Supreme Court of Canada

SCC Grants Leave to Intervene in R. v. Rafilovich

The Supreme Court of Canada has today granted leave to intervene to the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) in an appeal from this decision: R. v. Ravilovich, 2017 ONCA 634.

The issues in this appeal are important matters of public law that concern whether the Criminal Code, properly interpreted, leaves sentencing judges with discretion to refuse to order a fine in lieu of forfeiture of seized funds previously paid to counsel by virtue of a court order. The BCCLA will argue that an accused person who requires counsel, and who is otherwise unable to afford counsel, should not be required to choose between being self-represented on the one hand, and potentially being subject to a sentence, in addition to what is fit and appropriate having regard to the charges and the circumstances of the person, for having applied for and received a court order permitting fees to be released under judicial supervision.

The BCCLA is represented by Alison M. Latimer and Gregory DelBigio, Q.C.

SCC Grants Leave to Intervene in Nevsun v Araya

The Supreme Court of Canada has today granted leave to intervene to EarthRights International (ERI) and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law (GJC) (jointly), in an appeal from this decision Araya v. Nevsun Resources Ltd., 2017 BCCA 401 .

This appeal raises important matters of public law. The ability of individuals to obtain an effective remedy in Canada when harmed by the participation of a Canadian corporation in gross violations of universally recognized human rights implicates Canada’s international obligations.

Also intervening in the appeal are the International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Amnesty International Canada and the International Commission of Jurists (jointly); MiningWatch Canada; and the Mining Association of Canada.

ERI and GJC are represented by Alison Latimer and Tamara Morgenthau.

Supreme Court of Canada Grants Federation of Law Societies Leave to Intervene

Today the Supreme Court of Canada granted the Federation of Law Societies leave to intervene in Joseph Peter Paul Groia v. Law Society of Upper CanadaThe appeal concerns the scope of the jurisdiction of the Law Society of Upper Canada with respect to in-court conduct of its members. It raises significant questions of national importance about the extent to which any law society in Canada may regulate uncivil in-court conduct in light of the duties of zealous advocacy and loyalty to the client’s cause, the independence of the judiciary, and the free expression of members of the law society.

Alison Latimer and Greg Delbigio Q.C. act for the Federation of Law Societies.

Retail Action Network to Intervene in SCC Appeal

The Retail Action Network (RAN), has been granted leave to intervene in the appeal of a human rights case in the Supreme Court of Canada.  RAN is a Victoria-based grass-roots organization that represents and advocates for the rights of vulnerable workers in the Retail, Food Service, and Hospitality Industries.  The appeal is from the BC Court of Appeal's decision in Schrenk v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal), and raises issues about the jurisdiction of the BC Human Rights Tribunal to consider complaints of discrimination arising in a workplace setting.  RAN is concerned that the Court of Appeal's ruling may result in diminished protection from harassment and discrimination for the most vulnerable workers.   The Supreme Court of Canada is scheduled to hear the appeal on March 28, 2017.  Catherine Boies Parker and Robin Gage, together with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) represent RAN in this matter.  

https://www.retailaction.ca/ 

http://bcpiac.com/

Supreme Court of Canada Decision is a Victory for Free Speech

Alison Latimer along with Sean Hern acted for the appellant, the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, in a constitutional challenge to BC laws that require election advertising sponsors to register before they engage in election advertising. The Chief Electoral Officer, charged with enforcing the Act, interpreted this law as capturing individuals and organisations transmitting their own views by posting a handmade sign in a window, putting a bumper sticker on a car, or wearing a T-shirt with a message on it. The lower courts agreed. The Supreme Court of Canada today ruled that the law does not capture those activities. Individuals and organisations who neither pay others for advertising services nor receive advertising services from others without charge are not "sponsors" and can express their own views without registering. The Court also held that such expression is not captured by other parts of the Act, including the Act's expenditure limits.

To read the full judgment, click here.

To learn more about the essential work of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, click here.