Legal Innovation, Access to Justice, and the University of Calgary’s Family Law Incubator

By: Kyle Gardiner

PDF Version: Legal Innovation, Access to Justice, and the University of Calgary’s Family Law Incubator

Matter Commented on: The University of Calgary’s Family Law Incubator

Family law litigants are increasingly experiencing difficulty with access to justice that compounds the nature of their legal problems. This post reviews the potential of the University of Calgary’s Family Law Incubator to meet the growing demand for legal services from Canadian families, and considers some regulatory issues surrounding its operation. Before discussing the specific contours of family law practice that would benefit most from this kind of legal innovation, I must first describe the problem that the Incubator is properly aimed at addressing. That problem is the lack of access to justice for family law litigants, as illustrated by the increasing frequency of self-represented litigants in family law matters at all levels of court in Alberta. Continue reading

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://ablawg.ca/2017/03/06/legal-innovation-access-to-justice-and-the-university-of-calgarys-family-law-incubator/
LinkedIn
Posted in Access to Justice, Ethics and the Legal Profession, Family | Leave a comment

Reasons, Respect and Reconciliation

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Reasons, Respect and Reconciliation

Case Commented On: Kainaiwa/Blood Tribe v Alberta (Energy), 2017 ABQB 107 (CanLII)

Reconciliation between Canada’s settler society and First Nations and other indigenous communities certainly requires mutual respect but it should also require reasons in appropriate cases according to Justice Paul Jeffrey, at least where the Crown dismisses an application for the exercise of a statutory discretion which is closely linked to efforts to right an historic grievance. This is an important decision which should be required reading for every Minister of the Crown with a responsibility for the relationship between Her Majesty and Canada’s first peoples, and for all senior civil servants responsible for advising those Ministers. Continue reading

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://ablawg.ca/2017/03/03/reasons-respect-and-reconciliation/
LinkedIn
Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Property | Leave a comment

An Update on The Right to Trial Within a Reasonable Time

By: Drew Yewchuk

PDF Version: An Update on The Right to Trial Within a Reasonable Time

Cases Commented On: R v Lam, 2016 ABQB 489 (CanLII); R v Regan, 2016 ABQB 561 (CanLII); R v Lavoie, 2017 ABQB 66 (CanLII)

It has been about 8 months since the Supreme Court released R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII) and overhauled how courts deal with applications under section 11(b) of the Charter, the right “to be tried within a reasonable time”. I described the new framework in an earlier post. In short, Jordan established presumptive ceilings for unreasonable delay (minus defence delays and exceptional circumstances) between charges being laid and the end of trial. The ceilings are 18 months for charges going to trial in provincial court and 30 months for charges going to superior court, subject to a flexible transitional approach for cases that were already in the system when Jordan was decided. Since the release of Jordan there have been 11 reported decisions in Alberta posted to CanLII for applications for stays under the new framework. This post discusses three of those decisions that addressed interesting aspects of the new framework. Continue reading

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://ablawg.ca/2017/03/02/an-update-on-the-right-to-trial-within-a-reasonable-time/
LinkedIn
Posted in Constitutional, Criminal | Leave a comment

Supreme Court of Canada Protects Freedom of Expression of Individuals During Election Campaigns

By: Linda McKay-Panos

PDF Version: Supreme Court of Canada Protects Freedom of Expression of Individuals During Election Campaigns

Case Commented On: BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association v British Columbia (Attorney General) 2017 SCC 6 (CanLII)

In this case, which involves political speech that is at the very core of protected expression in Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) ruling doesn’t turn on lofty values as much as it relies on statutory interpretation. It also provides some interesting discussion on the amount of evidence the government must provide in order to defend a violation of Charter section 2(b) under Charter section 1 in the election context.

The British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (Association) challenged British Columbia’s Election Act, RSBC 1996, c 106, section 239, which requires registration with the Chief Electoral Officer by individuals or organizations who wish to “sponsor election advertising.” The SCC had previously upheld similar election registration legislation applying to third parties who spent at least $500 on election advertising (see, for example Harper v Canada (Attorney General), 2004 SCC 33, [2004] 1 SCR 827 (CanLII)(Harper)). Continue reading

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://ablawg.ca/2017/03/01/scc-protects-freedom-of-expression-of-individuals-during-election-campaigns/
LinkedIn
Posted in Constitutional, Supreme Court of Canada | Leave a comment

Criminal Negligence and the Reasonable Parent

By: Erin Sheley

PDF Version: Criminal Negligence and the Reasonable Parent

Case Commented on: R v Lovett, 2017 ABQB 46 (CanLII)

In R v Lovett the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench added a new entry to the rapidly developing jurisprudence on criminal negligence. For much of the past 20 years, the SCC has grappled with articulating the appropriate mens rea standard required by Section 219 of the Criminal Code. Starting with R v Tutton, [1989] 1 SCR 1392 (CanLII), the Court has wavered a bit as to whether the Crown could prove that the accused committed an unlawful act or omission showing a “wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons” with regard to an objective standard (that of the “reasonable person”) or whether it must prove that the accused had subjective awareness of such a risk. As of 2008, with R v JF, (2008) SCC 60 (CanLII), the standard has ostensibly been settled as objective: criminal negligence requires only “a marked and substantial departure from the conduct of a reasonably prudent person in circumstances in which the accused either recognized and ran an obvious and serious risk… or, alternatively, gave no thought to that risk” (JF, at para 9). Notably, this standard requires a higher deviation from the standard of care than that required in other objective fault offences: the departure must be marked and substantial as opposed to simply marked. Continue reading

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://ablawg.ca/2017/02/28/criminal-negligence-and-the-reasonable-parent/
LinkedIn
Posted in Criminal | Leave a comment