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Articles | Kristen Pue | August 17, 2012
Reference re: Secession of Quebec, in Context

Category: Democratic Governance

Articulating Canada’s Underlying Constitutional Principles, Examining the Right to Self-Determination, Confronting the Court’s Limits in Dealing with Political Matters In Canada, the federal Government has the power to ask the Supreme Court of Canada for its opinion on a legal

Articles | Kristen Pue | August 8, 2012
“Trojan Horse”: Opposition’s Procedural Odyssey with Omnibus Bill C-38

Category: Democratic Governance

As the spring 2012 House of Commons session drew to a close, a bi-annual budget implementation bill was the subject of an atypical spectacle. With the NDP serving as the Official Opposition in a majority Parliament situation, opposition MPs unfurled

Articles | Leah McDaniel | August 8, 2012
The Reference Procedure: The Government’s Ability to Ask the Court’s Opinion

Category: Democratic Governance

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction a. What is the “reference procedure”? b. The history of the reference procedure 2. The Scope of the Reference Power: the Modern Statutory Scheme a. The Supreme Court Act and provincial equivalents b. Who can ask a reference

Articles | Leah McDaniel | August 7, 2012
R v Willier (2010): Does the Right to Counsel Include a Right to a Specific Lawyer?

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

INTRODUCTION In R v Willier,[1] the Supreme Court of Canada considered the limits and scope of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee to a lawyer in the event of arrest or detention. The case was one of three cases[2]decided by the Supreme Court

Articles | Leah McDaniel | August 7, 2012
Carter v Canada (Attorney General) (2012): B.C. Court Rules that Ban on Assisted Suicide is Unconstitutional

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14), Equality Rights (Section 15)

INTRODUCTION On June 15, 2012, the Supreme Court of British Columbia rendered its long-awaited decision in Carter v Canada (Attorney General),[1] a case that considers whether a full prohibition on assisted suicide is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Under section

Articles | Judy Feng | July 31, 2012
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia (2011) – Third Party Election Advertising limits in BC Election Campaigns

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

On November 11, 2011, the BC Court of Appeal ruled on third party election advertising limits in the BC Elections Act. The Court agreed that the restrictions violated section 2(b), freedom of expression rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They then

Articles | Leah McDaniel | July 31, 2012
R v Sinclair (2010): No Constitutional Right to Have a Lawyer Present During Police Interrogation

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

INTRODUCTION In R v Sinclair,[1] the Supreme Court considered the limits and scope of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee to a lawyer in the event of arrest or detention. Under section 10(b) of the Charter: Everyone has the right on arrest or detention …

Articles | Judy Feng | July 19, 2012
Tessier Ltée v Quebec (2012) – Division of Powers and Labour Relations

Category: Federalism

On May 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Tessier Ltée v Quebec.[1] The case dealt with the constitutional division of powers between the federal and provincial levels of government. At issue was whether Tessier, a company with part of

Articles | Judy Feng | July 18, 2012
Ted Opitz, et al. v. Borys Wrzesnewskyj, et al.: the Battle Over Etobicoke Centre Election Results

Category: The Charter, Democratic Rights (Sections 3-5)

On July 10, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada took a rare break from its summer recess to hear the Etobicoke case, a case which centered on a dispute in Etobicoke, Ontario over contested federal election results. The case was

Articles | Judy Feng | July 12, 2012
Harper v Canada (2004) – Third Party Election Advertising limits in Federal Election Campaigns

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

The Canada Elections Act limits advertising spending by third party individuals and groups during a federal election campaign. According to section 350 of the Canada Elections Act, third parties are limited to spending a maximum of $3,000 in each electoral district or up to a

Articles | Kristen Pue | July 10, 2012
Reference re: Manitoba Language Rights

Category: The Charter, Minority Language Education Rights (Section 23)

The Reference power is a uniquely Canadian aspect of the legal system. This means that government is able to submit a “reference question” to the Supreme Court on constitutional matters that haven’t yet and may not ever become a court

Articles | Leah McDaniel | July 10, 2012
Reference re Securities Act (2011): Does Parliament Have the Power to Establish a Canada-wide Securities Regulator?

Category: Democratic Governance

Introduction In a decision released November 22, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada provided its opinion on whether the government’s proposed Securities Act[1] was within the constitutional authority of the federal Parliament.[2] The decision in Reference re Securities Act is the result of a

Articles | Judy Feng | June 28, 2012
House of Commons votes to repeal “hate messages” section of the Canadian Human Rights Act

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2), Human Rights

In June 2012, the House of Commons passed Bill C-304, which would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act[1] by repealing section 13 of the Act. Section 13 makes it a “discriminatory practice” to communicate hate messages by telephone or on the Internet.[2] Sponsored by Brian Storseth, Conservative

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