Pornography in Prisons: Naraine v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FC 934

Naraine v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FC 934 recently provoked the breathless — and breathtakingly misleading — headline: “Prison can’t take porn channels away from inmates, federal court rules“. The trigger for the Naraine litigation was apparently a parliamentary hearing on sexual harassment in the federal workplace before the Standing Committee on the Status of […] Read more

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Human Rights Remedies and Administrative Bodies

Unlike many (perhaps most?) other countries, Canada allows administrative bodies to make non-binding interpretations of constitutional provisions and to grant remedies for human rights violations by state actors.To put it in terms first suggested by the now-Chief Justice, the constitution is “not some holy grail which only judicial initiates of the superior courts may touch” […] Read more

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Avoiding ‘Charter-Free’ Zones

One of the questions not broached by the Supreme Court of Canada in Doré (see my earlier post here) was what happens when the legislature has attempted to exclude consideration of the Charter by an administrative decision-maker. In a pair of decisions released in 2003, the Court made clear that where an administrative decision-maker has […] Read more

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Separate Silos

One of the reasons offered by the concurring judges in Multani for merging administrative review and constitutional review (at least when an individualized decision was challenged) was that keeping them separate and distinct would be confusing to lower courts and litigants. That view never seemed particularly compelling to me: lawyers and judges often make and […] Read more

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The Charter and Administrative Adjudication

The Supreme Court of Canada has been feverishly productive in the field of administrative law since the Fall of 2011, rendering decisions on standard of review (questions of law, jurisdictional error and labour arbitrators), the right to reasons, issue estoppel, attempts to pre-empt the administrative decision-making process, and review of municipal by-laws. Plenty of grist […] Read more