@CanadaCreep and Privacy: Developing the Tort of Invasion of Privacy

By: Emily Laidlaw

PDF Version: @CanadaCreep and Privacy: Developing the Tort of Invasion of Privacy

As I prepared to write a blog post about the future of privacy the story broke of @CanadaCreep, the Twitter account with 17,000 followers that posted photos and videos of unsuspecting women around Calgary. The kicker was that the material focused on women’s breast, genital and buttocks regions, including upskirting videos (video up women’s skirts). A 42-year-old Calgary man was criminally charged for the upskirting videos, specifically voyeurism, distributing voyeuristic recordings, and possessing and accessing child pornography. However, there are currently no charges related to the other pictures, the bulk of them that focused on specific regions of the female body that were under layers of clothing and not visible to the public. This is unnerving and confusing, because while we expect to be viewed casually when we are out in public, we don’t expect specific body parts to be photographed and distributed to the world. It’s classically objectifying, but more than that, it communicates the message that the second women walk out the door their bodies aren’t theirs. Continue reading

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Posted in Human Rights, Privacy, Torts | Leave a comment

Charter Violations Inside Prisons: Irremediable in the Name of Protecting the Public?

By: Amy Matychuk

PDF Version: Charter Violations Inside Prisons: Irremediable in the Name of Protecting the Public?

Case Commented On: R v Blanchard, 2017 ABQB 369 (CanLII)

The applicant in this case, Lance David Blanchard, is a nearly 60-year-old man who committed his first criminal offence (rape) in 1975. His other previous criminal convictions include multiple charges of unlawful confinement, assault (including with a weapon), and manslaughter. Most recently, he was convicted of aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, aggravated sexual assault, possession of a weapon, threatening to cause death or bodily harm, and breach of a recognizance. He has been designated a High Profile offender, and has been incarcerated at the Edmonton Remand Centre (ERC) since June 2014, in administrative segregation and protective custody. His most recent trial received attention from the media and the legal community because of the incarceration of the sexual assault complainant, “Angela Cardinal” (critiqued on ABlawg by Professor Alice Woolley here and here). Having been convicted in that trial, Mr. Blanchard then sought a stay or a sentence reduction because of the severely adverse conditions he experienced while awaiting trial at ERC. Continue reading

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Posted in Constitutional, Criminal | 1 Comment

Law and Morality: Reflections on the Angela Cardinal Case

By: Alice Woolley

PDF Version: Law and Morality: Reflections on the Angela Cardinal Case

What constrains lawyer conduct? I don’t mean in terms of positive law – i.e., the codes of conduct or the decisions of the court. I mean at its source – what is the bottom line restriction on a lawyer’s professional role? I’ve been thinking about this question a great deal following the story of Angela Cardinal– the sexual assault victim who was incarcerated for 5 nights to ensure her testimony in a preliminary inquiry (trial judgment here; media reports here and here). If what happened to Angela Cardinal was wrong (and I think it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t), and if what happened to her involved lawyers (which it did), then how can we identify the constraints on lawyer conduct so as to help them not to do such things? Continue reading

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Posted in Ethics and the Legal Profession | 1 Comment

National Security, Bill C-59, and CSIS’s Continuing Power to Act Disruptively in Violation of the Charter

By: Michael Nesbitt

PDF Version: National Security, Bill C-59, and CSIS’s Continuing Power to Act Disruptively in Violation of the Charter

Legislation Commented On: Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters, 2017; Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, SC 2015, c 20

Government Report Commented On: Protecting Canadians and their Rights: A New Road Map for Canada’s National Security, SECU Committee Report, May 2017, 42nd Parliament, 1st Session.

Introduction/Overview of Bill C-59 & CSIS’s Disruptive Powers

On Tuesday, June 21, 2017, right before Parliament rose for the summer break, the Liberal government released its long-awaited national security legislative update, marketed in part as a response to the Conservative government’s controversial Anti-terrorism Act (2015), known as Bill C-51. The Liberal government’s response came in the form of Bill C-59 and not only did it address many—though not all—of the perceived issues with Bill C-51, it went much farther afield. In general, we are all better off for that.

I will provide more detailed thoughts on Bill C-59 as a whole in short order, after I collect my thoughts. But first I want to address one issue that I see as potentially very controversial and—if Twitter can be trusted, an admittedly dubious proposition—that remains one of the least understood elements of the new (and old) anti-terror legislation: CSIS’s powers under both Bills to act disruptively (physically) to counter threats, including taking actions in breach of the Charter or of other Canadian laws. Continue reading

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Posted in Terrorism and Security | Leave a comment

Announcing a Summer Discussion Series on Recent Developments in Energy and Environmental Law

By: Martin Olszynski and Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Announcing a Summer Discussion Series on Recent Developments in Energy and Environmental Law

Event Commented On: 2017 Energy & Environmental Law Summer Discussion Series

The past year has been relatively busy from a legislative and policy reform perspective, especially with respect to Canadian energy and environmental law. At the federal level, all of the expert panels and parliamentary committees tasked by the current Liberal government with reviewing the Harper-era changes to Canada’s energy and environmental law regime have now delivered their reports: Forward, Together: Enabling Canada’s Clean, Safe and Secure Energy Future (regarding the National Energy Board); Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada (regarding federal environmental assessment processes); Review of changes made in 2012 to the Fisheries Act: enhancing the protection of fish and fish habitat and the management of Canadian fisheries; and A Study of the Navigation Protection Act. There has also been important litigation at the provincial level, especially the Alberta Court of Appeal’s recent decision in the Redwater litigation: Orphan Well Association v Grant Thornton Limited, 2017 ABCA 124 (CanLII).

While most of these developments have been discussed in this forum (see e.g. posts by Kwasniak, Fluker and Yewchuk, Olszynski, and Mascher with respect to environmental assessment and Bankes on the NEB report and Redwater), the Faculty and the Canadian Institute of Resources Law have decided that it would also be interesting to host a series of panel discussions over the summer to further analyze the issues. Continue reading

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Posted in Energy, Environmental | Leave a comment