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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Managing Editor’s must-read items from this week

Friday, April 05, 2019 @ 2:20 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

SCC rules that Ontario business customers bound by arbitration clauses are barred from suing service providers
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 5-4 that business customers of TELUS in Ontario can’t piggyback on a $520-million consumer class action for alleged cellphone overbilling because, under Ontario’s Arbitration Act 1991, they are bound by their TELUS service contracts to arbitrate their disputes rather than sue.
Professor alleges judgments are ‘insensitive’ about sexual violence and murder but lawyer believes aim is to help readers understand cases
A new academic study contends that Ontario Court of Appeal Justice David Watt’s practice of writing dramatic “literary” introductions to some of his criminal law judgments that involve personal suffering, sexual violence and murder is not only insensitive and possibly hurtful to the victims and their families, but risks further undermining women’s confidence in the criminal justice system.

Access to Justice: Looking at the people behind the labels
In her column, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin writes: “Access to justice has two sides — one procedural, one substantive. The procedural side is concerned with giving people access to the legal information and legal services that they need — their hour with a lawyer or their day in court. The substantive side is concerned with ensuring that they access real justice once they are in the system.”
Canadian judges’ fear that disclosing their expenses might endanger them not borne out by Irish judges’ experience
Irish judges, whose travel and business expenses have been disclosed to the public for several years, have not been targeted unfairly as a result by media criticism, nor seen their personal security imperiled by disgruntled litigants — an Irish court spokesperson has told The Lawyer’s Daily.

Quebec secularism bill likely to face challenge despite notwithstanding clause: experts
The Quebec government’s intention to invoke the notwithstanding clause for its proposed controversial secularism law that will bar some provincial public-service employees in positions of authority, including government lawyers and notaries, from wearing symbols of religious observance will not succeed at pre-empting federal and provincial Charter legal challenges, according to constitutional and human rights experts.
Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.