HomeTag Archives: Supreme Court of Canada

Tag Archives: Supreme Court of Canada

ARL at the Supreme Court

Earlier this month, Advocates for the Rule of Law appeared as an intervenor in the Bell/NFL and Vavilov appeals at the Supreme Court. Prior to the hearing, the Court advised the parties that these appeals would present an opportunity to reconsider the Court’s seminal decision in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, released a decade ago.  Consequently, various organizations, including ARL, moved to intervene in the case. ...

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Why ARL is Seeking Leave to Intervene in the Standard of Review Appeals

On August 30, 2018, Advocates for the Rule of Law brought a motion for intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada in three appeals: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v Vavilov,[i] Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General),[ii] and National Football League v. Canada (Attorney General).[iii] In a rare move, the Court’s judgment granting leave to appeal elaborated as follows: The ...

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ARL Seeks Intervenor Status in Standard of Review Appeals

Advocates for the Rule of Law has brought a motion to intervene in Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v Vavilov, Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General),and National Football League v. Canada (Attorney General), which will come before the Supreme Court of Canada on December 4-6, 2018. In its reasons granting leave to appeal, the Supreme Court stated as follows: “The ...

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The Original “Living Tree”

One of the main arguments in Canada in favour of the “living tree” is that it has deep roots in our constitutional tradition. As the Supreme Court of Canada said in Reference Re Same Sex Marriage, the living tree is “one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation.”[1] The argument goes something like this: beginning with the famous ...

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Canada’s Political Safeguards of Federalism: A Theory on Shaky Doctrinal Ground

When Canada abandoned its appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in constitutional matters, the Supreme Court of Canada began to slowly re-shape the boundaries of our federalism jurisprudence. In doing so, it expanded the federal Parliament’s powers and articulated a diminished view of the judicial role. Its case law developed a “cooperative, flexible federalism”[1] defined by “a ...

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Statutory Interpretation from the Stratasphere

Statutory interpretation presents problems of judicial subjectivity.[1] Though it is well-established that courts and advocates must look to the “text, context, and purpose” of a particular statutory provision to determine its meaning, little work has focused on what courts should do when purposes are stated at different levels of abstraction, or where the statute has multiple purposes which are seemingly ...

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The Wall of Separation

The Supreme Court of Canada released its judgement in the Wall appeal last week. It’s a victory for clarity in what had become quite a confused case.  The Court, overturning both courts below, ruled that judges do not have authority to review the decision of an unincorporated religious body to expel one of its members. Confusion at the lower courts Randy Wall, the ...

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Has the Supreme Court Moved Beyond the “Living Tree”?

One of the first things law students are taught is that our Constitution is a “living tree.”  The Supreme Court has said that the living tree doctrine, which holds that our Constitution must be capable of evolving to meet new social realities, is “one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation” (See Reference Re Same Sex Marriage, at ...

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Wagner C.J. is the Prudent Choice

Today’s elevation of Justice Richard Wagner to the position of Chief Justice is a welcome development. Justice Wagner’s collegiality and moderation will serve him well in his new role. His dissenting judgment in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is an excellent example of understanding the judicial role vis-a-vis s. 2(d) of the Charter. It is worth adding that the alleged “convention” ...

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