called “TheCourt‘s Docket”. Published on a biweekly basis, the feature is intended to recap and relink to all posts published during the two weeks previous, hopefully providing a neat and innovative way to review our content. We also hope that TheCourt‘s Docket may help revive interest in material which may have fallen off our readers’ radar. As with all articles and special features on, your interest in and comments on TheCourt‘s Docket are much appreciated.

In this edition of TheCourt‘s Docket, our talented staff editors as well as a host of external contributors commented on several divisive Supreme Court of Canada cases, some handed down recently and others up to three years ago.

“Scaling Back the Federal Criminal Law Power: Justice Cromwell Splits the Difference in Reference re Assisted Human Reproduction Act

Written by Dave Snow (Ph.D. Candidate in Political Studies, University of Calgary). Published on January 4th, 2011.

In this externally-solicited piece about the Supreme Court’s long-awaited and much-debated Reference decision, Snow comments on three divergent sets of reasons about Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act and their potential impacts on the constitutional law of federalism and important questions concerning the broad subject matter of the act, ranging from in-vitro fertilization to human cloning. You may read Snow’s original piece here.

“Calling for Consistency after Quebec v COPA and Quebec v Lacombe

Written by Holden Sumner (J.D. Candidate 2013, Osgoode Hall Law School). Published on January 6th, 2011.

This post is a contest-winning submission from a first time contributor. In it, Sumner aptly canvasses the complicated jurisprudence of interjurisdictional immunity, using the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Canadian Western Bank v Alberta, [2007] 2 SCR 3, to frame his discussion of the SCC’s most recent pronouncements on the issue in the COPA and Lacombe cases. Sumner ultimately argues that in the latter cases, the Supreme Court seems hesitant to apply the same interjurisdictional immunity framework it endorsed only three years earlier. You may read Sumner’s original piece here.

“Ontario Court of Appeal Gets Tough on Terror with Canada’s First Terrorist”

Written by Allison MacIsaac (Senior Contributing Editor). Published on January 10th, 2011.

This particularly topical piece is the first of two about a series of ONCA decisions released in December, which engage live issues concerning the fight against terrorism in Canada. Here MacIsaac focuses on the most groundbreaking and newsworthy aspect of the appeals — the sentencing decision in R. v. Khajawa — and explains that it is a victory for proponents of the “crime control” theory of criminal procedure. You may read MacIsaac’s original piece here.

“Crown Loses Priority Battle Over GST Funds in Century Services Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General)

Written by Christine Kellowan (Senior Contributing Editor). Published on January 13th, 2011.

This post surveys the Supreme Court’s most recent foray into the field of insolvency law — the Century Services case, released on December 16th. In it, the court interprets provisions of the Companies’ Creditors’ Arrangement Act for the first time, determining how they may be reconciled with the Excise Tax Act re the scope of a court’s discretion with supervising reorganization. You may read Kellowan’s original piece here.

“Sibling Rivalry Sorted by the SCC; Gives Go-Ahead for MacArthur’s Last Job in Canada (Attorney General) v. MacArthur

Written by Katherine MacLellan (Senior Contributing Editor). Published on January 14th, 2011.

In a series of decisions released over the holidays, the Supreme Court considered how a citizen could sue the Crown to financially recover on a wrong committed by an administrative decision maker — directly, or only after the lawfulness of the Crown’s actions were determined through judicial review. MacLellan engages this question by focusing on the MacArthur case, concerning a notorious hostage-taking, prison-breaking bank robber who is trying to sue the Crown for damages stemming from the extraordinary time he spent in solitary confinement. You may read MacLellan’s original piece here.

Amici Curiae: The Arizona Memorial, Kinder Surprise Fine, and Tweeting Beiber Edition”

Written by Christopher Hunter and Ivy Tsui (Junior Contributing Editors). Published on January 16th, 2011.

In this weekly roundup of top legal news stories and relevant website links, Hunter and Tsui brief us on the recent tragic killings in Tuscon, a questionable probationary ruling in the case of a Nova Scotia cross-burner, a trademark battle over the term “AppStore”, the risk of exorbitant fines for bringing Kinder Surprise eggs across the Canada-U.S. border, and the potential consequences of celebrities advertising via their Facebook and Twitter accounts. You may read Hunter and Tsui’s original piece here.

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