Monthly Archives: February 2016

Rebalancing the Sexual Assault Pendulum

The Ghomeshi trial has exposed a reality of the criminal justice system which is the bane of every criminal defence lawyer’s existence. In most ‘domestics’ — as allegations of sexual or physical assault between family members or romantic partners are called in the system—the current modus operandi of police and Crown prosecutors is “zero tolerance.” This means, practically, that police ...

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Promoting the Runnymede Society

Yesterday, the National Post ran an op-ed piece co-authored by Asher Honickman, Marni Soupcoff (Executive Director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation) and Joanna Baron (Director of the Runnymede Society). The article, “Safeguarding the Rule of Law”, speaks to the importance of constitutionalism and the rule of law in Canada and some recent decisions at the Supreme Court that call into ...

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Galati v. Harper: The Rule of Law is not an “Empty Vessel”

The Federal Court of Appeal’s February 8, 2016 decision in Galati v. Harper is notable for several reasons. First, it notes that fundamental legal rules surrounding costs are not jettisoned in the constitutional context. Second, it recognizes that the constitutional guarantee of the “rule of law”, though seemingly broad in the abstract, has a defined meaning and cannot be used ...

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Reviving Originalism in Canada

Originalism posits that the content of a constitution is determined partly by the intentions and purposes of its founders and the understandings of the founding generation. This essay calls for the (re)introduction of originalism, which has an important place in American politics, legal academia, and courts,1 into Canadian constitutional law. First, I explain the importance of the methodology of constitutional ...

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Introducing the Runnymede Society

We at Advocates for the Rule of Law are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to defending the constitutional freedoms of Canadians, to form the Runnymede Society, a law-school-based membership group that specializes in holding provocative and enlightening debates and educational symposia focused on the rule of law. ‘Runnymede’ refers to a water-meadow in ...

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Justice Miller’s First Major Decision May Surprise His Critics

In December, I questioned the common thought that lawyers, scholars and judges who promote judicial restraint and the rule of law should be called “conservative”. I cited Justice Grant Huscroft of the Ontario Court of Appeal simply applying accepted common law principles to lead to what appeared to be a “progressive” result in the employment law case of Michela v. ...

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