Focus On



Wednesday, September 29, 2021 @ 8:41 AM

Charter dilemmas for spiritual Canadians | Sam Zargami

Designing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a difficult task. Drafters must consider the explicit and implicit meanings of each section with respect to the scope of rights that it protects. Judges and lawyers understand the Charter through purposive interpretation and precedent analysis. However, two Canadian precedents demarcate the scope of religious freedom in a manner that may infringe the right that it aims to protect. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 @ 1:08 PM

Animal law access to justice clinic turns one | Victoria Shroff

Access to justice for animals not only matters in theory, it matters in practice. And it’s possible. About a year ago, I wrote about how access to justice for animals in B.C. got a boost via a new pro bono clinic for animals. A year after it started, our access to justice initiative, the Animal Law Pro Bono Clinic (ALPC) at the Law Students Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) in Vancouver, is thriving.  ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 @ 11:43 AM

Mayor Tory breaching rules of professional conduct? | Naomi Sayers

On Sept. 23, Toronto Mayor John Tory published his comments on an accused receiving bail in a case involving murder charges involving a Toronto police officer. Tory also expressed dissatisfaction regarding the publication ban over the bail proceedings. ... [read more]

Monday, September 27, 2021 @ 1:56 PM

The joys of appellate advocacy | Gary Joseph

In her excellent summary of the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in N. v. F., 2021 ONCA 614, The Lawyer's Daily reporter Amanda Jerome highlights the ongoing tensions within the art of appellate advocacy. ... [read more]

Friday, September 24, 2021 @ 2:29 PM

Trivial pursuits: Lawsuits, that is | Marcel Strigberger

Do we lawyers unnecessarily complicate matters? Are we windbags? Do we waste too much time on trivialities? I am thinking about a comment by the notable 19th century British judge, Lord Bacon V-C, who said after a hearing: ... [read more]

Friday, September 24, 2021 @ 1:10 PM

Attack on legitimacy | John L. Hill

Most Canadians were in a state of disbelief when an armed group of rebels attacked the United States Capitol. The melee resulted in death, property damage and public fear and outrage. What was much more serious was that an armed group sought to attack the legitimacy of a national election believing the “big lie” that the election was rigged. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 23, 2021 @ 2:03 PM - Last Updated: Friday, September 24, 2021 @ 3:50 PM

Flags still at half-mast, but have we stopped noticing? | Maggie Wente and Sarah Clarke

After the T’kemlups te Secwepemc Nation discovered 615 bodies of dead First Nations children in unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school near its community, the nation reeled. People hung orange shirts, and dropped off tiny shoes on the steps of churches and Parliament. People marvelled at this “dark chapter,” and at how they didn’t know. People marched. People emoted on social media for days. The nation seemed shocked and everyone said we wanted better. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 @ 11:47 AM

Superior Court self-parodies | Michael Lesage

Modelled after a self-licking ice cream cone or Franz Kafka novel, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice can most charitably be described as “special.” Unable to match (or even approach) its peers in terms of objective performance (and seemingly unwilling to try), its astounding level of dysfunction was on full display in the recent case of Patkaciunas v. Economical Mutual Insurance 2021 ONSC 5945, a situation so bizarre as to likely make Kafka cringe. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 @ 2:00 PM

Primum non nocere: First do no harm | Jared Brown

One of the principal precepts of bioethics that all students in health care are taught in school is that “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.” It serves to remind people to consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 @ 9:51 AM

Something’s rotten in Denmark | John L. Hill

A recent BBC report quotes Denmark’s Justice Minister, Nick Haekkerup, as advocating an end to communications between long-term prisoners and members of the public and to further restrict prisoners using social media from speaking of their crimes or to discuss them in podcasts. The event that triggered Denmark’s drastic proposed response was a report of a young woman falling in love with a convicted murderer and sharing her conversations with the media. ... [read more]