Justice In a Timely Manner: The New Framework for Trial Within a Reasonable Time

By: Drew Yewchuk 

PDF Version: Justice In a Timely Manner: The New Framework for Trial Within a Reasonable Time

Cases Commented On: R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII); R v Williamson, 2016 SCC 28 (CanLII)

I recently posted a comment on a Supreme Court of Canada decision, R v Vassell, 2016 SCC 26 (CanLII), involving section 11(b) of the Charter, which guarantees the right of any person charged with an offence to be tried within a reasonable time. On July 8, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada decided two more appeals on section 11(b) of the Charter. In a five-four split in R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), the majority overturned the framework for calculating unreasonable delay that was established in R v Morin, [1992] 1 SCR 771 (CanLII). The new framework is simpler, and establishes presumptive ceilings for unreasonable delay (minus defence delays) between charges being laid and the end of trial. The new ceilings are 18 months for charges going to trial in provincial court, and 30 months for charges going to superior court. (Jordan, at para 49) This is a significant change to section 11(b) jurisprudence, and both the majority and concurring judgments acknowledge it as such (Jordan, majority at paras 134-137, concurring at para 302). Moreover, the concurring justices only concur as to the outcome of Jordan – they propose a less radical departure from Morin and fundamentally disagree regarding the proper framework to be applied. This post explores the reasons provided by the majority for this change, as well as the application of the majority and alternative frameworks in Jordan and the companion case of R v Williamson, 2016 SCC 28 (CanLII). Continue reading

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Posted in Constitutional, Criminal, Supreme Court of Canada | Leave a comment

The Standard of Patent Unreasonableness Lives On

By: Shaun Fluker

PDF Version: The Standard of Patent Unreasonableness Lives On

Case Commented On: British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal) v Fraser Health Authority, 2016 SCC 25 (CanLII)

In its recent British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal) v Fraser Health Authority, 2016 SCC 25 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada engages in a review of a tribunal decision which emanates from British Columbia. From the perspective of administrative law jurisprudence, what is noteworthy about this decision is that the Supreme Court applies the standard of patent unreasonableness in its review. Yes that’s right – this is the same standard of review which was shown the door by the Supremes in Dunsmuir. This decision reminds us that the standard of patent unreasonableness lives on in judicial review where a legislature has preserved it under a statute, as is the case in British Columbia with sections 58 and 59 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, SBC 2004 c 45, but offers nothing explicit on how this fits into general principles of administrative law. Continue reading

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Posted in Administrative Law, Supreme Court of Canada | 1 Comment

Knock-for-Knock Decision Affirmed by Court of Queen’s Bench

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Knock-for-Knock Decision Affirmed by Court of Queen’s Bench

Case Commented On: Precision Drilling Canada Limited Partnership v Yangarra Resources Ltd, 2016 ABQB 365 (CanLII)

This matter, involving the interpretation of a standard form drilling contract, originally came on before Master Prowse as an application for summary judgement by Precision, the drilling contractor. My post on the Master Prowse’ decision, 2015 ABQB 433, is here and my post on Master Prowse’s further judgement, 2015 ABQB 649, on the “interest clause as penalty” issue is here. Both decisions favoured Precision, and Yangarra appealed both. In this decision Justice E.C. Wilson dismissed both appeals and affirmed Master Prowse’s decisions largely by quoting extensively from the learned Master’s reasons. Continue reading

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Posted in Contracts, Oil & Gas | Leave a comment

Change of Operator: Norcen v Oakwood of no Application in the Case of a Bankruptcy

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Change of Operator: Norcen v Oakwood of no Application in the Case of a Bankruptcy

Case Commented On: Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363 (CanLII)

This case involves the 2007 version of the CAPL Operating Agreement as well as a construction, ownership and operation agreement for a battery (COO Agreement). In his judgment Justice Alan Macleod enforced the immediate replacement provisions of the operating agreement in favour of a co-owner (Eagle Energy Inc.) and against the purchaser of the assets (Forent Energy Ltd.) from the receiver\manager appointed under under s 243 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, RSC 1985, c B-3. Continue reading

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Posted in Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Oil & Gas | Leave a comment

The Forest of Delays

By: Drew Yewchuk

PDF Version: The Forest of Delays

Case Commented On: R v Vassell, 2016 SCC 26 (CanLII)

Section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guarantees that any person charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time. In R v Vassell 2016 SCC 26 (CanLII) the Supreme Court of Canada reiterated that the Crown is responsible to deliver on this right. The approach that had been developing in Alberta courts was that the right would only be violated where the actions of the Crown caused excessive delay – institutional delays and delays caused by anything other than Crown actions were considered neutral or less important and did not trigger section 11(b). The Supreme Court in Vassell rejects this approach: the Crown is responsible for bringing the accused to trial within a reasonable time and therefore for all delays, regardless of their cause, trigger section 11(b) unless the accused explicitly or implicitly waives their right to be tried within a reasonable time. Continue reading

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Posted in Constitutional, Supreme Court of Canada | Leave a comment