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Why ARL Opposes a Duty to Consult in the Legislative Process

On January 15, 2018, lawyers for Advocates for the Rule of Law (“ARL”) will be appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada to make submissions in a case that will consider whether there is a justiciable duty to consult potentially affected Aboriginal groups in the legislative process.  This is the first Supreme Court of Canada case that ARL has intervened ...

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Getting Back to the Basics of Judicial Review

One could scarcely find an area of law so muddied as administrative law. In a recent blog post on Double Aspect,  Leonid Sirota argues (omitting some far more colourful language) that our courts continue to struggle with reconciling the basic concepts of parliamentary supremacy and the rule of law, which are said to be in conflict with one another. The ...

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Why the Appeal to Charter Values Denies the Rule of Law

Barry W. Bussey is Director Legal Affairs, Canadian Council of Christian Charities.  He blogs at: lawandreligion.org. The following is an excerpt of his article, “The Charter is Not a Blueprint for Moral Conformity,” (2017) 79 S.C.L.R.(2d) 367, 393-400   It may be trite to say that a liberal democracy must respect the rule of law.[1] Lord Bingham described the core ...

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Wagner C.J. is the Prudent Choice

Today’s elevation of Justice Richard Wagner to the position of Chief Justice is a welcome development. Justice Wagner’s collegiality and moderation will serve him well in his new role. His dissenting judgment in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is an excellent example of understanding the judicial role vis-a-vis s. 2(d) of the Charter. It is worth adding that the alleged “convention” ...

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On the Nomination of Justice Martin to the Supreme Court

Advocates for the Rule of Law congratulates Justice Sheilah L. Martin of the Alberta Court of Appeal on her nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Martin’s academic and professional credentials to serve on the Supreme Court — including being a law dean, law professor, commercial litigator, pro bono constitutional lawyer, and very active member of the profession generally — ...

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The Myth of Sovereign Provincial Legislatures: Canada’s Federal Crown Beyond Provincial Control

Following the adoption of the British North America Act 1867, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the “Privy Council”) went to great pains to give full effect to the written text of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it emphasized the sovereignty of the federal and provincial orders of government. While the Supreme Court of Canada (the “Supreme Court”) ...

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Lawless Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada (soon to be renamed something less historic), prepares to require its members ― of whom I am one ― to supply it with individual Statement[s] of Principles that acknowledge[] [our] obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in [our] behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public. Bruce Pardy has written an ...

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The Supreme Court Must Choose Principle Over Politicization

Maxime St-Hilaire is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Sherbrooke. The following article is Professor St. Hilaire’s response to the question asked by the organizing committee of the Supreme Court of Canada Symposium: “In your opinion, what is the most important challenge facing the Supreme Court of Canada in the coming decades, and might it meet this ...

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A Province Cannot Shut Down anti-Abortion Expression

This summer, the Ontario government conducted consultations regarding its plan to enact “safe access zones legislation” (SAZL) modeled on British Columbia’s. I’ll give a brief background on B.C.’s law before diving into a division of powers argument against enacting such a law in Ontario. In short, I will argue that just as a province cannot enact a penal prohibition on ...

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The Rule Against Violence

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently delivered a noteworthy decision regarding the scope and limits of the constitutional protection for freedom of expression, Bracken v Town of Fort Erie, 2017 ONCA 668. The decision, written by Justice Miller for a unanimous court, breaks no new ground, but contains clear and cogent reminders of two elementary principles that, sadly, may ...

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