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Human Rights Tribunals and Reviewing Courts in Canada

Canada’s Human Rights Tribunals have extensive powers to investigate and redress alleged breaches of fundamental rights by public and private parties. These statutory rights overlap but do not mirror the rights protected constitutionally; the human rights codes they are found in are usually described as “quasi-constitutional”. But Canadian courts have typically been cautious in allowing […] Read more

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A Dunsmuir Anecdote

I can’t resist passing on the postscript to Norman Siebrasse’s excellent post on standard of review issues raised in a recent (and interesting) patent case at the Federal Court: Finally, on a personal note, Dunsmuir was the clerk of the court in Fredericton, New Brunswick (the full name of the case is Dunsmuir v New […] Read more

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Categories versus Rebuttable Presumptions: Tervita Corp. v. Canada (Commissioner of Competition), 2015 SCC 3

Tervita Corp. v. Canada (Commissioner of Competition), 2015 SCC 3 is a long, complex and important decision on competition law. It also contains a spirited disagreement between Rothstein and Abella JJ. on the appropriate standard of review of determinations of law made by the Competition Tribunal. Oddly enough, I think both of them are right: […] Read more

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Justiciability of the Prerogative: Hupacasath First Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FCA 4

The Federal Court of Appeal decision in Hupacasath First Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FCA 4 on justiciability of international treaties, the prerogative in respect of foreign affairs, the duty to consult First Nations and the jurisdiction of the federal courts is hugely significant (first-instance decision noted here). At issue was a foreign investment promotion […] Read more

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Considering Charter Values: Iacovelli v. College of Nurses of Ontario, 2014 ONSC 7267

As is well-known, the Supreme Court of Canada stated in Doré v. Barreau du Québec, [2012] 1 SCR 395 that administrative decision-makers must consider Charter values in the exercise of discretionary powers. However, this duty has recently been cast in very limited terms by a strong bench of Ontario’s Divisional Court in Iacovelli v. College […] Read more