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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, July 02, 2021 @ 3:56 PM | By Richard Skinulis

Richard Skinulis %>
Richard Skinulis
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Changes to monetary value of cases heard by Court of Québec unconstitutional, SCC rules
In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that raising the pecuniary value of cases that could be heard by the Court of Québec from $70,000 and under to any amount under $85,000 was unconstitutional. According to court documents, the Court of Appeal found that art. 35 was unconstitutional because it infringed on “the core jurisdiction of the Superior Court to adjudicate certain substantial civil disputes.”

Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella: The exit interview
For departing Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, her parents’ recounting of the Holocaust drove her passion for justice and equality, while presiding over family court taught her to listen and think beyond the bench.Just days before, Justice Abella spoke with The Lawyer’s Daily and was asked what would have to happen to see a Supreme Court that better reflects Canada’s cultural diversity. “Over time, the way we introduced the reality of more women in the profession onto the bench, that will inevitably be the case for people of colour, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, because they are people who are lawyers and who will find themselves, I’m sure, qualified to serve on the benches of this country. Many already are — and have — qualified and are serving in that way. That will only expand with time — and should.”

Extradition appeal for U.S. trial dismissed by Ontario Court of Appeal
An Ontario Provincial Police officer must face trial in the United States on sexual-abuse related charges after his extradition order appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in United States v. Hillis 2021 ONCA 447.

Holistic standards for unregulated profession of mediation 
In their column, Julie Gill, Jennifer Daudlin and Tom Dart write that the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) is an interdisciplinary organization that provides certifications, networking and advocacy for family dispute resolution (FDR) professionals including, but not limited to, mediators, arbitrators, parenting co-ordinators, financial professionals and academics. They read, with some concern and disappointment, the column published in The Lawyer’s Daily on June 22, 2021, titled “Mediation: The Unregulated Profession,” written by Gary Joseph. 

Justice Abella: Voice of the vulnerable 
When Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella retires from the Supreme Court of Canada on July 1, she will leave the court as one of the most impactful judges in its history and as the longest serving judge in the Canadian judicial system, writes Lawrence David.

Richard Skinulis is an Analysis Editor at The Lawyer's Daily.