HomeTag Archives: stare decisis

Tag Archives: stare decisis

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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The Original Meaning of Military Law

Advocates for the Rule of Law returned to the Supreme Court of Canada last month in the Stillman and Beaudry appeals to make important submissions on the topic of stare decisis. I attended with my co-counsel, Adam Goldenberg and Peter Grbac. Mr. Goldenberg’s oral submissions were stellar and the panel kept him up for an additional few minutes to ask him ...

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ARL Files Factum in Stillman Appeal

On March 8, 2019, ARL filed its factum at the Supreme Court of Canada in Stillman v. The Queen and R. v. Beaudry. We have previously written about how these military justice appeals offer the Court a rare opportunity to provide guidance on the doctrine of horizontal stare decisis. ARL’s factum proposes a framework that we hope will assist the ...

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Military Justice and Stare Decisis: ARL Returns to the SCC

For the third time in little more than a year, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted Advocates for the Rule of Law leave to intervene to assist the Court in addressing a significant public law issue. This time, ARL will make submissions on when intermediate appellate courts may depart from their own binding precedents. This question of horizontal stare ...

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The Administrative Law “Trilogy”: The Stare Decisis Trap

This week, the Supreme Court of Canada finally heard the consolidated appeals in Bell/NFL and Vavilov. ARL, expertly represented by Adam Goldenberg, put forward our submissions on the matter, which focus on a return to the basis of the law of judicial review: its statutory character. During the hearings, one particular line of questioning posed a problem for this  argument, ...

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The Comeau Decision is a Welcome Example of Serious Doctrinal Analysis

Constitutional law and alcohol are forever linked. Many famous distribution of powers cases giving rise to new federalism doctrine were about alcohol. It should not be a surprise that we can now add another case to the list. R. v. Comeau, coming out of the New Brunswick Provincial Court, is a novel judicial meditation on Canadian federalism, specifically regarding the ...

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The Supreme Court is Eroding the Bedrock Principle of Stare Decisis

There is an uneasy tension at the heart of Canada’s legal system between the inherent conservatism of our legal principles and the inherent liberalism of the actors tasked with applying them. Traditionally, Supreme Court of Canada decisions were final and binding on lower courts. Today, by the courts’ own doing, this bedrock principle is being eroded. Last week, Ontario’s highest ...

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Do Hard Cases Make “Inherently Bad Laws?” Carter v. Canada and the Right to Physician-Assisted Death

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in a British Columbia decision involving the right to physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. In Carter v Canada (Attorney General), a terminally ill British Columbia resident sought to declare the provisions of the Criminal Code which prohibit physician-assisted dying. The concepts of “physician-assisted suicide” and “euthanasia” are not identical. Physician-assisted suicide ...

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Supreme Court Alters the Balance of Power Between Labour and Business

On June 27, 2014, the Supreme Court released a decision that will affect every employment relationship across Canada.  In United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 503 v. Wal Mart Canada Corp., a 5-2 majority of the Court held that an employer – in this case Wal-Mart – is prohibited from permanently shutting down its business during the collective bargaining process, unless it ...

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