All posts filed under: Public law

Quebec inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people calls for changes to justice system

It will take a healthy dose of political will, huge investments and nearly a generation for the Quebec government to implement the wide-ranging recommendations an inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people made to the province’s justice and correctional systems, according to legal experts.

Quebec Bar and Ombudsman want to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault

The Quebec Bar and the Quebec Ombudsman wants to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault to gain access to the legal system and are calling on the provincial government to follow in the footsteps of the overwhelming majority of Canadian provinces and eliminate the prescription period for civil actions in cases of sexual assault.

Why it matters: “It is necessary to make restorative justice accessible which means ensuring that victims of sexual assault can exercise their rights in all confidence and liberty and in the simplest manner possible.”

Red zones violate rights of marginalized people, study says

“Red zones ” or “no-go” orders, conditions of release imposed by police or the courts in bail or probation orders that prohibit an individual from entering or being found within a specific place or area, have become increasingly pervasive but are costly, ineffective and violate people’s rights, concludes a new study.

Why it matters: “Legal actors are pursuing legitimate objectives such as preventing crime and trying to promote social reintegration of offenders in the case of probation orders,” said Marie-Eve Sylvestre, the report's lead researcher and a law professor at the University of Ottawa. “But they are unaware of how inefficient the system is and how little it achieves its objectives in terms of preventing crime.”

Free legal advice provided this weekend by Young Bar of Montreal

The Young Bar of Montreal will provide free legal advice by telephone this weekend. Volunteer lawyers and notaries will be available to answer questions on a wide range of subjects, from consumer to family law to labour to the management of estates.

People can call the hotline at 1 844-779-6232 on Saturday, October 14th and Sunday, October 15th from 9:00 to 16:30.

“The Clinic is an efficient and accessible service for all that allows us to respond to the growing needs of the community when it comes to justice,” said Sophia Rossi, president of the Young Bar of Montreal, adding that she hopes to offer this service more frequently. The Bar has 5,000 members, composed of lawyers with ten years and less of practice.

The 29th edition of the “Legal Helpline” is an initiative conducted in partnership with the Barreau du Québec and the Centre d’accès à l’information Juridique (CAIJ).

“The activity, which is very much appreciated by our fellow Quebeckers, provides access to justice and, year after year, has proven to be an event not to be missed,” said Paul-Matthieu Grondin, president of the Québec Bar.

Ottawa given until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act

The federal government dodged a potential crisis that would have halted Indian status registrations after the Quebec Court of Appeal begrudgingly gave Ottawa until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act and complete a bill that has been held up by the Senate.

In a ruling that marks the first time a Canadian appellate court has been called upon to decide whether or not to extend yet again the suspension of a judicial declaration of constitutional invalidity of a legislative provision, the Quebec appeal court scolded the federal government for the “unacceptable delays” and the absence of administrative measures that would have mitigated the discrimination.

“There are limits as to how long suspensions of declarations of constitutional invalidity may last,” said Justice Robert Mainville in a 20-page ruling in AG Canada c. Descheneaux, 2017 QCCA 1238. Justices Marie-Josée Hogue and Patrick Healy concurred with the August 18th decision.

Two Montreal protesters awarded $2,000 each in damages by Quebec appeal court

Two protesters that occupied a public square in downtown Montreal won a partial victory after the Quebec Court of Appeal awarded them $2,000 each for moral and material loss because the police no longer had reason to keep them handcuffed and detained in the back of a police car to drive them to another part of the city.

The ruling, which partially overturned a lower court ruling, provides guidance over the use of handcuffs while in custody, the duration of detention as well as the marking of hands and taking of pictures for identification purposes following arrest.

“This is very good news for all people who participate in peaceful protests because the question is not simply whether the protest was legal or not or did it become illegal at any time but also whether the police operation was legal throughout,” said Julius Grey, a Montreal human rights lawyer who successfully plead the case before the appellate court.

Ex-wife of wealthy businessman author of her own misfortune

In the end she was done in by spite, and greed.

She is the ex-wife of a wealthy Quebec businessman who had sought to maintain an exceptionally privileged and luxurious lifestyle, and fought tooth and nail. She hired and fired more than half a dozen lawyers all the while waging a relentless, and ultimately, vain legal battle to find hidden assets ostensibly stashed away by her husband. She frittered away about $4 million in legal and expert expenses, only for the case to be heard ex parte. She did not show up at trial nor was she was she represented by a lawyer.

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.

Appeal court postpones ruling that would have suspended Indian status registrations

The Quebec Court of Appeal granted a safeguard order today that temporarily postpones a court ruling that would have suspended new Indian status registrations as of July 4th.

Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Nicholas Kasirer granted the Attorney General of Canada leave to appeal from a June 27th decision that refused to extend for a second time the suspension of its August 3, 2015 judgment that found that the principal registration provisions of the Indian Act were invalid because it breached s.15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.