HomeAuthor Archives: Asher Honickman

Author Archives: Asher Honickman

Alberta Law Review to Publish “Watertight Compartments”

I am very pleased to report that my paper, “Watertight Compartments: Getting Back to the Constitutional Division of Powers,” has been selected for publication in the upcoming edition of the Alberta Law Review. In this paper I argue that ss. 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the B.N.A. Act, 1867) establish mutually exclusive jurisdictional spheres – what the Privy ...

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The Perils of the Purposive Approach

The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly said that, in interpreting statutes, courts should undertake a unified textual, contextual and purposive approach. Under this approach “the words of an Act are to be read in their entire context and in their grammatical and ordinary sense harmoniously with the scheme of the Act, the object of the Act, and the intention ...

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The Advocates’ Quarterly Publishes “The Paradoxical Presumption of Constitutionality”

The Advocates’ Quarterly, a Canadian Journal for Practitioners of Civil Litigation, has published my paper, “The Paradoxical Presumption of Constitutionality” in its March 2017 edition. The paper, which was also published on this website, argues that the presumption of constitutionality has entered a paradoxical state, in that it simultaneously applies to one part of the Constitution (the division of powers ...

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There are Problems with Personal Injury Law, but Bill 103 is not the Answer

Personal injury litigation has come under the microscope over the last few months. Numerous articles have been written criticizing the conduct of personal injury lawyers, specifically with regard to advertising and fees. Most recently, MPP Michael Colle has put forward a private member’s bill that would require every personal injury advertisement to be approved by the Law Society, cap contingency ...

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Chief Justice Joyal Cites ARL Debate

In January, Chief Justice Joyal of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench gave an address at the Canadian Constitution Foundation’s Law & Freedom Conference entitled “The Charter and Canada’s New Political Culture: Are We All Ambassadors Now?” The text of the address was published on this website at the time. The Canadian Constitution Foundation has now released the video of the ...

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Parting with Pardy: A Review of Ecolawgic

Professor Bruce Pardy has written an enjoyable and thought-provoking book entitled Ecolawgic: The Logic of Ecosystems and the Rule of Law. He argues from a familiar libertarian perspective, but his thesis is original in that he compares markets to ecosystems. His argument is summed up nicely in the abstract to the full text on SSRN as follows: Ecosystems contain their own immutable logic: ...

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Debating Free Trade

On January 7, 2017, I had the honour of discussing and debating s.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867 with the prolific columnist and intellectual, John Robson, and Ian Blue Q.C., counsel for the defendant in the now famous case, R. v. Comeau. The debate was part of the Canadian Constitution Foundation’s Law & Freedom Conference, which took place between January ...

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The Paradoxical Presumption of Constitutionality

INTRODUCTION Should the courts, in judicially reviewing legislation, employ a presumption constitutionality? Should they, in other words, presume that a law enacted by Parliament or the provincial legislatures is constitutionally valid, rebutting that presumption only in the face of convincing evidence? The answer to this question is not as clear as one might suppose. In the context of the division ...

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The 2017 Law & Freedom Conference

The Canadian Constitution Foundation will host its annual Law & Freedom Conference between January 6 – 8, 2017. The conference will be held at Hart House at the University of Toronto, which located at 7 Hart House Circle. This year’s speakers include the Honourable Chief Justice Glenn D. Joyal of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, Professor Emmett Macfarlane of ...

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