Quebec Court of Appeal shuns strict approach towards sex offender registration

Trial judges considering a Crown’s request to apply an order that requires an offender to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (“SOIRA”) should consider on a case-by-case basis the impact registration would have on the offender while weighing public interest to determine gross disproportionality, the Quebec Court of Appeal found in a ruling that steers away from a more rigid interpretation of reporting obligations.

In a 32-page ruling, dealing with four concurrent cases that challenged the constitutionality of s.490 of the Criminal Code, the court held that a stiff interpretation of what constitutes public interest would be unfair as it would be almost impossible for a convicted sex offender to establish that, if the order were made, the impact on them (including their privacy or liberty) would be grossly disproportionate to the public interest in protecting society.

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Blogger condemned to pay $125,000 for defamation

An exiled Senegalese journalist, now residing in Montreal, has been ordered to pay the son of the president of the Republic of Senegal $125,000 for defaming him in a blog widely republished by African media outlets.

In a blog run by the well-respected French-based publication Nouvel Observateur, Souleymane Jules Diop portrayed Karim Meïssa Wade, in a series of postings that were published between July and November 2005, as a criminal who appropriated or diverted public funds, was involved in money-laundering, and resorted to threats and physical intimidation.

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Quebec Appeal Court overturns ruling dealing with Mulroney-Schreiber affair

The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that temporarily suspended a civil suit launched by German-Canadian lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber against former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney until the so-called Oliphant inquiry delivered its final report.

Schreiber filed a suit based on a verbal contract he alleges he reached with Mulroney in Hull, a town located across from the nation’s capital. But the 74-year old deal maker sought to suspend the suit, arguing that his examination before a public inquiry could cause him harm as Mulroney could use information obtained in the course of examination against him. Continue reading “Quebec Appeal Court overturns ruling dealing with Mulroney-Schreiber affair”

Quebec minister has wide powers over immigration rules appeal court

The Quebec government has wide discretionary powers to issue selection certificates to foreign nationals seeking to settle permanently in the province, according to two rulings issued concurrently in related matters by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Indeed, the Court points out that under the Act respecting immigration to Québec (the Act), the Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities can issue selection certificates to applicants who do not satisfy conditions and selection of criteria established by government policy, or refuse applicants who meet the conditions. Continue reading “Quebec minister has wide powers over immigration rules appeal court”

Alimony rights for common-law spouses at stake in wealthy couple’s battle

A legal battle pitting a Brazilian aspiring model against a wealthy Montreal businessman may have all the ingredients of a riveting soap opera but at stake lies a constitutional challenge that strikes at the heart over the financial duties of common-law partners in Quebec.

The 35-year-old woman, who mothered three of the man’s children, is challenging the law that mandates spousal payments for couples who only have been legally married. Before Quebec Superior Court, she is seeking $56,000 in alimony and a share of his wealth. The identities of the protagonists are protected by the court, as is the case in Quebec when family law cases involve children.

“I want to help women who are in the same situation,” said the woman said outside the courtroom, adding she had assumed she had the same rights as women who are legally married. “Not many people know about the law.”

According to Statistics Canada, 35 per cent of couples in Quebec are unmarried, and 60 per cent of children are born out of wedlock. In the rest of Canada only 18 per cent of couples live together.

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