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Supreme Court of Canada

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 06:07 PM

Ottawa says broad new immunity for CSIS crimes is Charter-compliant Paul Cavalluzzo

Ottawa says its move to give designated CSIS employees and their agents new immunities from prosecution for breaking the law in the line of duty is constitutional as it tracks a similar immunity legislated for police 15 years ago that has survived Charter attack. ... [read more]

Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 06:01 PM

Judges' travel expenses to be made public for the first time Beverley McLachlin

The travel and other expenses of all 1,100 federally appointed judges — up to and including Supreme Court of Canada judges — would be made public for the first time in history under reforms proposed by the Liberal government. ... [read more]

Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

Cody v. The Queen – read my lips | Richard Pound

The Supreme Court of Canada administered what might well fall between a remedial reading session and a spanking in its unanimous judgment in Cody v. Her Majesty the Queen. The judgment was issued in the name of the court, within weeks of the hearing. The bench included judges who had dissented in the Jordan appeal. ... [read more]

Friday, June 16, 2017 @ 01:55 PM

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES - Procedural rights - Trial within a reasonable time - Remedies for denial of rights - Stay of proceedings

Appeal by Cody from the judgment of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal which set aside the stay of proceedings entered by the trial judge and remitted the matter for trial. On January 12, 2010, Cody was arrested as a part of a drug trafficking investigation. He was charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possessing a prohibited weapon, and one count of possessing a weapon while being prohibited from doing so, and was released on bail. On June 30, 2010, the Crown indicated that it was prepared to provide disclosure but required Cody’s counsel to sign an undertaking preventing the defence from copying the two CDs containing over 20,000 pages of material. The impasse following defence counsel’s refusal to sign was resolved on September 30, 2010. The five-day trial was finally scheduled to begin on January 26, 2015 after applications by Cody for recusal and to exclude the evidence were dismissed and other events took place. Cody’s application pursuant to s. 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was heard in late November 2014. Applying the former Morin framework, the trial judge concluded that approximately 19 months were attributable to Crown and institutional delay, which exceeded the guideline for a case tried in superior court. He ordered a stay of proceedings, concluding that the prejudice suffered by Cody because of the delay outweighed society’s interest in a trial on the merits. While the Crown’s appeal from the trial judge’s stay order was under reserve, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Jordan. The majority of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. Applying the Jordan framework, it found a number of exceptional circumstances relating primarily to disclosure as well as misconduct allegations that had been made against one of the police officers involved. After accounting for these deductions, it quantified the net delay as approximately 16 months. Because this was below the presumptive ceiling, the Court set aside the stay of proceedings and remitted the matter for trial. ... [read more]

Friday, June 16, 2017 @ 10:18 AM

Updated: Full speed ahead with Jordan’s robust approach to speedy trials Michael Crystal

Full speed ahead with R. v. Jordan’s robust approach to the Charter’s speedy trial right — that’s the clear 7-0 message from the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Cody. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 05:15 PM

SCC okays zero tolerance drug policy for safety-sensitive workplaces Peter Gall

In a boost for employers with “zero tolerance” drug and alcohol policies in their safety-sensitive workplaces, the Supreme Court has upheld the automatic termination of a cocaine-addicted heavy machinery operator who was fired after he got into an accident at a coal mine. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 01:14 PM

DISCRIMINATION - Prohibited grounds - Mental or physical disability - Context - Workplace discrimination - Drug and alcohol policies - Termination

Appeal by the employee Stewart, through his union representative, from an Alberta Court of Appeal decision which upheld the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal’s finding that Stewart was not terminated because of his drug addiction, but for breaching his employer’s policy related to alcohol, drug and medication use. Stewart worked in a mine operated by the Elk Valley Coal Corporation, driving a loader. The employer implemented an Alcohol, Illegal Drugs & Medication Policy (Policy) with the goal of ensuring safety in the mine. Employees were expected to disclose any dependence or addiction issues before any drug-related incident occurred. If they did, they would be offered treatment. However, if they failed to disclose and were involved in an incident and tested positive for drugs, they would be terminated. The Policy was dubbed the “no free accident” rule. Stewart attended a training session at which the Policy was reviewed and explained. He also signed a form acknowledging receipt and understanding of the Policy. Stewart used cocaine on his days off, but did not tell his employer that he was using drugs, and one day his loader was involved in an accident. No one was hurt, but Stewart tested positive for drugs. In a meeting with his employer following the positive drug test, Stewart indicated that he thought he was addicted to cocaine. Nine days later, his employment was terminated in accordance with the “no free accident” rule. Stewart submitted that he was terminated for addiction and that this constituted discrimination under the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act (Act). The Alberta Human Rights Tribunal (Tribunal) held that Stewart was not terminated because of his addiction, but for breaching the Policy, which required him to disclose his addiction or dependency before an accident occurred to avoid termination. The Tribunal’s decision was affirmed by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and by the Alberta Court of Appeal. The main issue in the appeal was whether the employer terminated Stewart because of his addiction (raising a prima facie case of discrimination), or whether the employer terminated him for breach of the Policy prohibiting drug use unrelated to his addiction because he had the capacity to comply with those terms (not raising a prima facie case of discrimination). ... [read more]

Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 06:26 AM

Judge Turpel-Lafond says Canada's justice systems should be ‘Indigenized’ Exclusive

The Saskatchewan provincial court judge viewed as a leading candidate to become the first Indigenous justice of the Supreme Court says ending the “incredible systemic racism” she sees every day from the bench requires “Indigenizing” the criminal justice and child welfare systems far beyond appointing a few more Indigenous judges. ... [read more]

Monday, June 12, 2017 @ 05:49 PM

Chief Justice McLachlin stuns bar with early retirement Beverley McLachlin

Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin’s unexpected retirement next December will be a dramatic loss for the court where she broke new ground as its first female leader and placed her own stamp on the Constitution and many other areas of the law. ... [read more]

Monday, June 12, 2017 @ 06:25 AM

Cab firm not liable for driver's alleged sexual assault, court affirms Loretta Merritt

Ontario’s top court has ruled that a taxi company is not vicariously liable for a sexual assault that a driver allegedly committed on an intoxicated female passenger. ... [read more]