HomeAuthor Archives: Asher Honickman

Author Archives: Asher Honickman

The Legal Case Against the Khadr Settlement

Was the Government of Canada’s decision to settle with Omar Khadr for $10.5 million a pragmatic choice that saved the taxpayers millions in the long run? This is certainly what the government and some commentators would have us believe. If true, this would provide a sensible justification for the settlement. A multi-million dollar payout to an individual who previously participated ...

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Debating Human Rights with Professor Pardy

Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing and debating human rights law with Professor Bruce Pardy of my alma mater, Queen’s Law. The topic of the debate was Parliament’s Bill C-16, which amended the Canada Human Rights Act and Criminal Code, along with recent amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code. The relevant amendments in both human rights statutes concern ...

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On Canada Day, Let’s Celebrate our Constitution

The Government of Canada has spent a considerable sum to promote “Canada 150” over the last few months, but it has done next to nothing to explain to Canadians what exactly it is we are celebrating. July 1 marks the date that the British North America Act, 1867 came into force. The B.N.A. Act, as it was commonly known, endowed Canada with its own ...

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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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