The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision on the Alberta government’s leave to appeal application in R. v. Caron. Chief Justice McLachlin and Justices Abella and Rothstein granted the government’s leave application (without costs). As is typical in such matters, no reasons for decision were given. The case concerns an interim costs award that was granted to Caron to help fund his language rights challenge against Alberta legislation. As noted in a previous post, Caron was granted an interim costs award by Justice V.O. Ouellette of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in October 2007. This award was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal in January 2009. In the meantime, Caron’s language rights challenge was successful after his Provincial Court trial, and this matter is now under appeal. Regardless of the outcome of the language rights challenge, the interim costs matter is a critical issue for access to justice. The Alberta Court of Appeal held that interim costs awards are available in quasi-criminal matters before provincial courts, and it is expected that this will be one of the government’s grounds for appeal. ABlawg will report on future developments in the case.