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Case Commentary

The Phenomenon of Deferred Reasons: A Tale of Two SCC Decisions

Earlier this month, Justice Côté released her dissenting reasons in International Air Transport Association, et al v Instrubel, NV, et al (“International Air”). The decision was historic (as far as I am aware), coming months after the Supreme Court dismissed the decision orally in December, “substantially” through adopting the reasons of the Quebec Court of Appeal. In this post, I ...

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20 Things to Be Grateful For as Administrative Law Enters the 2020s – Part III

So here we are, on the penultimate day of 2019. When this year began, I was not at all optimistic that the state of administrative law would improve with Vavilov’s release. But now I’m writing a third blog post on my gratitude! So never say surprises cannot happen… 14) Most alarming interpretations of Newfoundland Nurses repudiated. The Supreme Court’s decision ...

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20 Things to Be Grateful For as Administrative Law Enters the 2020s – Part II

On Monday, I began the expansion of my list of twenty important – and positive – lessons from last week’s Vavilov decision. Now, I continue… 8) Access to justice can be facilitated by either reasonableness or correctness review depending on the circumstances. Defenders of reasonableness review frequently defend it on the basis that it facilitates access to justice. This is ...

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20 Things to Be Grateful For as Administrative Law Enters the 2020s

Humans often don’t evaluate an experience in light of how good it is, but rather against how much it met/failed to meet/exceeded our expectations. And on that front, the Supreme Court’s decision in Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v Vavilov delivered in spades. After years of lamenting administrative law decisions coming from the Supreme Court, we have what looks like ...

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Vavilov: A Step Forward

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decisions in Vavilov and Bell/NFL. I have previously summarized the facts of these cases and analyzed them here (Vavilov) and here (Bell/NFL). Overall, today’s decisions (a 7-2 decision, Abella and Karakatsanis JJ concurring in result) are a net positive for the law of judicial review in Canada. The Court has done a ...

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Toronto v Ontario: Correcting Results-Oriented Reasoning

It is not often that I can write a post in full agreement with a judicial decision. Perhaps this says something about my constitution. No matter, the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s recent decision in Toronto v Ontario is an admirable decision that strikes all of the right notes when it comes to interpreting overlapping Charter rights and the use ...

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R. v. Stillman: A Missed Opportunity for Guidance on Stare Decisis

On July 26, 2019, in R. v. Stillman, 2019 SCC 40,the Supreme Court of Canada held by a 5-2 majority that a member of the Canadian Forces does not have the right to trial by jury for a “civilian” criminal offence for which they are charged under the National Defence Act (the “NDA”). Section 130(1)(a) of the NDA converts any ...

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Losing Rights in the Balance

Back in 2008, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) issued a new policy entitled “Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code.” That policy informed physicians that they should be prepared to “set aside their personal beliefs” in providing healthcare. It warned that the Human Rights Code has no defence for discriminatory refusals of medical services, “even if the refusal is ...

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The Political Consequences of Deference are not Always the Same

In my last post on this blog, I commented and mostly praised two recent blog posts at Double Aspect by Mark Mancini from earlier this month calling for less deference to administrators in judicial review, unless a statute explicitly calls for such deference. But after I began drafting my response, a new development arose that now calls for a brief ...

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