Focus On



Thursday, March 05, 2020 @ 12:35 PM

B.C. Court of Appeal strikes down mandatory minimum sentence for possession of stolen firearms

The march against mandatory minimum sentences by Canadian courts has taken another step after the B.C. Court of Appeal declared the minimum sentence for possession of stolen firearms to be in violation of the Charter. Jason Robertson was convicted by Justice Jeanne Watchuk of the B.C. Supreme Court on a number of charges, including one relating to the possession of two stolen rifles (R. v. Robertson 2018 BCSC 521). ... [read more]

Thursday, March 05, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

Canadians can’t trust police using facial recognition responsibly: legal expert Michael_Karanicolas_sm

The Mounties not consulting Canada’s privacy commissioner before using facial recognition technology “speaks to a broken system of privacy protection,” says a legal mind from the Ivy League. Michael Karanicolas, a resident fellow and privacy expert with Yale Law School, says it is “immensely troubling” that the public and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) only became aware of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s use of facial recognition technology (FRT) after it was reported by news media. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 04, 2020 @ 1:53 PM

Federal Court slams prosecution’s bid to force military judges to preside over Dutil court martial Justice Luc Martineau

The Federal Court has rejected a bid by Canadian Armed Forces prosecutors to compel a member of the military bench to preside over Chief Military Judge Mario Dutil’s court martial despite the military judges’ conflicts of interests. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 04, 2020 @ 1:00 PM

Accused’s behaviour needs to be reviewed in self-defence cases: Ontario Court of Appeal

In a lengthy, recent decision on a second-degree murder case, the Ontario Court of Appeal has provided a “good review of the law of self-defence,” according to a veteran criminal defence lawyer. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 04, 2020 @ 9:39 AM

Alberta infrastructure protest bill largely unnecessary: legal scholar Lisa Silver, University of Calgary

Canada has faced a crisis in recent weeks as major transportation arteries have faced blockades by individuals who say they are acting in solidarity with a number of hereditary First Nations chiefs protesting the building of a natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 03, 2020 @ 3:11 PM

‘High bar’ to have civil jury verdict overturned, but not impossible: lawyer Tom_Macdonald_sm

An Appeal Court’s overturning of a jury verdict in a civil case may be rare, but it remains a possibility for clients wanting to challenge an “unfavourable” outcome, says a lawyer after a fraud victim was ordered to repay a bank loan when it was found she had been unjustly enriched by the money. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 03, 2020 @ 11:42 AM

Military judges rule they can’t be disciplined by chain of command, only by military appeal court

The authority of the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) chain of command to discipline its small cadre of five military judges has been greatly constrained, if not ended, by recent court martial rulings which also cast further doubt on the military’s long-running and troubled prosecution of the country’s top military judge, Col. Mario Dutil. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 03, 2020 @ 9:49 AM

Calgary forum aimed at understanding importance of supporting women in legal community Manpreet Dhillon

Calgary has become the first western Canadian city to host a nationwide forum focused on bringing attention to gender equality issues in the law. The Law Needs Feminism Because (LNFB) forum has its genesis in a social media campaign which began at McGill University in 2016. ... [read more]

Monday, March 02, 2020 @ 2:11 PM

LSO approves motion on ‘direct costs’ to Compensation Fund, sets Strategic Plan Teresa_Donnelly_sm

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has examined the costs allocated to the Compensation Fund and approved a motion to limit them to “direct costs, salaries and expenses” associated with that fund. The benchers also approved the organization’s Strategic Plan, which highlights access to justice and the scope of regulation. ... [read more]

Monday, March 02, 2020 @ 9:38 AM

B.C. introduces legislation designed to modernize domestic arbitration regime B.C. Attorney General David Eby

The B.C. government has put in motion plans to update its domestic arbitration rules, a move it says is necessary to reflect best practices at both the national and international level. The bill, which is before the provincial legislature, is a full repeal and replacement of the current Arbitration Act and builds on recommended changes from the Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s Uniform Arbitration Act and will better align with provincial legislation on international arbitral disputes. ... [read more]