HomeAuthor Archives: Asher Honickman

Author Archives: Asher Honickman

Deconstructing Section 28

Professor Kerri Froc has written a thoughtful guest post for Double Aspect, in which she argues that s. 28 of the Charter is not merely an interpretive provision, but is rather a substantive and justiciable section in its own right. The implication if she is correct should not be understated. Section 28 states: Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights ...

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ARL Celebrates Five Years and Charitable Status

Five years ago, I founded Advocates for the Rule of Law with a small group of like-minded lawyers. We were concerned with what we perceived to be a growing disregard for the rule of law, and a move toward what some – including most notably, Justice Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada – have called the “rule of justice.” ...

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The Original Meaning of Military Law

Advocates for the Rule of Law returned to the Supreme Court of Canada last month in the Stillman and Beaudry appeals to make important submissions on the topic of stare decisis. I attended with my co-counsel, Adam Goldenberg and Peter Grbac. Mr. Goldenberg’s oral submissions were stellar and the panel kept him up for an additional few minutes to ask him ...

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Unearthing Canadian Originalism: Reflections on my Conversation with Justice Stratas

Earlier this month, I had the true privilege of taking part in a discussion with Justice David Stratas of the Federal Court of Appeal, who is one of Canada’s most prominent jurists, on the subject of statutory and constitutional interpretation. The conversation was part of the Runnymede Society’s annual Law & Freedom Conference. Justice Stratas and I covered a lot ...

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A Matter of Deductions: Resolving Uncertainty in MVA Litigation

As any Ontario personal injury lawyer knows, the common law of damages has been modified significantly in the context of motor vehicle accidents, to the benefit of defendants and their insurers. The legislature has enacted various measures to limit the ability of plaintiffs to recover in tort. It has done so for two reasons: 1) to help limit the number ...

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ARL at the Supreme Court

Earlier this month, Advocates for the Rule of Law appeared as an intervenor in the Bell/NFL and Vavilov appeals at the Supreme Court. Prior to the hearing, the Court advised the parties that these appeals would present an opportunity to reconsider the Court’s seminal decision in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, released a decade ago.  Consequently, various organizations, including ARL, moved to intervene in the case. ...

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Discussing the Notwithstanding Clause

I had the real privilege today of appearing on Your Morning on CTV to chat about the notwithstanding clause with host Ben Mulroney. In particular, we discussed the threat of premier-designate, François Legault to invoke s.33 of the Charter preemptively in legislation that would ban public servants and officials from wearing religious symbols. The full interview can be accessed here. ...

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The Original “Living Tree”

One of the main arguments in Canada in favour of the “living tree” is that it has deep roots in our constitutional tradition. As the Supreme Court of Canada said in Reference Re Same Sex Marriage, the living tree is “one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation.”[1] The argument goes something like this: beginning with the famous ...

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Comeau is a Casualty of Confused Doctrine

The Supreme Court delivered a bizarre decision last week in R.v. Comeau. By way of background, Comeau concerned the interpretation of s.121 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which states: “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” The issue for the Court was ...

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Canon to the Right of Them, Canon to the Left of Them, Canon in Front of Them

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Schnarr v. Blue Mountain is significant for two reasons. First, it provides much needed clarification to the law of occupiers’ liability, and to waivers of liability in particular. Second,  it includes a detailed discussion of some of the principles of statutory interpretation. In this brief article, I discuss the Court of Appeal’s ...

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