Tag Archives: Supreme Court of Canada

SCC Provides Guidance On When Costs Should Be Awarded Against Lawyers Personally

In a decision that was unsettling to many lawyers – Quebec (DCPP) v. Jodoin [2017] 1 SCR 478 – the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a lower court’s decision to award costs against a lawyer personally in a criminal proceeding.
 In April 2013, a criminal lawyer Jodoin, was representing ten clients charged with impaired driving, and other charges.  There were twelve cases and they were jointly scheduled for a hearing in the Court of Quebec on a motion for disclosure of evidence.  On the morning of the hearing, Jodoin had the office of the Superior Court stamp a series of motions for writs of prohibition in which he challenged the jurisdiction of the judge who was to preside over the hearing, alleging bias on the judge’s part.  As an experienced criminal lawyer, Jodoin knew that the filing of such motions would result in the immediate postponement of the hearing until the Superior Court had ruled on them.
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Supreme Court of Canada Orders Estate Trustee to Exercise Discretion to Benefit Beneficiary

The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Cowper-Smith v. Morgan, 2017 SCC 61, on December 14, 2017 relating to siblings disputing the entitlement to their mother’s estate.
As early as 1992, Elizabeth and Arthur Cowper-Smith of Victoria, BC, had made it clear that after their deaths, their property would be divided equally among their three children, Gloria, Max and Nathan.  Shortly before he died in 1992, Arthur explained such intention to his children to avoid family discord.  However, after their father’s death, the children became estranged from each other.  Gloria first fell out with Nathan.  She wrote him letters demanding that he not raise his voice in her mother’s home or entertain “gay males”.  When he went on an overseas trip, Gloria changed the locks to the family home although Nathan’s belongings were still inside.  He broke in but Gloria had the police escort him out.  Nathan eventually moved to Edmonton.
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Supreme Court Okays Extradition of Alleged Honour Killers to India

India v. Badesha, 2017 SCC 44

On June 9, 2000, the body of Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu was discovered in a village in the Indian State of Punjab.  It is the theory of the Indian government that she was the victim of an honour killing arranged by her uncle, Surgit Singh Badesha (“Badesha”) and her mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu (“Sidhu”).  Both Badesha and Sidhu are Canadian citizens and live in Canada.  India sought the extradition of Badesha and Sidhu for the offence of conspiracy to commit murder.  The Minister of Justice (“Minister”) ordered their surrenders after receiving assurances from India regarding their treatment if incarcerated, including health, safety and consular access, and after determining in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Extradition Act, that their surrenders would not be unjust or oppressive.  A majority of the British Columbia Court of Appeal concluded that the Minister’s orders were unreasonable and set them aside.
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Ecuadorean Villagers Continue Legal Battle Against Chevron

Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation 2017 ONSC 135 (CanLII)

The saga continues.  This case returned to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for consideration after a hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Forty-seven individual plaintiffs in this action, representing approximately 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorian villagers, are suing Chevron and Chevron Canada to attempt to enforce a  US$9.5 billion judgment.  The enforcement proceedings first came before the Ontario Court where a motions judge – Justice D.M. Brown (now on the Ontario Court of Appeal) – held that the Ontario Court had jurisdiction to recognize and enforce the Ecuadorian judgment but on his own motion stayed the proceedings.  The Ontario Court of Appeal over-ruled Justice Brown’s imposition of a discretionary stay but upheld his decision on the jurisdictional issue.  The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal. 

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Supreme Court Unwilling to Reject Canada Labour Code’s Unjust Dismissal Scheme

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its decision Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. 2016 SCC29.  This case involved the question of whether an  federally regulated employer could terminate the employment of a non-unionized employee without just cause.

In this case, the appellant Joseph Wilson worked for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (“AECL”) for 4½ years until he was dismissed in November of 2009.  He had a clean disciplinary record.  Wilson filed an unjust dismissal complaint under the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) claiming that his dismissal was in reprisal for having filed a complaint of improper procurement practices on the part of AECL.  AECL said Wilson was terminated on a non-cause basis and was provided with a generous dismissal package. 

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You want to dismiss an employee? Can’t do it with just a severance pay!

A commentary by Julie Forest, from our Labour and Employment Law Group.

July 21, 2016 — Prior to July 14, 2016, employers under federal jurisdiction — in the transportation, banks and telecommunications fields, as well as certain Crown corporations — could legally dismiss a non-unionized employee without cause, merely by giving notice, just as they can under common law. Such a dismissal was thereby considered “just”. From now on, this practice is no longer allowed.

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ILN Today Post

Ronald Snyder comments on SCC decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

Fogler Rubinoff Partner Ronald Snyder shares his perspective with Canadian Lawyer on the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

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High evidentiary threshold to rebut the presumption of resulting trust

I blogged a few years ago on the old law of presumption of advancement and new law of presumption of resulting trust established in the landmark Supreme Court of Canada Pecore decision. Click here for my previous blog.

The presumption of resulting trust applies in estate contexts when a parent gratuitously transfers his or her assets to an adult child.  The court will presume that the child is holding the property in trust for the parent’s estate, unless the child can prove that the transfer was intended to be a gift. In other words, the child has to rebut the presumption of resulting trust if the child claims that the transfer was a gift.

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SCC: World Bank Group has Immunity in SNC-Lavalin Corruption Trial

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Canada granted jurisdictional immunity to institutional members of the World Bank Group where Canadians had been charged under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”) – see World Bank Group v. Wallace, 2016 SCC 15.

The court’s decision was jointly written by Justices Moldaver and Cote.  The Supreme Court provided an introduction to its decision by stating that because corruption was a significant obstacle to international development,  worldwide cooperation was needed to fight corruption.  When international financial organizations, such as the World Bank Group, shared information gathered from informants across the world with the law enforcement agencies of its member states,  they achieved what neither could do on their own.  In consideration of this cooperation, member states often agreed to grant such international organizations immunities and privileges to preserve their independent operation. 

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Physician-Assisted Death – Alberta Decision

On January 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada granted a four-month extension (to June 6, 2016) of the suspension of its declaration in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5 (“Carter), that ss. 14 and 241(b) of the Criminal Code are of no force and effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for competent adult persons that (1) clearly consent to the termination of life, and (2) have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition. At the same time, during the four-month extension, the Court granted an exemption from the prohibition on physician-assisted death to persons that met the Carter criteria so that they may apply to the superior court of their jurisdiction for relief. 

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