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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief

Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 12:49 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Today, in a groundbreaking private international law decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has cleared the path for a class action lawsuit by 1.8 million Facebook users in B.C. against the California social media behemoth. The top court splintered 4-3 to rule that Facebook’s online contractual forum selection clause, which purports to restrict consumers to taking action only in California, is unfair and against public policy, and thus does not defeat the B.C. Supreme Court's exclusive jurisdiction to enforce that province's privacy law.

The Supreme Court has shed more light on when commercial arbitral awards can be appealed in an important judgment that also provides general guidance on how to determine the standard of review in all types of civil cases. Justice Clément Gascon’s 5-4 judgment June 22 in the British Columbia case of Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. B.C. 2017 SCC 32, aims to clear up confusion about how to apply the top court’s ruling handed down less than three years ago in Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp. 2014 SCC 53.

Cristin Schmitz reports on the proposed National Security Act 2017, introduced in the Commons June 20. The act would create a new “national security justification regime” of proposed “exemptions” from prosecution for designated CSIS employees and their agents who commit acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute crimes or offences while they are carrying out their “information and intelligence collections duties and functions.”

Proposed amendments to the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act (Bill C-58) were introduced June 19. Some of the proposed amendments fall far short of those sought by government information seekers. However Bill C-58 marks a big step forward when it comes to judicial accountability — a move few expected to see.

In a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, Hodge v. Neinstein 2017 ONCA 494, the court rejected arguments from a Toronto law firm and one of its partners that they are immune from a class proceeding brought on behalf of former and current clients, upholding a class action certification granted by the Divisional Court.  

In Richard Pound’s column on Cody v. Her Majesty the Queen he writes that the Supreme Court “administered what might well fall between a remedial reading session and a spanking ...”

In Pamela Palmater’s column she asks the question: why is the Trudeau government opposing Charter equality for Indigenous women?

On June 7, the federal government suspended indefinitely the private right of action under Canada’s anti-spam legislation, originally scheduled to come into effect July 1, 2017. David Young’s analysis article weighs in on the impact of the suspension.

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer's Daily.