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Canada

Aboriginal law Canada

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies duty to consult

The Supreme Court of Canada shed new light on the Crown’s constitutional duty to consult with Aboriginal communities and clarified the role and obligation of decision-making bodies in two separate decisons that has the potential of providing greater predictability for natural resources companies seeking regulatory approval.

In companion decisions, the nation’s highest court handed mixed results to Inuit and First Nations groups who challenged decisions by the National Energy Board (NEB), a regulatory agency.…

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Criminal justice Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Spotlight Supreme Court of Canada

Quebec appeal court to hear appeals in two Jordan cases

Nearly a year to the day when the Supreme Court of Canada issued its landmark Jordan ruling, the Quebec Court of Appeal announced that a five-judge panel will hear an appeal late this summer of a decision to stay a murder charge against a Sri Lankan refugee even though the accused has been deported back to his homeland.…

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Class actions Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Telecom giants must pay millions following SCC’s refusal to hear appeals

Telecommunication giants Bell Mobility and Rogers Communications must pay millions of dollars to clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear their appeals.

More than 166,000 Rogers’ clients who were charged early cancellation fees between 2007 and 2010 stand to share $26.7 million while 76,000 Bell Mobility clients are expected to divvy up $1.6 million – minus legal fees.

In a case dealing with contract for services, early cancellation fee clauses, abusive clauses and the right of unilateral resiliation under the Quebec Civil Code, the Quebec Court of Appeal held in two separate decisions that the two telecom companies overcharged clients who were billed early cancellation fees.…

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Canada Quebec Supreme Court of Canada

Bars lobbying prime minister over appointment of next chief justice

The tussle over the appointment of the new Chief Justice of the nation’s highest court has begun, with both the Bar of Montreal and the Canadian Bar Association penning letters in a bid to sway Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Not surprisingly the new head of the Montreal Bar is calling on Trudeau to respect “tradition” and appoint a Supreme Court judge from Quebec as the top court’s next chief justice.

In a brief letter sent to Trudeau, the president of the Bar of Montreal, Brian Mitchell, underscored the importance of rotating the appointment of chief justice between judges trained in common law and those from Quebec with a background in civil law. Mitchell also said that it is important to alternate between a French-speaking and English-speaking chief justice.…

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Business Canada

UN panel calls on Canada to appoint extractive sector ombudsperson

An independent, well-resourced office for an ombudsperson that can investigate allegations and enforce orders on Canadian extractives’ overseas operations should be established by the federal government to provide effective remedies in a timely and inexpensive manner, recommends a United Nations working group on business and human rights.

The proposal is one of several made by the UN panel to ensure that federal and provincial governments strengthen access to both judicial and non-judicial remedial mechanisms to victims of human rights abuses.…

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Aboriginal law Business Canada

Federal and provincial governments need to demonstrate “stronger engagement” towards duty to consult, says UN panel

Federal and provincial governments "need" to demonstrate a “stronger engagement” towards conducting meaningful consultations with indigenous communities, according to a United Nations working group on business and human rights.

The duty to consult takes on added weight given that extensive mining and oil and gas extraction in several indigenous territories is “accompanied” by significant adverse environment impacts that affect the right to health, added the UN panel.…

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Aboriginal law Business Canada

UN Working Group calls on Canada to do more to address human rights abroad

A United Nations working group on business and human rights is calling on federal and provincial governments as well as industry associations and companies to bolster their efforts to prevent and address “adverse human rights impacts” of business activities in Canada and abroad.

The UN panel lauded the federal government for undertaking some initiatives to deal with business and human rights, particularly in the extractive sector, but underscored that it could do much more.…

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Business Canada Legal Practice Management

Business heaves sigh of relief as federal government suspends controversial private right of action provision in anti-spam law

Canada’s business community has just heaved a huge sigh of relief.

The federal government issued an Order in Council that suspends the controversial implementation of the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation (CASL) until the completion of a parliamentary review due to “broad-based concerns” raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector.…

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Barreau du Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms Legal business Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Ruling could lead lawyers to think hard before voicing concerns about legal system

In a controversial decision, the Quebec Court of Appeal recently held that Quebec lawyers can criticize the legal system as long as it is done with dignified restraint, constructively and meets the public’s reasonable expectations of a lawyer’s professionalism.

But the appeal court decision has stoked fears that the ruling will engender a chilling effect, and prompt lawyers to think twice before voicing their concerns about the legal system in public for fear of being reprimanded by their law society.…

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Federal Court of Canada Legal business Quebec Rulings

Former Montreal Crown prosecutor who filed a reprisal complaint wins partial victory

A former Crown prosecutor who filed a reprisal complaint against the Public Prosecution Service of Canada before the federal Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner partially won his case before the Federal Court of Canada.

In a ruling that brings clarity to the role of the whistleblowing commissioner, the Federal Court held that the Integrity Commissioner does not have the charge to decide people’s credibility nor should he address thorny legal questions.

Instead the commissioner’s role lies with determining on an objective basis whether reprisal complaints should be forwarded to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.…

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