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Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 9:23 AM

Cure worse than disease: Virtual jury deliberations during COVID Part Two | Nik Khakhar

As we discussed in the first article in this series, central to the institution of the jury is the expectation that they form their verdict exclusively based on evidence that has been admitted at trial. While the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Pan; R v. Sawyer, 2001 SCC 42  affirmed the principle of jury secrecy — which protects the content of jury deliberations from being used as evidence to overturn a verdict — the majority also maintained that information that is extrinsic to the trial is admissible on appeal. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 26, 2020 @ 2:44 PM

Labour law, gig economy: A tale of two countries Gigeconomykeyboard

In early November, California — long regarded as America’s liberal bastion — adopted a ballot measure which exempted gig economy workers such as drivers for Uber and Lyft from being treated as employees under state employment laws. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Canada’s proposed Modern Slavery Act and Nevsun: Implications, opportunities slave_labour_sm

On Feb. 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya 2020 SCC 5. Subject to significant legal commentary in the months since its release, Nevsun has been heralded as a step forward to recognize the liability of Canadian corporations for human and labour rights violations under their watch abroad. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 5:42 PM

Ontario sex offender law invokes ‘prejudicial and stereotypical views’ about mentally ill: SCC Justice Andromache Karakatsanis

The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling which declared Ontario’s sex offender registry to be discriminatory against people who have been found not criminally responsible due to mental disorder and have also received an absolute discharge, a decision which also gives some updated guidance on when a court should impose a declaration of invalidity. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 1:37 PM

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES - Equality rights - Grounds of discrimination - Remedies for denial of rights

Appeal by the Attorney General of Ontario from a judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal that declared Christopher’s Law to be of no force of effect as it applied to individuals found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD) who had been granted an absolute discharge. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 10:54 AM

The cruel and the unusual: Supreme Court on corporate suffering legal_interpretation_sm

It’s official. Corporations cannot experience pain. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in Quebec (Attorney General) v. 9147-0732 Quebec Inc. 2020 SCC 32, that the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect corporations because the term “cruel” applies only to human pain and suffering. Accordingly, the $30,843 corporate fine in question was deemed constitutional. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 @ 2:16 PM

SCC decision roadmap to damages in tort for pure economic loss: Part two economic_loss_sm

As we discussed in the first article in this series, while both the majority and dissenting opinions in 1688782 Ontario Inc. v. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. 2020 SCC 35 agreed that the Mr. Sub franchisors’ claim did not fall within the ambit of an established duty of care, the court was split over whether the franchisees stood in a sufficiently proximate relationship to Maple Leaf such that a novel duty of care and responsibility for the franchisees’ pure economic interests should be found to rest with Maple Leaf. ... [read more]

Friday, November 13, 2020 @ 1:29 PM

PUBLIC UTILITIES - Facilities - Construction - Easements and rights of way - Electricity - Transmission lines

Appeal by Hydro-Quebec from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal that set aside the injunction granted in its favour. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 2:00 PM

Supreme Court upholds ruling on importance of text timing in sexual assault case Teens&cellsphones

The use of text messages in trials has become more and more common over time. Both as a result of the fact that virtually everyone has a cell phone, and the seeming preference by younger people for this form of communication, information which used to be lost in the ether, is now recorded for all time. This is especially so in matters of sexual assault. Where conversations used to be had over the phone or in person, it is quite common for people to discuss their sex lives, past, present and future, via text. Section 276 of the Criminal Code limits the use to which such records can be used. Specifically, avoiding the twin myths is a key reason for such messages to be deemed inadmissible. ... [read more]

Friday, November 06, 2020 @ 3:39 PM

NEGLIGENCE - Duty and standard of care - Duty of care

Appeal by 1688782 Ontario Inc. from a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal that granted summary judgment to the respondents (“Maple Leaf Foods”) and dismissed the appellant’s class action. ... [read more]