Amaratunga v. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, (2015) 358 N.S.R.(2d) 213 (SC)

Judge:Wood, J.
Court:Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
Case Date:January 20, 2015
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:(2015), 358 N.S.R.(2d) 213 (SC);2015 NSSC 101
 
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Amaratunga v. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (2015), 358 N.S.R.(2d) 213 (SC);

    1131 A.P.R. 213

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Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. AP.038

Tissa Amaratunga (plaintiff) v. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (defendant)

(Hfx. No. 267432; 2015 NSSC 101)

Indexed As: Amaratunga v. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization

Nova Scotia Supreme Court

Wood, J.

April 20, 2015.

Summary:

Amaratunga sued the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) for damages arising out of the termination of his employment. NAFO claimed immunity as an international organization. The immunity defence was litigated up to the Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada, in a decision reported at (2013), 451 N.R. 1; 338 N.S.R.(2d) 360; 1071 A.P.R. 360, held that NAFO enjoyed immunity from all of Amaratunga's claims except the separation indemnity claim under the NAFO Staff Rules. The claim was remitted to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court for adjudication. NAFO moved for summary judgment. It admitted liability for the separation indemnity in the amount of $50,000. Amaratunga opposed the motion on the basis that he had additional claims not covered by the immunity decision.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court agreed with the submissions of NAFO that the only claim by Amaratunga that fell within the Court's jurisdiction was for payment of the separation indemnity, and entered judgment against NAFO in the amount of $50,000.

International Law - Topic 2211

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Application of legislation - [See Practice - Topic 234 ].

Practice - Topic 234

Persons who can sue and be sued - Agencies of government - Agency created by international treaty - Amaratunga sued the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) for damages arising out of the termination of his employment - NAFO claimed immunity as an international organization - The Supreme Court of Canada held that NAFO enjoyed immunity from all of Amaratunga's claims except the separation indemnity claim under the NAFO Staff Rules - The claim was remitted for adjudication - NAFO moved for summary judgment - It admitted liability in the amount of $50,000, and requested that the remainder of the claims be dismissed - Amaratunga argued that he had additional claims not covered by the immunity decision; specifically, claims for a so-called "gratuitous payment", as well as damages - The Nova Scotia Supreme Court agreed with NAFO that the only claim that fell within its jurisdiction was for payment of the separation indemnity - Any claim related to the gratuitous payment was encompassed in the damages sought by Amaratunga and therefore subject to the immunity decision -"NAFO is entitled to autonomy in managing its employees and this function should not be subject to the oversight of Nova Scotia Courts. If a claim for damages arising out of the termination of Mr. Amaratunga's employment is immune from the jurisdiction of this Court, surely alleged breach of an agreement intended to compensate him for disadvantages arising from that termination are also excluded."

Torts - Topic 6821

Defences - Statutory compliance, authority or immunity - Statutory authority or immunity - [See Practice - Topic 234 ].

Counsel:

David A. Copp, for the plaintiff;

John T. Shanks and Richard M. Dunlop, for the defendant.

This summary judgment motion was heard on January 20, 2015, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before Wood, J., of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, who delivered the following decision, dated April 20, 2015.

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