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Why Federalism Still Matters

Old Supreme Court

The recent Supreme Court decision in Bank of Montreal v. Marcotte, 2014 SCC 55, is a helpful clarification of the applicability of consumer protection legislation and, more generally, the current principles regulating the separation of federal and provincial powers in Canada. At issue in Marcotte were charges imposed on credit card customers for purchases in foreign currency. Such purchases are ...

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Lawsuit Claims Individual Rights Trump Cultural Preservation

Seven members of the Kahnawake Mohawk band have brought a lawsuit, alleging that they were evicted from their homes on the reserve for having married non-natives. The plaintiffs each claim damages of $50,000 and also seek a declaration that “non Native spouses are entitled to reside within Kahnawake with their spouses and children, and that the children retain native status ...

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Contingency Fees and the Rule of Law

In today’s The Hill, Professor Lester Brickman discusses the class action lawsuit brought against BP in respect of the 2010 oil spill. Professor Brickman argues that the BP suit is representative of a larger trend in American class action litigation whereby the plaintiffs’ lawyers are hired on a contingency fee basis and end up reaping enormous sums from the settlement. ...

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More MPs Means Fewer Trained Seals

This article originally appeared in Huffington Post Canada   When the Conservatives were in opposition, they frequently chastised the governing Liberals for ruling their backbencher MPs with an iron fist. Most if not all votes were whipped, which meant that, in a majority government, the position of the Prime Minister and his inner Cabinet invariably became the law of the ...

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Remarks of the Treasurer of LSUC at the Call to the Bar Ceremony

osgoode-hall

On the morning of June 20, 2014, I had the honour and privlege of being welcomed to the Ontario Bar by none other than Mr. Thomas Conway, Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada. His speech to the new inductees, in addition to touching on the historical background of LSUC, went on to outline the importance of the Rule of ...

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The Living Fiction: Reclaiming Originalism for Canada

This Article was published in the Autumn 2014 edition of the Advocates’ Quarterly1   Eighty-five years ago this October, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council handed down its decision in Edwards v. Attorney-General for Canada, in which it held that “The British North America Act planted in Canada a living tree capable of growth and expansion within its natural ...

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How to Reform the Senate Without a Constitutional Amendment

(This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post Canada) The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Reference Re Senate Reform has irked a great many Canadians who had hoped that our highest court would bless democratic reform in the Red Chamber. On virtually every question before it — from term limits to democratizing the selection process — the Supreme ...

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