Canadian Appeals Monitor Information and Commentary on Upcoming and Recent Appeal Court Decisions

Category Archives: Constitutional

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Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions: The Creation of Barriers by the BC Court of Appeal

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Constitutional

In a surprise decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has broken with the superior courts of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec by holding that constitutional limits prevent a superior court judge from sitting outside of his own province. The Court of Appeal’s decision suggests limits to the inherent jurisdiction and discretion of superior courts… → Read More

Withholding its assessment: the Federal Court of Appeal clarifies the narrow limits on judicial review in the tax context

Posted in Administrative, Civil Litigation, Constitutional

The Federal Court of Appeal has issued its decision in The Minister of National Revenue and Canada Revenue Agency v. JP Morgan Asset Management (Canada) Inc., 2013 FCA 250. The case concerns the scope of administrative law remedies and the essence of an administrative “decision.” Background The case arose out of a “withholding tax” assessment… → Read More

“The digital and Internet age meets the law of search and seizure” as the SCC clarifies the law on search warrants and computers in R v. Vu

Posted in Case Comments, Charter of Rights, Constitutional, Criminal

Overview The Supreme Court of Canada recently released a unanimous judgment in R. v. Vu, 2013 SCC 60, in which it ruled that authorities must obtain specific authorization in a search warrant in order to search computers located on premises covered by the warrant. In this case, the police collected incriminating evidence against Mr. Thanh… → Read More

Federal Court of Appeal affirms that the Federal Court has limited jurisdiction over the province of Alberta

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional, Procedure

Generally speaking, the Federal Court does not have jurisdiction over the provincial Crown. Confusion arises when the subject matter of a claim is within the realm of the Federal Court and the claim is an in personam. The recent Federal Court of Appeal decision of Canada v. Toney, 2013 FCA 217 affirms that there remain limited… → Read More

Craig and Prokofiew — A Tale of Two Cases: The SCC Considers the Precedential Effect of its Obiter Dicta

Posted in Case Comments, Constitutional, Criminal

As discussed in a previous post, the Supreme Court of Canada, in Canada v. Craig, overruled one of its own precedents, on the basis that there were compelling reasons indicating that the precedent’s interpretation of a provision of the Income Tax Act was incorrect. This interpretation was part of the precedent’s ratio decidendi and not… → Read More

Close, But Not Too Close to Call: Ted Opitz’s Narrow Victories in the Federal Election and the Supreme Court

Posted in Case Comments, Charter of Rights, Constitutional

Introduction On May 2, 2011, Canadians voted in the 41st federal election. Voters in the riding of Etobicoke Centre elected Ted Opitz to represent them in Parliament. The race was hotly contested. So too was the result. A judicial recount showed that Mr. Opitz won by a plurality of just 26 votes. Boris Wrzesnewskyj, the… → Read More

Order in the Court? The Van Breda Trilogy – Part V – Constitutional Issues

Posted in Conflict of Laws, Constitutional, Features, Media, Procedure, Torts, Van Breda Trilogy

The constitutionalization of private international law has been one of the major projects of the Supreme Court of Canada since the decision in Morguard. However, the precise relationship between the Constitution, and the “real and substantial connection” test, has yet to be fully defined. In the Van Breda Trilogy, the Supreme Court returned to this… → Read More

SCC Addresses Test for “Federal Undertakings” under the Constitution

Posted in Case Comments, Constitutional, Labour and Employment

When do parties qualify as federal transportation undertakings for purpose of s. 92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867? This question arose in Tessier v. Québec (Commission de la santé et sécurité du travail), the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) decision rendered on May 17, 2012. This case differs from those previously decided by the SCC,… → Read More

Order in the Court? The Van Breda Trilogy – Part I – An Overview

Posted in Conflict of Laws, Constitutional, Features, Procedure, Torts, Van Breda Trilogy

Order in the Court? The Van Breda Trilogy – Part I – An Overview In three cases released on April 18, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada substantially reformulated the common law principles of private international law. In the coming weeks, Canadian Appeals Monitor will provide in-depth coverage of the Court’s judgments in Van Breda,… → Read More

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun: ONCA Allows Securities Act Claims Against Foreign-Listed Issuers in Canadian Solar

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional, Securities

In a recent judgment that is sure to become a landmark in the growing field of Canadian securities class actions, the Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that the statutory cause of action for secondary market misrepresentations can be asserted against issuers whose shares are listed solely on a foreign exchange.  The ruling in Abdula v. Canadian Solar opens… → Read More

B.C. Court of Appeal Considers Extraterritorial Reach of Securities Act

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Constitutional, Securities

In an interesting new judgment - Torudag - the British Columbia Court of Appeal has held that the B.C. Securities Commission may assert regulatory jurisdiction over residents of other provinces, who engage in insider trading through a stock exchange in Ontario.  The Torudag Court arrived at this conclusion despite extraterritoriality arguments about the constitutional applicability of the B.C. Securities… → Read More

SCC to Determine Whether an Order to Clean is a Claim under the CCAA

Posted in Bankruptcy and Debt, Case Previews, Constitutional, Energy

On November 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case challenging the constitutionality and applicability of several sections of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to provincial environmental statutes. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador (the “Province”) compels AbitibiBowater Inc. to clean up industrial sites that the company once owned and operated… → Read More

BCCA Asked to Review Advance Costs Made Against Private Litigants in Charter Litigation

Posted in Case Comments, Charter of Rights, Communications, Constitutional, Procedure

In Dish Network L.L.C. v. Rex, the Supreme Court of British Columbia took the rare step of ordering advance costs in a constitutional challenge. More surprisingly, the court ordered three private litigants to pay 50% of those costs. This case is now headed to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. Mr. Rex sold satellite… → Read More

SCC to Address Test for “Federal Undertakings” Under the Constitution

Posted in Case Previews, Communications, Constitutional, Labour and Employment, Transportation

When do parties qualify as federal transportation undertakings for purpose of s. 92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867?  The Supreme Court of Canada will answer this question in the Tessier case, for which it recently granted leave to appeal. Decisions Below The appeal comes before the Supreme Court from the ruling of the Quebec Court of Appeal… → Read More