2016-2017 Editorial Board
Should the Canadian Legal Profession Embrace Mandatory Pro Bono Work as a Pillar of Increased Access to Justice?
Is the idea of mandatory pro bono work for lawyers an internal inconsistency? I argue that such a proposal strengthens the privileged status and service-oriented nature of the legal profession.
What the Income Tax Act Can Teach Us About Homophobia in Canada
Tax law demands attention to detail. This post explains how certain details in Canada's Income Tax Act subtly discriminate against LGBTQ+ communities and posits that these details – however small – are worthy of our attention.
Sever the Land or Die Trying: Case Commentary on Thorsteinson Estate v. Olson
This is a comment on Thorsteinson Estate v. Olson, a 2016 decision from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. I focus on the Court's decision to deny an application by Marjorie Thorsteinson's Estate to sever a joint tenancy.
BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal: A Case for Expanding Online Dispute Resolution in Canada
In this comment, I discuss British Columbia's Civil Resolution Tribunal. Through a discussion of its processes, I argue that online dispute resolution should be expanded throughout Canada.
And and Or, or And or Or?
A comment on Rooney v. ArcelorMittal S.A., a 2016 decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal that held that the word “or” can be construed inclusively in legislative text.
TWU's Proposed Law School: Clarifying the "Gay Quota" Argument
This comment considers the effect of accrediting TWU's law school on prospective LGBT law students.
Indemnity First, Interpretation Second: Sabean v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Co.
This is a comment on Sabean v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Co., one of the first decisions issued by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2017. I argue that the SCC misconstrues the nature of SEF 44 agreements and decides the matter incorrectly.
An Express Contradiction: Moloney, 407 ETR, and Federal Paramountcy
In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered two decisions concerning the interplay of the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and provincial vehicle licensing regimes. In rendering its decisions, the Court altered the federal paramountcy test. I argue that the changes to the test are inappropriate.
Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. University of Calgary: The Supreme Court's Administrative Law Equivocality
This is a comment on the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. University of Calgary. I focus on the inconsistency in determining the appropriate standard of review evidenced by the Court and the need for clarity in this area of law.
InterOil: Doubling Down a Heightened Standard of Fairness Opinions
This comment discusses Re: Interoil Corporation, a 2017 decision of the Yukon Supreme Court. In imposing a heightened standard for fairness opinions in the commercial context, the Court's decision represents a notable departure from accepted practice. If widely adopted, it could have a significant effect on the corporate world.
Mental Illness and the Law: A Comment on Chief Justice McLachlin's Talk
On March 6, 2017, Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin came to Saskatoon to discuss the connection between mental health and the law. This comment situates McLachlin C.J.C.'s words in a broader discussion of how individuals with mental illness interact with the criminal justice system, and endorses her view that a multi-pronged approach is needed to address underlying issues.
Internet Hate Speech on the Rise; Canada’s Legal Protections on the Decline: The Need for Civil Hate Speech Legislation
This comment discusses the present ubiquity and accessibility of online hate speech and examines legislative and judicial attempts to curtail its spread. At the heart of the issue is conflict between the Charter right to freedom of expression and the more general right to respectful treatment and recognition of one's human dignity.
Thomson, Patrick A.
R. v. Bingley: A Problematic Decision
In R. v. Bingley, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that subsection 254(3.1) of the Criminal Code allows for Drug Recognition Experts to be qualified as expert witnesses without fully complying with the rules for admitting expert testimony set forth in R v. Mohan. This interpretation of s. 254(3.1) carries a substantial risk of wrongful conviction and is more than likely unconstitutional.
Whose Privilege, Who's Privileged? A Look at Lawyer-Client Privilege
Maintaining confidentiality is central to many professions’ relationships with the public, but confidential information shared with a lawyer receives far more legal protection than that shared with other professionals. This comment explores why.