Browse "Law and Policy"

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Cooper Case

In the Cooper case (1996), a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Canadian Human Rights Commission did not have the power under its enabling statute to pronounce upon the constitutional validity of the mandatory age of retirement.

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Defence Counsel

Defence counsel, lawyer who advises accused (defendants in civil cases) and presents their case to the court, ensuring that clients have a fair trial. If a client is convicted, the defence counsel speaks in respect of sentence.

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Defence of Automatism

The term "automatism" describes unconscious, involuntary behaviour. Automatism is a "defence" to criminal charges in the following sense: to convict an accused the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt both a prohibited act and fault.

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Delgamuukw Case

The Delgamuukw case (1997) (also known as Delgamuukw v. British Columbia) concerned the definition, the content and the extent of Aboriginal title (i.e., ownership of traditional lands). The Supreme Court of Canada observed that Aboriginal title constituted an ancestral right protected by section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. Influenced by the Calder case (1973), the ruling in the Delgamuukw case had an impact on other court cases about Aboriginal rights and title, including in the Tsilhqot’in case (2014).

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Dennis Oland Case

On 19 December 2015, Dennis Oland was convicted of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his father, Richard (Dick) Oland. A year later the conviction was overturned on appeal, and a new trial ordered. The initial, 65-day trial was the longest in New Brunswick history. It also drew national attention due to its brutal nature and revelations about the storied Oland family, founders of the Moosehead brewing empire.

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Dionne Case

Dionne Case (1978), known as Re Public Service Board et al, Dionne et al, and Attorney General of Canada et al.

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Drybones Case

In R v. Drybones (1970), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a provision of the Indian Act was “inoperative” — meaning no longer valid or in effect — because it violated section 1(b) of the Canadian Bill of Rights, which guarantees equality before the law.

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Duty to Consult

The duty to consult is a statutory, contractual and common law obligation that must be fulfilled by the Crown prior to taking actions or making decisions that may have consequences for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The duty to consult has been affirmed and clarified by various Supreme Court of Canada rulings, such the Haida case (2004) and the Beckman v. Little Salmon/Carmacks case (2010). The duty to consult is considered by many to be an important step toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

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Eldridge Case

The Eldridge decision focused on federal spending power and on equality rights guaranteed in section 15 of the Charter.

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Elizabeth Wettlaufer Case

Elizabeth Wettlaufer is a former nurse who murdered eight elderly patients and attempted to harm six others in southwestern Ontario between 2007 and 2016. One of the most prolific serial killers in Canadian history, she was sentenced to life in prison for the murders in 2017. The case prompted widespread public outrage and made headlines internationally. It later resulted in lawsuits against Wettlaufer, and the nursing homes she worked for, and a sweeping provincial inquiry into flaws in Ontario’s long-term care system.

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Everett Klippert Case

Everett George Klippert was the only Canadian ever declared a dangerous sexual offender and sentenced to what amounted to life in prison, for no other reason than he was a gay man. Outrage over that sentence, which was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1967, led to the decriminalization of gay sex two years later. Klippert was released from prison in 1971. In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated he would recommend a pardon for Klippert. The following year, the Trudeau government formally apologized and issued a compensation package to men who were charged, convicted and punished simply because they were gay.

Macleans

Faint Hope: Background

Danny Homer’s calm, detached tone belies the fact that he is talking about the murder that put him behind bars for life. The prisoner, now 38, explains that he was a teenager living in Regina in January, 1977, when he killed Ira McDonald, a 23-year-old partner in crime.

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Finta Case

In its first decision relating to the Finta war crimes case (1993), the Supreme Court of Canada permitted 3 interested groups to intervene - the Human Rights League of B'nai B'rith Canada, the Canadian Jewish Congress and InterAmicus.