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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, December 14, 2018 @ 2:30 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Top court strikes down mandatory victim surcharge for imposing cruel and unusual punishment on poor
The Supreme Court has 7-2 struck down the mandatory victim surcharge enacted by the former Conservative government because it inflicts cruel and unusual punishment on impecunious offenders.

SCC rules people can’t waive privacy rights of others in the digital devices they share
The Supreme Court has ruled 9-0 that police violated an Ontario man’s Charter-protected right to be free from unreasonable search or seizure when they warrantlessly seized the home computer he shared with his spouse, with only her permission and not his.

Conservatives join with Liberals to vote down Senate’s amendments to sexual assault bill
The Liberal government, joined by the Conservatives, voted down two controversial Senate Criminal Code amendments supported by women’s advocates who argue trial judges desperately need Parliament’s specific guidance in sexual assault prosecutions involving complainants who were incapable of consenting due to intoxication, disability or other factors.

LSO approves enhancements to lawyer licensing model, as benchers warn against maintaining status quo
After a lengthy debate, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) voted to maintain the current lawyer licensing model, but has added three “enhancements”: required salary for articling positions, audits of articling placements and mandatory training for articling principals.

British Columbia family lawyers ask law society to hold off on paralegal changes
A number of family lawyers are urging the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) to listen to the profession after a motion was adopted at the society’s annual general meeting asking it to take a step back on its efforts to allow paralegals to have a limited scope of practice.

‘Blanket’ expertise and the standard of review
In her column, Heather MacIvor writes: “The holidays came early this year, at least for administrative law aficionados. On Dec. 4-6 the Supreme Court of Canada hosted a three-day feast of submissions on the standard of review.”

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