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Quebec Court of Appeal

Crime Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Errors by trial judge prompts new trial for woman convicted of killing her two daughters

A Quebec woman, who was found guilty of first degree murder of her two young daughters in 2013, will face a new trial after the Quebec Court of Appeal found the trial judge made a series of glaring errors when instructing the jury.

What was said: “It is astonishing that the coordinating judge of the Superior Court handed the responsibility of such an important and difficult case to a judge whose management seemed to exceed her professional skills,” said a noted Montreal criminal lawyer.…

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Civil Code of Quebec Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

University can recoup pension monies

Carleton University won the right to reclaim nearly $500,000 in pension benefits made to a former political science professor who was missing for years before his remains were found in the woods near his Quebec home after the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the pension plan plainly states that the benefits ceased when the beneficiary died.

The ruling, which essentially upheld a lower court ruling but not for the same reasons, appears to have broadened the scope of several Civil Code of Quebec provisions by applying a “generous and liberal interpretation” to unjust enrichment and the legal presumption surrounding absentees, according to legal experts.

Why it matters: “The decision has broadened the understanding of how payments of undue amounts works,” noted Montreal pension lawyer Tina Hobday of Langlois Lawyers LLP.…

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Business Civil Code of Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Appeal court overturns $5.6 million award

A lower court ruling that awarded $5.6 million to a vessel fleet operator was overturned by the Quebec Court of Appeal after it held that the trial judge erred by applying the Civil Code of Quebec to settle a dispute instead of Canadian maritime law.

In a majority decision, the appeal court held that disputes concerning the repair and supply of engine parts to a ship is subject to Canadian maritime law, and therefore common law rules apply rather than civil law rules of delictual liability. As Canadian maritime law applies, the appeal court reaffirms it is the common law of contract and tort that applies to these cases.

The ruling, met with a sigh of relief by the maritime business world, dispels confusion and uncertainty engendered by the lower court ruling as it reaffirms that Canadian maritime law applies uniformly across Canada and “ousts” the application of provincial law, according to maritime lawyers.…

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Crime Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

New murder trial ordered following judge’s inadequate instructions

The Quebec Court of Appeal ordered a new trial of a man convicted of killing three people because the trial judge provided inadequate instructions to the jury over the weight that should be given to post-offence conduct and because he failed to warn the jury that the testimony of the prosecution’s expert went beyond the bounds of his expertise.

The ruling, the second time in six years that the Quebec appeal court set aside a murder conviction and ordered a new trial because of testimony provided by psychiatrist Sylvain Faucher, highlights pervasive concerns about expert bias and examines the credence that should be given to post-offence conduct, according to criminal lawyers.…

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Legal business Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Total amount of legal fees not necessarily covered by solicitor-client privilege rules Quebec appeal court

The total amount of professional billings paid to lawyers working on a mandate for public bodies is not necessarily automatically protected by solicitor-client privilege ruled the Quebec Court of Appeal.

In what is described as a precedent-setting ruling, the Quebec appeal court decision provides much-needed guidance and strikes a delicate balance between professional secrecy and public access to documents, according to legal experts.

“The importance of this lies with the distinction the Quebec appeal court makes between professional secrecy and public access to documents regarding legal fees paid by public bodies to lawyers,” said Pierre Trudel, a former director of Université de Montréal’s Public Law Research Centre. “The decision provides helpful guidance over what should remain protected by professional secrecy and what should be accessible to ensure public access to documents.”…

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Aboriginal law Charter of Rights and Freedoms Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

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.…

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Public law Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

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.…

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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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On the move Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Quebec Superior Court

Federal government announced two new appointments as well as a reshuffle in the Quebec courts

Barely a week after Quebec Minister of Justice Stephanie Vallée called on the federal government yet again to quickly appoint 10 new Superior Court justices in the province, the federal government announced two new appointments as well as a shake-up in the Quebec courts.

The latest appointments still falls short of what the Quebec government has been demanding. The president of the Quebec Bar, Paul-Matthieu Grondin, said in a tweet published shortly after the nominations that "the federal government MUST appoint judges to the Quebec Superior Court. Yesterday's appointments are far from enough."

Still, the new appointments and the reshuffle is nevertheless widely expected to make a dent in the backlog of cases that have plagued the Quebec criminal justice system, particularly since the landmark Jordan decision by the Supreme Court of Canada issued last summer.…

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