Focus On



Thursday, December 12, 2019 @ 9:40 AM

Nuanced approach needed in assessing sexual assault complainants’ testimony, capacity to consent: scholar Lucinda_Vandervort_sm

A Saskatchewan court’s quashing of a sex assault conviction after it found the trial judge erred in accepting an accuser’s evidence while also finding she was too drunk to consent may “impede enforcement of the sexual assault laws whenever a complainant was significantly intoxicated,” says a legal mind.  ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 @ 2:37 PM

Police need warrant to install hidden cameras in condos, apartments, court rules James Lockyer

Condominium boards or property management cannot consent to “surreptitious video surveillance” of residents conducted by police without a warrant, the Ontario Court of Appeal said in a ruling that sets out the privacy expectations of residents of condo and apartment buildings. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 @ 1:03 PM

Privacy commissioner’s proposed reforms could put office in conflict of interest: lawyer Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien would like federal privacy laws for the public and private sectors amended and given a “rights-based foundation” that would confer rights and impose obligations, and particularly with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), no longer be viewed as “an industry code of conduct,” according to the annual report he tabled in Parliament on Dec. 10. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 @ 9:56 AM

Indigenous intercultural competency education ‘fundamental’ for lawyers in B.C.: law society VP Dean Lawton, Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC)

Hot on the heels of the B.C. government’s plans to bring its laws into harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the provincial law society has made it a future requirement for all lawyers in the province to take a course on Indigenous intercultural competency aimed at enhancing their understanding of the history of Aboriginal-Crown relations, the history and legacy of residential schools and how specific legislation regarding Indigenous peoples created the issues that reconcilation seeks to address. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 @ 2:48 PM

Appeal Court decision shows judges need more education on sexual assault: lawyer Megan Stephens

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling points to a crying need for continuing education to help judges and lawyers better apply Canada’s sexual assault laws — almost 30 years after they were legislated, says one of the country’s foremost legal advocates for women. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 @ 1:10 PM

Beer decision shows it isn’t ‘anything goes’ on regulating interprovincial trade: legal scholar Eric Adams, University of Alberta

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled against the provincial government in its attempts to overturn a lower court ruling declaring measures to protect Alberta craft brewers unconstitutional, but added it did not have to pay restitution to the beer companies bringing the case because the previous ruling did not interpret a test on recovering money correctly. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

Downey stresses modernization in unveiling reforms to legal aid, law society legislation Doug Downey sm

Bill 161, the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, introduced by Attorney General Doug Downey on Dec. 9, proposes amendments to over 20 Acts and, if passed, will impact the legal regulator, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), class actions and how lawyers practise in different areas across the province. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 @ 9:06 AM

Panel applauds Divorce Act changes that highlight mediation, best interests of child Claire Faird, Nicholas Bala, Rachel Birnbaum, Lorne Wolfson sm

Family justice experts at the fifth annual Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) Conference lauded amendments to the Divorce Act, which they say signal a “cultural shift” in best interest of the child duties as well as an emphasis on mediation. ... [read more]

Monday, December 09, 2019 @ 12:34 PM

Alberta Justice Ministry must downsize to meet budget targets, government says

Concerns about the future effectiveness of the Alberta legal system are being raised after a report emerged showing the provincial government was planning lawyer cutbacks and outsourcing at the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General in order to meet budget targets. ... [read more]

Monday, December 09, 2019 @ 11:39 AM

Over 450 law students, professors call on Trudeau to act on climate change Christie McLeod sm

Law students and professors from 18 law schools across Canada have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling on him to strengthen and legislate Canada’s emissions reduction targets. The letter, issued Dec. 3, was drafted by Christie McLeod, an Osgoode Hall law student, and has received over 450 signatures. ... [read more]