R. v. Nur, 2015 SCC 15

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Nur considers the constitutionality of a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for unlicensed possession of a loaded firearm. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 12: Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5

In Carter, the Supreme Court reconsidered the constitutionality of the prohibition on assisted suicide, which had previously been upheld in Rodriguez. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

Trinity Western University v. Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, 2015 NSSC 25

In TWU v. NSBS, Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court delivered a resounding vindication for freedom of religion last month, overturning a Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society regulation which would have prohibited Trinity Western University graduates from practicing law in that province. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 2(a): Freedom of Religion, Section 2: Fundamental Freedoms

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59

The Canadian Bar Association and Trial Lawyers Association mounted a constitutional challenge of hearing fees imposed by the Province of British Columbia. The fees in question amounted to between $500 and $800 per day of court time. In the context of a ten-day family trial, the fees amounted almost to the family’s net income for an entire month. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

R. v. Mian, 2014 SCC 54

The accused, Mohammad Hassan Mian, was arrested for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, but not informed of the reason for his detention for 22 minutes, and not informed of his right to retain and instruct counsel for approximately 25 minutes. After cross-examining a number of police officers, defence counsel argued that police had violated Sections 10(a) and 10(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 10(a): Reason for Detention, Section 10(b): Right to Counsel, Section 10: Rights on Arrest

R. v. Taylor, 2014 SCC 50

The accused, Jamie Kenneth Taylor, was arrested and taken to hospital after crashing his vehicle and injuring three of his passengers. Police suspected that Mr. Taylor was intoxicated but did not advise him of his right to retain and instruct counsel. While Mr. Taylor was at the hospital (in police custody), blood samples were taken to him. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 10(b): Right to Counsel, Section 10: Rights on Arrest

R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43

The accused, Matthew David Spencer, was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography as a result of a police investigation using Limewire, an anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing software. Upon discovering an IP address which appeared to be the source … Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

Canada (Attorney General) v. Whaling, 2014 SCC 20

When the federal government passed the Abolition of Early Parole Act, three inmates serving sentences for first-time, non-violent offences argued that the retroactive application of such legislation infringed their right not to be “punished again” for the same offence. When they were sentenced, these individuals were eligible for day parole after just one sixth of their custodial sentences were served. The new legislation, however, extended their sentences far beyond what was initially imposed. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 11(g): Retroactivity, Section 11(h): Double Jeopardy, Section 11(i): Lesser Punishment, Section 11: Legal Rights

Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72

The Respondents, a group of prostitutes and former prostitutes, argued that a number of Criminal Code provisions prohibiting expression and commercial activities relating to prostitution were in breach of Sections 7 and 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Continue reading

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Filed under Section 2(b): Freedom of Expression, Section 7: Life, Liberty, & Security of the Person

Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62

The Respondent, a labour union representing employees at an Edmonton casino during the course of a lawful strike, had run afoul of Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act by videotaping individuals crossing the picket line during the strike, and using the images collected in union newsletters, strike leaflets, and a website called CasinoScabs.ca. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 2(b): Freedom of Expression