Focus On

Supreme Court of Canada

Latest

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 @ 9:57 AM

Courts moving to adopt written gowning requirements that accommodate counsel’s ‘personal circumstances’ Sabrina Bandali

The Supreme Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal are considering — and the Federal and Tax Courts will soon move ahead with — requests from the bar that they adopt written gowning requirements expressly accommodating counsel whose personal circumstances, such as a medical condition, disability or pregnancy, make it hard to don the usual courtroom attire. ... [read more]

Monday, January 20, 2020 @ 2:10 PM

Amicus curiae in private family law cases puzzle_piece_sm

The Ontario Court of Appeal has enunciated the principles governing the appointment of amicus curiae (friend of the court) in private family law cases — and the message from Morwald Benevides v. Benevides 2019 ONCA 1023 is unequivocally that appointments in such cases should be the exceptions to the rule. ... [read more]

Monday, January 20, 2020 @ 9:41 AM - Last Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 @ 11:15 AM

Supreme Court of Canada hits record low 40% unanimity rate in 2019; many appeals came from Quebec TLD Exclusive

The Supreme Court of Canada divided on the outcomes of appeals in 60 per cent of the cases it decided in 2019, and spoke with one voice in just one-third of its appeal judgments — a record low unanimity rate in at least 30 years, an analysis by The Lawyer’s Daily discloses. ... [read more]

Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 2:52 PM

The impact of self representation: Long-term views | Gary Joseph

Much of the debate surrounding the tidal wave of self representation has focused on the difficulties posed by untrained individuals before the courts. Cases, previously advanced on the basis of fact and law, now often become overly emotional battlefields for the vetting of marital discord. Separated spouses can be subjected to aggressive and unnecessary cross-examination by a self-represented individual and judges, vexed between neutral adjudication, maintaining the dignity of proceedings and fair treatment to all, are being drawn into the process in a manner not consistent with their historical common law role. ... [read more]

Friday, January 10, 2020 @ 6:24 AM

Environmental controversies take centre stage as Supreme Court of Canada opens winter session SCC

The constitutionality of Ottawa’s carbon pricing regime and Ontario’s sex offender registry are both under the microscope in the Supreme Court of Canada’s winter session, which will also examine whether British Columbia can validly make environmental regulations that could impede the planned expansion of the controversial Trans-Mountain (TMX) pipeline. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 09, 2020 @ 8:26 AM

Vavilov and Bell cases: Arbitration awards at risk? arbitration_loops_sm

On Dec. 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Canada v. Vavilov 2019 SCC 65 (and companion cases, see Bell Canada v. Canada 2019 SCC 66) on the issue of standard of review for administrative law decisions. The legal profession could not have asked for a better holiday present. ... [read more]

Monday, January 06, 2020 @ 2:42 PM

Multiple masters: A modern lawyer’s dilemma | Gary Joseph

The website for the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) states that it exists to govern the legal profession in the public interest. LSO governs its members through the Rules of Professional Conduct (the Rules). Professional standards for lawyers are governed by these regulatory codes but also by legal standards determined and imposed by the courts and by statute. The distinction between regulatory and court-imposed standards are often theoretical but at times not. The most recent example of where these standards may conflict can be found in the now resolved dispute between lawyer Joseph Groia and the LSO. ... [read more]

Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 5:09 PM

SCC divides 7-2 in first post-Vavilov application of the new framework for judicial review Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Rowe

In its first post-Vavilov judicial review decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has divided 7-2 to reinstate as “reasonable” the decision of an appeals officer with the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada (OHSTC) who determined that Canada Post did not breach its workplace safety obligations by not inspecting for safety its postal carriers’ delivery routes and drop-off locations. ... [read more]

Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 1:19 PM

EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS - Safety of workplace - Offences and enforcement - Procedure - Appeals

Appeal from a judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal dismissing an application for judicial review of an appeals officer’s decision concluding that Canada Post complied with its work place health and safety obligations. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 19, 2019 @ 2:37 PM - Last Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 11:06 AM

SCC rewrites standard of review framework for administrative law in landmark trilogy Aubin Calvert

In a bid to enhance clarity, predictability and access to justice in a muddled area of law that impacts many Canadians, seven of nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada have collaborated to devise a new standard of review framework which emphasizes that courts should presumptively exercise deference when overseeing administrative decision makers, while also retaining “limited” scope for correctness review. ... [read more]