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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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A Wise Decision in Retrospect

The Ontario Court of Appeal handed down two seminal decisions last month. In the companion cases, Cobb v. Long Estate and El-Khodr v. Lackie,  the Court of Appeal (hopefully) settled the doctrine in a number of areas relevant to motor vehicle accident (“MVA”) litigation. Cobb and El-Khodr were appeals arising from the assessment damages, prejudgment interest, and costs in the context ...

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ARL’s Intervention Materials

Advocates for the Rule of Law has received a number of requests to post the materials filed with the Court seeking status as an intervener. For those interested, we are happy to oblige. ARL’s Affidavit can be viewed here: The Affidavit of Justin W. Anisman ARL’s Factum can be viewed here: Factum of the Intervener ARL

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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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ARL is Headed to the Supreme Court of Canada

Advocates for the Rule of Law was granted leave to intervene in the Courtoreille Appeal by Order of the Honourable Justice Brown today. The decision can be read here: Order of Justice Brown. In accordance with the Order, ARL will be filing a factum and be given an opportunity to make oral submissions before the Court on January 15, 2018. ARL ...

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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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“Watertight Compartments” Has Now Been Published

I am pleased to announce that my paper, “Watertight Compartments: Getting Back to the Constitutional Division of Powers” has now been published in the Alberta Law Review. Per the abstract: This article offers a fresh examination of the constitutional division of powers. The author argues that sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867 establish exclusive jurisdictional spheres — ...

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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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Advocates for the Rule of Law is Now Incorporated

We at Advocates for the Rule of Law are proud to announce that we have now been incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. We will be seeking charitable status shortly. Thank you to everyone who has supported Advocates for the Rule of Law over the last three years for making this milestone possible! A very special thanks to Brett Anderson and ...

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Courts, Legislatures, and the Illusion of “Dialogue”

I.     WHAT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT? It has been said that Constitutions are a “mirror reflecting the national soul”[1].  While these comments were made before the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) came into effect, there is no reason to believe that the Charter, which focusses on a guaranteed set of civil liberties (Charter rights), should be any less ...

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