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Reasonableness, Proportionality and Religious Freedom: Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 12

Where an administrative decision-maker has violated a fundamental right, how should courts review the decision? Should they apply the standards of constitutional law (a proportionality test, for example)? Or should they apply the standard grounds of administrative law (such as reasonableness)? The Supreme Court of Canada has written more than most on this question and […] Read more

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Life Means Life, Except When it Doesn’t

A couple of weeks ago, the federal government announced new ‘life without parole’ legislation. I was quoted in a story suggesting the proposed law would be “likely to face a Charter challenge”: “This is not parole,” Harper said. “Unlike parole, decisions will not rest with an appointed board but with the federal cabinet, men and […] Read more

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The Danger of Taking Things Literally: Corporation d’Urgences-santé c. Syndicat des employées et employés d’Urgences-santé (CSN), 2015 QCCA 315

As I have previously explained, I think it is wrong to measure administrative interpretations of law by reference to the principles of statutory interpretation. Sure, administrative decision-makers should be required to read statutory provisions intelligently and explain their conclusions in terms of statutory language and objectives, but they should not be required to master these […] Read more