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Case Commentary

A Textualist Critique of Bostock

The Supreme Court of the United State’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton Country, Georgia has already elicited a great deal of controversy and scholarly commentary. I typically refrain from commenting on U.S. decisions as I am not an expert on U.S. law. However, the decision in Bostock turned entirely on the principles of statutory interpretation, which has long been an interest of mine. What makes ...

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A New Canadian Textualism Emerges from the Stratasphere

In Entertainment Software Assoc v Society of Composers, 2020 FCA 100, Stratas JA (for the Court) made a number of interesting comments about statutory interpretation in the administrative state and the role of international law in the interpretive activity. In this post, I review these comments, and agree with them wholeheartedly. This case is an important add-on to a growing list of ...

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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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