Hussey v. Ont. (A.G.), (1984) 3 O.A.C. 166 (DC)

Judge:Craig, J., Holland and Boland, JJ.
Court:Superior Court of Justice of Ontario
Case Date:March 23, 1984
Jurisdiction:Ontario
Citations:(1984), 3 O.A.C. 166 (DC)
 
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Hussey v. Ont. (A.G.) (1984), 3 O.A.C. 166 (DC)

MLB headnote and full text

Hussey et al. and Ontario Public Service Employees Union v. Attorney General of Ontario, Minister of Correctional Services, Superintendent of the Toronto West Detention Centre (Ducheneau) and Superintendent of the Toronto Don Jail (Degrandis)

Indexed As: Hussey et al. and Ontario Public Service Employees Union v. Ontario (Attorney General) et al.

Ontario Divisional Court

Craig, J., Holland and Boland, JJ.

April 19, 1984.

Summary:

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union and eight present or former inmates in two institutions applied under, inter alia, s. 24 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for declarations that the incarceration conditions in the institutions were contrary to s. 12 of the Charter (guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment) and s. 4 of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act. The respondents applied to quash the application on the ground that the Ontario Divisional Court was not a "court of competent jurisdiction" within the meaning of s. 24(1) of the Charter or alternatively, if it was such a court, then it was not the appropriate court to hear the application.

The Ontario Divisional Court held that it was a "court of competent jurisdiction" within s. 24(1) and that it was the appropriate court to hear the application.

Civil Rights - Topic 8363

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Jurisdiction - The Ontario Divisional Court stated that to be a "court of competent jurisdiction" under s. 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the court must have, independently of the Charter, jurisdiction over the subject matter or general jurisdiction to grant the remedies sought - See paragraph 8.

Civil Rights - Topic 8363

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Jurisdiction - The Ontario Public Service Employees union and eight present or former inmates in two institutions applied under s. 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for declarations that overcrowding at these institutions constituted cruel and unusual punishment contrary to s. 12 of the Charter - The Ontario Divisional Court held that it was a "court of competent jurisdiction" under s. 24(1) to entertain the application for relief - See paragraphs 7 to 27.

Courts - Topic 5609

Provincial courts - Concurrent and conflicting jurisdiction - Assumption of jurisdiction - Refusal of - Several present or former inmates in two facilities, inter alia, applied to the Divisional Court for declarations that the incarceration conditions in the facilities contravened the Charter of Rights and the Ministry of Correctional Services Act - The applicants could have brought an action in the High Court for the same relief - The Ontario Division Court held that in view of the applicant's election, the issues and procedures were not so complex so as to require the Divisional Court to refuse to take jurisdiction - See paragraphs 28 to 31.

Courts - Topic 7503

Provincial courts - Ontario - Supreme Court - Divisional Court - Jurisdiction, respecting judicial review - General - The Ontario Divisional Court discussed its jurisdiction respecting judicial review - See paragraphs 11 to 12.

Courts - Topic 7505

Provincial courts - Ontario - Supreme Court - Divisional Court - Jurisdiction, respecting judicial review - Declaration or injunction - The Ontario Divisional Court held that its jurisdiction respecting declarations and injunctions was limited to cases where the declaration or injunction related to the exercise, refusal to exercise, or proposed or purported exercise of a statutory power - See paragraph 12.

Courts - Topic 7505

Provincial courts - Ontario - Supreme Court - Divisional Court - Jurisdiction, respecting judicial review - Declaration or injunction - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union and eight present or former inmates in two facilities sought declarations that the incarceration conditions in the facilities were contrary to s. 12 of the Charter of Rights and s. 4 of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act - The Ontario Divisional Court held that it had jurisdiction to hear the application, because the declarations related to the exercise or purported exercise by the institutions' superintendents or the Minister of statutory powers under Ministry of Correctional Services Act Regulation 649 - See paragraphs 7 to 27.

Words and Phrases

Court of competent jurisdiction - The Ontario Divisional Court discussed the meaning of the phrase "court of competent jurisdiction" as found in s. 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982 - See paragraph 7 to 27.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Siegel, 39 O.R.(2d) 337, refd to. [para. 9].

R. v. Krakowski, 41 O.R.(2d) 321 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 9].

Koumoudouros v. Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, 37 O.R.(2d) 656, refd to. [para. 9].

R. v. Brooks et al. 38 O.R.(2d) 545, refd to. [para. 9].

R. v. M., 70 C.C.C.(2d) 123, refd to. [para. 9].

Gandam v. Ministry of Employment and Immigration, [1982] 6 W.W.R. 378; 20 Sask.R. 123, refd to. [para. 9].

Re Lamoureux and Registrar of Motor Vehicles et al., [1973] 2 O.R. 28, refd to. [para. 12].

Re Metropolitan General Hospital and Minister of Health, 25 O.R.(2d) 699, dist. [para. 17].

Re Bedesky et al. and Farm Products Marketing Board of Ontario et al., 8 O.R.(2d) 516, affd. 10 O.R.(2d) 105 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 25].

Re Seaway Trust Co. et al. and The Queen in right of Ontario et al.; Re Crown Trust Co. et al. and Attorney-General of Ontario et al., 41 O.R.(2d) 501, dist. [para. 28].

Statutes Noticed:

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 12, sect. 52(1) [para. 7]; sect. 24(1) [paras. 6-10, 27].

Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 224, sect. 1(f), sect. 1(g) [para. 11]; sect. 2(1) [paras. 11-12, 25]; sect. 8 [para. 11].

Ministry of Correctional Services Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 275, sect. 4 [paras. 14, 17-18]; sect. 47 [para. 15].

Ministry of Correctional Services Act Regulations, R.R.O. 1980, Reg. 649, sect. 2 [paras. 16, 23-25].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Ewaschuk, E.G., The Charter: An Overview and Remedies (1982), 26 C.R.(3d) 54 [para. 8].

MacDonald, Legal Rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982), pp. 128-129 [para. 8].

Tarnopolsky and Beaudoin, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982), pp. 500-502 [para. 8]; 501 [para. 10].

Fairley, H. Scott, Enforcing the Charter: Some Thoughts on an Appropriate and Just Standard for Judicial Review (1982), 4 S.C.L.R. 217 [para. 8].

McLellan and Elman, The Enforcement of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: An Analysis of s. 24, No. 2 (1983), 21 Alta. L.R. 205 [para. 8].

Counsel:

V.L. Freidin and K.C. Murphy, for the applicants;

I. Scott, Q.C., and C. Paliare, for the respondents.

This application was heard before Craig, J. Holland and Boland, JJ., of the Ontario Divisional Court on March 23, 1984. The decision of the Divisional Court was delivered by Craig, J., and released on April 19, 1984.

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