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Boom Or Bust: The Public Trust Doctrine In Canadian Climate Change Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad Jan 2024

Boom Or Bust: The Public Trust Doctrine In Canadian Climate Change Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad

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Over the past few years, Canadian courts have heard the first climate change cases. These claims have been commenced on behalf of youth and future generations who allege that governments have failed to meet or, otherwise, uphold greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. This novel area of litigation has brought forth creative legal arguments to expand or re-envision existing doctrines in order to place blame for what continues to be a warming planet and increasingly unstable ecosystems. This article investigates the public trust doctrine. In Canadian courts, the doctrine’s limited and arguably parochial interpretation has diverged from its …


Developments In Contract Law: The 2020-2021 Term – Appeals To Fairness, Marcus Moore Aug 2022

Developments In Contract Law: The 2020-2021 Term – Appeals To Fairness, Marcus Moore

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This article analyzes important developments in Contract Law stemming from consideration by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2020-2021. Due to the large number of Contracts cases during this period, the article focuses on prominent appeals occupied with issues of fairness in Canadian Contract Law. Fairness in contracts emerges as an important concern of the SCC at this juncture. This appropriately reflects the constellation of some long-unsolved problems (e.g., control of unfair terms in standard form contracts), confusion around key concepts associated with protection of contractual fairness (e.g., unconscionability and good faith), and judicial disagreement over the merits of general …


Judicial Activism In Transnational Business And Human Rights Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad Jan 2022

Judicial Activism In Transnational Business And Human Rights Litigation, Hassan M. Ahmad

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This article explores a more expansive adjudicative role for domestic judiciaries in the U.S., U.K., and Canada in private law disputes that concern personal and environmental harm by multinational corporations that operate in the Global South. This expansive role may confront—although not necessarily upend—existing understandings around the separation of powers in common law jurisdictions. I canvass existing literature on judicial activism. Then, I detail legality gaps in the selected common law home states, which can be broken down into four categories: i) failed legislation; ii) deficient legislation; iii) judicial restraint; and iv) judicial deference.

I suggest three ways to actualize …


Pluralism And Convergence: Judicial Standardization In Canadian Corporate Law, Camden Hutchison Jan 2021

Pluralism And Convergence: Judicial Standardization In Canadian Corporate Law, Camden Hutchison

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This article uses statistical analysis of judicial decisions to address whether (and to what extent) the common law of corporations varies among the provinces. The primary findings are: (1) as measured by the number of case citations, provincial courts of appeal favour precedent from their home provinces; (2) the Supreme Court of Canada exerts a powerful standardizing influence across the provinces; and (3) on balance (and despite the “home province” bias of provincial courts of appeal), Canadian corporate law is largely homogeneous, with little variation among provincial jurisdictions. This article concludes that—for a variety of reasons—it is unlikely that any …


Prospective Overruling Unravelled, Samuel Beswick Jan 2021

Prospective Overruling Unravelled, Samuel Beswick

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Judges have a dual role: they decide cases and they determine the law. These functions are conventionally understood to be intertwined: adjudication leads to case law, and disputes over judge-made laws lead to adjudication. Because judgments involve the resolution of past disputes, judge-made law is retrospective. The retrospective nature of judicial law-making can seem to work an injustice in hard cases. It appears unfair and inefficient for novel judicial decisions to apply to conduct occurring prior to the date judgment is handed down. A proposed solution is to separate the law-making and adjudicatory functions of courts. This is the technique …


A Colonial Castle: Defence Of Property In R V Stanley, Alexandra Flynn, Estair Van Wagner Jan 2020

A Colonial Castle: Defence Of Property In R V Stanley, Alexandra Flynn, Estair Van Wagner

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In 2016, Gerald Stanley shot 22-year-old Colten Boushie in the back of the head after Boushie and his friends entered his farm. Boushie died instantly. Stanley relied on the defence of accident and was found not guilty be an all-white jury. Throughout the trial, Stanley invoked concerns about trespass and rural crime (particularly property crime), much of which was of limited relevance to whether or not the shooting was an accident. We argue that the assertions of trespass shaped the trial, yet were not tested by the jury through a formal invocation of the defence of property.


The Meaning Of Life: A Study Of The Use Of Parole Ineligibility For Murder Sentencing, Isabel Grant, Crystal Choi, Debra Parkes Jan 2020

The Meaning Of Life: A Study Of The Use Of Parole Ineligibility For Murder Sentencing, Isabel Grant, Crystal Choi, Debra Parkes

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A number of legal developments in recent years suggest that murder sentencing may be becoming increasingly punitive. This study examines two aspects of setting parole ineligibility. First, using cases from three two-year time periods spanning the past three decades, the authors explore whether judicial calculations of parole ineligibility for second degree murder have changed over time. Second, the authors examine changes enacted in 2011 to allow parole ineligibility to be imposed consecutively for those who commit more than one murder. The study finds a national trend towards reduced reliance on the minimum 10-year period of parole ineligibility, a slight increase …


Retroactive Adjudication, Samuel Beswick Jan 2020

Retroactive Adjudication, Samuel Beswick

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This Article defends the retroactive nature of judicial lawmaking. Recent Supreme Court judgments have reignited debate on the retroactivity of novel precedent. When a court announces a new rule, does it apply only to future cases or also to disputes arising in the past? This Article shows that the doctrine of non-retroactive adjudication offers no adequate answer. In attempting to articulate a law of non-retroactivity, the Supreme Court has cycled through five flawed frame-works. It has variously characterized adjudicative non-retroactivity as (1) a problem of legal philosophy; (2) a discretionary exercise for balancing competing right and reliance interests; (3) a …


Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2020

Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey

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In commemoration of their 50th anniversary, this chapter examines the Federal Courts’ role in shaping environmental law in Canada. The chapter uses well-known environmental principles – the precautionary principle, sustainable development and access to (environmental) justice – as focal points for examining environmental law as well as the legal culture of the Federal Courts. The chapter identifies four distinct interpretive roles that the Federal Courts have ascribed to the precautionary principle and it argues that three of these roles have the potential to generate more coherent and transparent doctrine that upholds the rule of law in the environmental context. In …


The "Statutory Rape" Myth: A Case Law Study Of Sexual Assaults Against Adolescent Girls, Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet Nov 2019

The "Statutory Rape" Myth: A Case Law Study Of Sexual Assaults Against Adolescent Girls, Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet

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This article examines three years of Canadian case law involving sexual offences against adolescent girls between the ages of twelve and seventeen inclusive, with a view to identifying the types of cases that are making it to court, whether these cases are resulting in convictions, and what are the types of sentences being imposed on individuals convicted of these offences. A significant majority of cases under review involved men considerably older than the complainant. The average age difference between the accused and the complainant was nineteen years and, where family members were excluded, 15.6 years. The small number of cases …


About A Revolution: Toward Integrated Treatment In Drug And Mental Health Courts, Sara Gordon Jan 2019

About A Revolution: Toward Integrated Treatment In Drug And Mental Health Courts, Sara Gordon

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and mental health courts, which proponents claim created a revolution in criminal justice. Defendants whose underlying crime is the result of a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder can choose to be diverted into a specialty court, where they receive treatment instead of punishment. Many of these individuals, however, do not just suffer from a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder; instead, many have a “cooccurring disorder.” Approximately 8.9 million American adults have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, and almost half of individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for one disorder will also meet criteria …


Punishment And Its Limits, Debra Parkes Jan 2019

Punishment And Its Limits, Debra Parkes

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The nearly three decades in which Beverley McLachlin was a member of the Supreme Court, including as Chief Justice, witnessed a number of shifts in Canadian penal policy and in the reach and impact of criminal law. During the Harper decade (2006 to 2015) in which the federal Conservatives enjoyed a majority government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, criminal justice policy took a turn toward the punitive. The federal government tore a page out of the American legislative handbook and sought to “govern through crime”, albeit in a more restrained Canadian style.


The Role Of Section 718.2(A)(Ii) In Sentencing For Male Intimate Partner Violence Against Women, Isabel Grant Jan 2018

The Role Of Section 718.2(A)(Ii) In Sentencing For Male Intimate Partner Violence Against Women, Isabel Grant

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This article examines sentencing for male intimate partner violence against women since the 1996 enactment of s 718.2(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code, which requires that a spousal/common-law relationship between an offender and victim be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing. The article argues that, while in general appellate courts in Canada are taking this violence seriously, cases involving level I sexual assaults still demonstrate the longstanding tendency to treat the intimate relationship as mitigating. Further appellate guidance is necessary on how courts should reconcile s 718.2(a)(ii) with s 718.2(e), which requires that all options other than incarceration be considered when …


Introduction: Canada's Chief Justice: Beverley Mclachlin's Legacy Of Law And Leadership, Marcus Moore Jan 2018

Introduction: Canada's Chief Justice: Beverley Mclachlin's Legacy Of Law And Leadership, Marcus Moore

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Summarizes the legacy of law and leadership of Beverley McLachlin, the longest-serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (2000-2017), and first female Chief Justice.


Justice As Harmony: The Distinct Resonance Of Chief Justice Beverley Mclachlin's Juridical Genius, Marcus Moore Jan 2018

Justice As Harmony: The Distinct Resonance Of Chief Justice Beverley Mclachlin's Juridical Genius, Marcus Moore

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Chief Justice McLachlin’s juridical work has earned special praise, but what specifically distinguishes it among the work of other leading jurists has proven elusive for lawyers and social scientists to identify. My experience as a law clerk to McLachlin CJC suggested a distinct approach never comprehensively articulated, but intuitively well-known and widely-emulated among those in her sphere of influence. Drawing on the Chief Justice’s public lectures—where she often explained and offered deeper reflection on the McLachlin Court’s defining jurisprudence—I make the case in this article that at the heart of that approach is a quality best described as the pursuit …


R. V. Safarzadeh-Markhali: Elements And Implications Of The Supreme Court's New Rigorous Approach To Construction Of Statutory Purpose, Marcus Moore Jan 2017

R. V. Safarzadeh-Markhali: Elements And Implications Of The Supreme Court's New Rigorous Approach To Construction Of Statutory Purpose, Marcus Moore

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The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Safarzadeh-Markhali holds great significance, beyond Criminal Law, in the area of Statutory Interpretation: in Markhali, the Court decisively endorses a new rigorous approach to construing legislative purpose. Previously, while legislation itself was long-interpreted utilizing rigorous approaches, legislative purpose was typically construed ad hoc while providing only summary justification. Markhali’s new framework is distinct from prior approaches in at least four ways: (1) It expressly acknowledges the critical importance of purpose construction in many cases; (2) It is conscious of how a less-than-rigorous approach risks being self-defeating of larger legal analyses in which the …


The Use And Abuse Of Mutual Support Programs In Drug Courts, Sara Gordon Jan 2017

The Use And Abuse Of Mutual Support Programs In Drug Courts, Sara Gordon

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There is a large gap between what we know about the disease of addiction and its appropriate treatment, and the treatment received by individuals who are ordered into treatment as a condition of participation in drug court. Most medical professionals are not appropriately trained about addiction and most addiction treatment providers do not have the education and training necessary to provide appropriate evidence-based services to individuals who are referred by drug courts for addiction treatment. This disconnect between our understanding of addiction and available addiction treatment has widereaching impact for individuals who attempt to receive medical care for addiction in …


Precedent Revisited: Carter V Canada (Ag) And The Contemporary Practice Of Precedent, Debra Parkes Jan 2016

Precedent Revisited: Carter V Canada (Ag) And The Contemporary Practice Of Precedent, Debra Parkes

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In addition to the important substantive changes to Canadian law brought about by Carter v Canada (AG), the decision is significant for its consideration of the doctrine of stare decisis. This article examines the circumstances under which Canadian courts, including courts lower in the relevant hierarchy, might be entitled to revisit otherwise binding, higher court precedents and to depart from them. At least in constitutional cases, the Carter trial decision affirms that trial judges may reconsider rulings of higher courts where a new legal issue is raised or where there is a change in circumstances or evidence that “fundamentally shifts …


Can Pragmatism Function In Administrative Law?, Jocelyn Stacey, Alice Woolley Jan 2016

Can Pragmatism Function In Administrative Law?, Jocelyn Stacey, Alice Woolley

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This article draws out the ways in which Justice Rothstein grappled with complexity in administrative law. It argues that Justice Rothstein took a pragmatic approach to complexity in administrative law. Specifically, he sought to articulate a framework for judicial review that was workable for administrative decision-makers, litigants, their lawyers and reviewing courts. In addition, he looked to past experience with judicial review, evidenced in judicial precedent, rather than focusing on abstract theoretical norms.


The Role Of Courts In Assisting Individuals In Realizing Their S. 2(B) Right To Information About Court Proceedings, Graham Reynolds Jan 2016

The Role Of Courts In Assisting Individuals In Realizing Their S. 2(B) Right To Information About Court Proceedings, Graham Reynolds

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In this paper, I argue that Canadian courts ought to take all reasonable steps to assist individuals in fully realizing their s. 2(b) right to information about court proceedings, both by providing individuals with online access to information about court proceedings (directly and by partnering with third parties), and by implementing policies on the use of electronic devices in courts that minimize restrictions on the ability of individuals and news media to disseminate information about court proceedings to the public. This paper will proceed as follows. I will begin by establishing that individuals are entitled, under s. 2(b) of the …


The Limits Of Statutory Interpretation: Towards Explicit Engagement, By The Supreme Court Of Canada, With The Charter Right To Freedom Of Expression In The Context Of Copyright, Graham Reynolds Jan 2016

The Limits Of Statutory Interpretation: Towards Explicit Engagement, By The Supreme Court Of Canada, With The Charter Right To Freedom Of Expression In The Context Of Copyright, Graham Reynolds

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In its post-2002 copyright jurisprudence, the Supreme Court of Canada has clarified that the Copyright Act grants a significant degree of latitude to non-copyright owning parties to express themselves using copyrighted works. This outcome is attributable neither to the SCC having interpreted provisions of the Copyright Act according to Charter values nor to the SCC having weighed provisions of the Copyright Act against the section 2(b) right to freedom of expression. Rather, it has resulted from the SCC interpreting provisions of the Copyright Act through the lens of the purpose of copyright, as re-articulated by the SCC. The author argues …


The Supreme Court Of Canada: Policy-Maker Of The Year, Benjamin Perrin Nov 2014

The Supreme Court Of Canada: Policy-Maker Of The Year, Benjamin Perrin

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Each year, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy recognizes a “Policy-Maker of the Year”. Past recipients have included former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Foreign Minister John Baird, who have had a tremendous impact on our country’s economic stability and international stature, respectively. One could argue that, while people in such positions are undoubtedly influential, there is another entity that is rarely acknowledged for its influence on policy, but in the last year has changed Canadian public policy in wide-reaching and long-lasting ways – the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). This paper examines the Court’s 10 most significant …


The Punishment Agenda In The Courts, Debra Parkes Jan 2014

The Punishment Agenda In The Courts, Debra Parkes

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This paper critically examines the potential of prisoner litigation in Canada to shed light on what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has called “the hidden world of punishment.” It considers whether prisoner’s rights litigation can act as a meaningful legal check on the growing punishment agenda in Canada. The paper begins with a brief description of some aspects of the punishment agenda before moving on to consider case law under the section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which speaks directly to punishment and its limits, the section 12 right to be free from “cruel and unusual …


Through The Eyes Of Jurors: The Use Of Schemas In The Application Of 'Plain-Language' Jury Instructions, Sara Gordon Apr 2013

Through The Eyes Of Jurors: The Use Of Schemas In The Application Of 'Plain-Language' Jury Instructions, Sara Gordon

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“Through the Eyes of Jurors” is the first law journal article to consider all of the major cognitive psychology studies that examine how “schemas,” or the preexisting notions jurors have about the law, shape jurors’ use of jury instructions, even when those jurors are given “plain-language” instructions. This Article examines the social science research on schema theory in order to advance our understanding of how schemas continue to influence jurors’ use of jury instructions, even when those jurors are given “plain language” instructions. A significant body of legal literature has examined jurors’ use and understanding of jury instructions, and many …


Dogs And Tails: Remedies In Administrative Law, Cristie Ford Jan 2013

Dogs And Tails: Remedies In Administrative Law, Cristie Ford

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Administrative law in Canada, as in many other Commonwealth countries, centers around judicial review doctrine. Sometimes, one may even get the sense that administrative law and administrative law remedies begin at the point at which a party to an administrative action seeks judicial review of that action through the courts. Yet an overly tight focus on court action misses the hugely important first step in real-life administrative action: the varied and sometimes creative, purpose-built remedies that a tribunal itself may impose. This chapter seeks to provide a broader overview of administrative law remedies as a whole, including not only judicial …


Untold Stories Or Miraculous Mirrors? The Possibilities Of A Text-Based Understanding Of Socio-Legal Transcript Research, Emma Cunliffe Jan 2013

Untold Stories Or Miraculous Mirrors? The Possibilities Of A Text-Based Understanding Of Socio-Legal Transcript Research, Emma Cunliffe

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Austin Sarat has described legal understandings of the transcript as “the verbatim record of a present soon to become past, a mirror/a record/a voice machine in which the “author” exercises no authorial presence.” In this paper I argue that when seeing a transcript as an authorless mirror of court proceedings, lawyers and socio-legal scholars risk overlooking the ways in which the technology of transcripts influences the record that is produced. Paying attention to the laws and practices governing transcript production allows those who engage in transcript research to appreciate how the transcript is defined in relation to the spoken proceedings …


Cloudy Weather, With Occasional Sunshine: Consumer Loans, The Legislature, And The Supreme Court Of Japan, Shigenori Matsui Jan 2013

Cloudy Weather, With Occasional Sunshine: Consumer Loans, The Legislature, And The Supreme Court Of Japan, Shigenori Matsui

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The Supreme Court of Japan, despite its well-known passive and conservative stance towards constitutional adjudication, occasionally shows quite a creative and liberal attitude. Recently, the Supreme Court of Japan has shown this attitude in its development of pro-consumer jurisprudence involving consumer loan cases. This development is still more noteworthy because the Supreme Court of Japan ignored the legislature's intent to overturn its previous judgments and practically wiped out a statutory provision enacted by the legislature. As a result of this development, millions of consumers could demand refunds from consumer loan companies, and consumer loan companies went into serious financial troubles, …


Shifting Borders And The Boundaries Of Rights: Examining The Safe Third Country Agreement Between Canada And The United States, Efrat Arbel Jan 2013

Shifting Borders And The Boundaries Of Rights: Examining The Safe Third Country Agreement Between Canada And The United States, Efrat Arbel

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This article analyzes the Canadian Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal decisions assessing the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States (STCA). It examines how each court’s treatment of the location and operation of the Canada-US border influences the results obtained. The article suggests that both in its treatment of the STCA and in its constitutional analysis, the Federal Court decision conceives of the border as a moving barrier capable of shifting outside Canada’s formal territorial boundaries. The effect of this decision is to bring refugee claimants outside state soil within the fold of Canadian constitutional …


Sentencing Circles, Clashing Worldviews, And The Case Of Christopher Pauchay, Toby S. Goldbach Jan 2011

Sentencing Circles, Clashing Worldviews, And The Case Of Christopher Pauchay, Toby S. Goldbach

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The case of Christopher Pauchay demonstrates some of the differences between predominant Euro-Canadian and First Nations approaches to dispute resolution. The principles of sentencing circles sometimes overlap with the principles of restorative justice and suggest their potential incorporation into the criminal justice system. The use of alternative processes that share some common values is not enough to overcome to chasm between Euro-Western and Aboriginal justice. Where underlying worldviews diff er, those who can choose between competing values amidst limited possibilities will likely choose the values that refl ect the conventional system. A comparison of Euro-Western and Aboriginal approaches to crime …


Constitutional Precedents In Japan: A Comment On The Role Of Precedent, Shigenori Matsui Jan 2011

Constitutional Precedents In Japan: A Comment On The Role Of Precedent, Shigenori Matsui

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Japan is a civil law country, and the precedent of the Supreme Court is not binding on either the Supreme Court itself or lower courts. Judges are supposed to return to the text of the statute for each legal dispute and apply the rules to specific cases. Judicial decisions are not law to be applied by the courts. However, since judges have followed the precedent of the Supreme Court most of the time, these precedents have a de facto binding power even though they are not legally binding. In this Comment, the author focuses on constitutional law precedents to illustrate …