Law Cases | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Aid to (or of) the Civil Power

    Aid to (or of) the Civil Power, the calling out of military troops by the civil authorities to help maintain or restore public order.

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  • Macleans

    Air India Arrests

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 13, 2000. Partner content is not updated.

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  • Macleans

    Air India Bombing Arrests

    The calls to Perviz Madon's North Vancouver home began at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first rumours. After more than 15 years, callers said, RCMP members were arresting suspects in the murder of her husband, Sam, and 328 other passengers and crew of Air India Flight 182.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on November 6, 2000

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  • Article

    Air India Flight 182 Bombing

    The bombing of an Air India flight from Toronto to Bombay on 23 June 1985 — killing all 329 people on board — remains Canada’s deadliest terrorist attack. A separate bomb blast the same day at Tokyo’s Narita Airport killed two baggage handlers. After a 15-year investigation into the largest mass murder in the country's history, two British Columbia Sikh separatists were charged with murder and conspiracy in both attacks. They were acquitted in 2005. A third accused, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was convicted of manslaughter for his role in building the two bombs.

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  • Macleans

    Air India Trial Ends in Acquittal

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 28, 2005. Partner content is not updated."IN THE EARLY morning hours of June 23, 1985, two bomb-laden suitcases detonated half a world apart," began B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Bruce Josephson, reading a verdict that set two men free and left hundreds more shackled to a 20-year-old tragedy that now seems beyond hope of resolution.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on March 28, 2005

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  • Article

    Assisted Suicide in Canada

    Assisted suicide is the intentional termination of one’s life, assisted by someone who provides the means or knowledge, or both. (See also Suicide.) Between 1892 and 2016, assisted suicide was illegal in Canada under section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. In 2015, after decades of various legal challenges, the Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously to allow physician-assisted suicide. In June 2016, the federal government passed the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Act, which established the eligibility criteria and procedural safeguards for medically assisted suicide. In March 2021, new legislation was passed that expanded eligibility for MAID. This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

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  • Article


    Bailiff, sheriff's deputy employed for the execution of judgements (eg, seizure of judgement debtor's goods, repossession of chattels, and evictions); also, an officer of the court having custody of prisoners under arraignment.

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  • Article

    Bedard Case

    R v. Bedard (1971) challenged section 12(1)(b) of the Indian Act, which concerns the rights of Status Indian women in Canada. The appellant in the case, Yvonne Bedard, took the federal government to court after losing her rights as a Status Indian because of her marriage to a Non-Status man. In 1973, before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Bedard case merged with AG v. Lavell, another case concerning gender discrimination (see Status of Women) in the Indian Act. Although Bedard ultimately lost her reinstatement claims, her case inspired future legal battles regarding women’s rights and the Indian Act, including Lovelace v. Canada (1981) (see Sandra Lovelace Nicholas) and the Descheneaux case (2015).

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  • Article

    Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday was a violent confrontation between protesters and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Vancouver police in Vancouver on Sunday 19 June 1938.

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  • Article

    British Columbia Provincial Police

    British Columbia Provincial Police had its origin in the police forces established in the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in 1858 to provide law and order following an influx of gold miners and settlers.

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  • Article

    Bruce McArthur Case

    Between 2010 and 2017, eight men, most of whom had ties to Toronto’s Gay Village, disappeared. The Toronto Police Service (TPS) initially dismissed the idea that a serial killer was responsible. But when more gay men went missing, the investigation became the largest in TPS history. It also involved the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other law enforcement agencies, as well as two task forces. The investigation led to the arrest of Bruce McArthur, a self-employed landscaper who had hidden the remains of his victims in planter boxes. McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. The TPS was harshly criticized for its handling of the case. As a result, a unit dedicated to the investigation of missing persons was formed.

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  • Macleans

    Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act to Be Reviewed

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 25, 2004. Partner content is not updated. IN THE FEVERED DAYS following Sept. 11, 2001, media reports that some of the hijackers had entered the U.S. from Canada briefly raised fears that a Canadian connection would be a big part of the story of America's worst terror attacks.

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  • Article

    Chaoulli v. Quebec

    Chaoulli v. Quebec (AG) was a landmark case that came before the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005. It weighed the rights of patients to seek timely care (and of physicians to provide it) against the requirements of a socialized health care system, such as in Canada. The Court determined that the human rights of patients facing long wait times for medical procedures were being violated by Quebec laws prohibiting private medical insurance. The ruling only pertains to the province of Quebec, though three Supreme Court justices determined that the same laws violated a section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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  • Article


    Crime in modern societies can be defined officially as acts or omissions prohibited by law and punishable by sanctions. Although crime is sometimes viewed broadly as the equivalent of antisocial, immoral and sinful behaviour or as a violation of any important group standard, no act is legally a crime unless prohibited by law. Conceptions of crime vary widely from culture to culture; only treason (disloyalty to the group) and incest are condemned virtually universally, but they were not always treated as crimes.

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  • Article

    Daniels Case

    On 14 April 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Daniels v. Canada that the federal government, rather than provincial governments, holds the legal responsibility to legislate on issues related to Métis and Non-Status Indians. In a unanimous decision, the court found that Métis and Non-Status peoples are considered Indians under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 — a section that concerns the federal government’s exclusive legislative powers. Recognition as Indians under this section of law is not the same as Indian Status, which is defined by the Indian Act. Therefore, the Daniels decision does not grant Indian Status to Métis or Non-Status peoples. However, the ruling could result in new discussions, negotiations and possible litigation with the federal government over land claims and access to education, health programs and other government services.

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