Cardinal and Oswald v. Kent Institution, Director of, (1985) 63 N.R. 353 (SCC)

JudgeDickson, C.J.C., Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson and Le Dain, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateDecember 19, 1985
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1985), 63 N.R. 353 (SCC);49 CR (3d) 35;15 WCB 331;[1985] FCJ No 78 (QL);69 BCLR 255;[1985] ACS no 78;1985 CanLII 23 (SCC);16 Admin LR 233;JE 86-41;[1985] SCJ No 78 (QL);23 CCC (3d) 118;[1985] 2 SCR 643;63 NR 353;24 DLR (4th) 44;[1986] 1 WWR 577

Cardinal v. Kent Institution (1985), 63 N.R. 353 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Cardinal and Oswald v. Kent Institution, Director of

(No. 17364)

Indexed As: Cardinal and Oswald v. Kent Institution, Director of

Supreme Court of Canada

Dickson, C.J.C., Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson and Le Dain, JJ.

December 19, 1985.

Summary:

Two prison inmates were placed in administrative disassociation or segregation for their alleged involvement in a prison hostage-taking incident. The Segregation Review Board, on a monthly review, recommended to the Director of the institution that the inmates be released into the general prison population. The Director did not adopt the recommendation and the inmates' segregation continued. The inmates were not given reasons for their continued segregation, nor were they given any opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. Criminal charges against the inmates had yet to be heard. The inmates applied for habeas corpus with certiorari in aid, to secure their release into the general prison population.

The British Columbia Supreme Court allowed the application. The court held that notwithstanding s. 18 of the Federal Court Act it had jurisdiction to grant the relief sought and that the inmates' continued detention without reasons or an opportunity to be heard constituted a denial of procedural fairness. The court ordered that the inmates be released into the general prison population. The Director appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported [1982] 3 W.W.R. 593; 137 D.L.R.(3d) 145; 67 C.C.C.(2d) 252; 35 B.C.L.R. 201, allowed the appeal. The court affirmed that a provincial superior court had jurisdiction to grant habeas corpus with certiorari in aid against a federal board, commission or tribunal and that the Director had a duty to be procedurally fair. However, the court held that there had been no breach of that duty. The inmates appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal and restored the trial judge's decision.

Administrative Law - Topic 283

The hearing and decision - Denial of right to hearing - Effect of - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the "denial of a right to a fair hearing must always render a decision invalid, whether or not it may appear to a reviewing court that the hearing would likely have resulted in a different decision. The right to a fair hearing must be regarded as an independent, unqualified right which finds its essential justification in the sense of procedural justice which any person affected by an administrative decision is entitled to have" - See paragraph 23.

Administrative Law - Topic 2264

Natural justice - Duty of fairness - When required - The Supreme Court of Canada held that there was a duty of procedural fairness lying on every public authority making an administrative decision which is not of a legislative nature and which affects the rights, privileges or interests of an individual - See paragraph 14.

Administrative Law - Topic 2266

Natural justice - Duty of fairness - Procedural fairness - What constitutes - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the director of a penitentiary exercising powers under s. 40 of the Penitentiary Service Regulations respecting administrative disassociation or segregation of inmates had a duty to be procedurally fair - The court held that the duty required, at a minimum, that the inmate be given the reason for his special detention and some opportunity to be heard - See paragraphs 14 to 23.

Administrative Law - Topic 5010

Judicial review - Certiorari - Jurisdiction to grant - In aid of habeas corpus - The Supreme Court of Canada held that a provincial superior court has jurisdiction to issue certiorari in aid of habeas corpus to challenge a detention authorized or imposed by a federal board, commission or tribunal as defined by s. 2 of the Federal Court Act, notwithstanding the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Trial Division of the Federal Court under s. 18 of the Act with respect to certiorari - See paragraphs 8 to 13.

Habeas Corpus - Topic 999

Grounds for issue of writ - Detention - Administrative disassociation or segregation of prison inmates - A prison inmate was segregated, a form of detention distinct from that imposed on the general inmate population and involving a significant reduction in the residual liberty of the inmate - The Supreme Court of Canada held that habeas corpus was available to challenge the lawfulness of the detention - See paragraphs 8 to 13.

Habeas Corpus - Topic 3066

Practice - Hearing on issue of writ - Evidence - The Supreme Court of Canada restated that "subject to the limitation arising from the conclusive character of the records of courts of superior or general common law jurisdiction, a court may on an application for habeas corpus without certiorari in aid consider affidavit or other extrinsic evidence to determine whether there has been an absence or excess of jurisdiction" - See paragraphs 8 to 13.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Miller (1986), 63 N.R. 321 (S.C.C.), folld. [para. 13].

Nicholson v. Haldimand-Norfolk Regional Police Commissioners, [1979] S.C.R. 311; 23 N.R. 410, refd to. [para. 14].

Martineau v. Matsqui Institution Disciplinary Board (No. 2), [1980] 1 S.C.R. 602; 30 N.R. 119, refd to. [para. 14].

Attorney General of Canada v. Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 735; 33 N.R. 304, refd to. [para. 14].

R. v. Board of Visitors of Hull Prison, Ex p. St. Germain, [1979] 1 All E.R. 701, refd to. [para. 15].

Statutes Noticed:

Penitentiary Service Regulations, C.R.C. 1978, c. 1251, sect. 40 [para. 3].

Federal Court Act, R.S.C. 1970 (2nd Supp.), c. 10, sect. 18 [para. 8].

Counsel:

B.A. Crane, Q.C., for the appellants;

W.B. Scarth, Q.C., and Mary Humpries, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on October 11 and 12, 1984, before Dickson, C.J.C., Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson and Le Dain, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On December 19, 1985, Le Dain, J., delivered the following judgment for the Supreme Court of Canada.

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