R. v. Russel (W.I.), (2013) 308 O.A.C. 347 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., LeBel, Fish, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateAugust 01, 2013
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2013), 308 O.A.C. 347 (SCC);2013 SCC 43;[2013] 3 SCR 3;[2013] SCJ No 43 (QL);447 NR 111;363 DLR (4th) 17;291 CRR (2d) 265;300 CCC (3d) 137;308 OAC 347

R. v. Russel (W.I.) (2013), 308 O.A.C. 347 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

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Temp. Cite: [2013] O.A.C. TBEd. AU.002

Her Majesty The Queen (appellant) v. Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario and Lawrence Greenspon (respondents) and Attorney General of Canada, Attorney General of Quebec, Attorney General of Manitoba, Attorney General of British Columbia, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Advocates' Society and Mental Health Legal Committee (intervenors)

(34317; 2013 SCC 43; 2013 CSC 43)

Indexed As: R. v. Russel (W.I.)

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., LeBel, Fish, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner, JJ.

August 1, 2013.

Summary:

These four appeals arose out of orders made by judges appointing amicus curiae in criminal proceedings. At issue was whether the judges had jurisdiction to set certain terms and conditions of the appointments relating to counsels' compensation, or in the case of one of the appeals, there was a power to put in place a process for monitoring the accounts submitted by amicus counsel.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a judgment reported (2011), 277 O.A.C. 264, dismissed the appeals. The court held that inherent in, and incidental to, the judges' conceded power to appoint amicus curiae was the power to set the terms and conditions of that appointment, including the rates of compensation and the monitoring of the accounts. In a case where the appointment was made under the Charter, s. 24(1) provided the necessary foundation for orders respecting terms and conditions including payment of amicus' fees. In other cases, there was statutory authority to support payment from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of these orders in the Proceedings Against the Crown Act (Ont.) or the Financial Administration Act (Ont.). The judges' orders did not infringe any constitutional principles.

The Supreme Court of Canada, LeBel, Fish, Abella and Cromwell, JJ., dissenting, allowed the appeal. Although a court had authority to appoint amicus curiae and the Attorney General was obligated to pay compensation, a court had no inherent or implied jurisdiction to fix the rate of compensation for amicus curiae.

Civil Rights - Topic 4646

Right to counsel - Appointment of counsel by the court or the state - Amicus curiae (incl. compensation issues) - [See both Courts - Topic 1763 ].

Constitutional Law - Topic 8802

Spending powers - General - Legislative authorization required - [See first Courts - Topic 1763 ].

Courts - Topic 1763

Powers - Appointment of counsel - Amicus curiae (incl. compensation issues) - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that "absent statutory authority or a challenge on constitutional grounds, courts do not have the institutional jurisdiction to interfere with the allocation of public funds. While the jurisdiction to control court processes and function as a court of law gives courts the power to appoint amici curiae, it does not, in itself, provide the power to determine what the Attorney General must pay them. The scope of a superior court's inherent power, or of powers possessed by statutory courts by necessary implication, must respect the constitutional roles and institutional capacities of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. As the Chief Law Officers of the Crown, responsible for the administration of justice on behalf of the provinces, the Attorneys General of the provinces, and not the courts, determine the appropriate rate of compensation for amici curiae." - See paragraph 5.

Courts - Topic 1763

Powers - Appointment of counsel - Amicus curiae (incl. compensation issues) - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the authority to appoint amicus curiae should be used sparingly in specific and exceptional circumstances where the appointment was essential to the judge discharging his or her judicial functions - The court stated that "routine appointment of amici because the defendant is without a lawyer would risk crossing the line between meeting the judge's need for assistance and the province's role in the administration of justice. So long as these conditions are respected, the appointment of amicus avoids the concern that it improperly trenches on the province's role in the administration of justice" - The court was concerned with clothing amicus curiae with the duties and responsibilities of defence counsel, as the amicus curiae could no longer properly be called a "friend of the court" - The court stated that "to the extent that the terms for the appointment of amici mirror the responsibilities of defence counsel, they blur the lines between those two roles, and are fraught with complexity and bristle with danger. First the appointment of amici for such a purpose may conflict with the accused's constitutional right to represent himself. ... Second, it can also defeat the judicial decision to refuse to grant state-funded counsel following an application invoking the accused's fair trial rights under the Charter ... Third, there is an inherent tension between the duties of an amicus who is asked to represent the interests of the accused, especially where counsel is taking instructions ... and the separate obligation of the amicus to the court. This creates a potential conflict if the amicus' obligations to the court require legal submissions that are not favourable to the accused or are contrary to the accused's wishes. Further, the privilege that would be afforded to communications between the accused and the amicus is muddied when the amicus' client is in fact the trial judge. Thus, it seems to me that this current practice of appointing amici as defence counsel blurs the traditional roles of the trial judge, the Crown Attorney as a local minister of justice and counsel for the defence. Further, the use of amici to assist a trial judge in fulfilling her duty to assist an unrepresented accused might result in a trial judge doing something indirectly that she cannot do directly. ... Where an amicus is assigned and is instructed to take on a solicitor-client role ... the court's lawyer takes on a role that the court is precluded from taking." - See paragraphs 47 to 54.

Courts - Topic 2004

Jurisdiction - General principles - Inherent jurisdiction (incl. appointment of amicus curiae) - [See first Courts - Topic 1763 ].

Courts - Topic 2004

Jurisdiction - General principles - Inherent jurisdiction (incl. appointment of amicus curiae) - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the nature of and limitations on a superior court's inherent jurisdiction - The court stated that "Canada's provincial superior courts are the descendants of the Royal Courts of Justice and inherited the powers and jurisdiction exercised by superior, district or county courts at the time of Confederation ... As such, superior courts play a central role in maintaining the rule of law, uniformity in our judicial system and the constitutional balance in our country. ... The essential nature and powers of the superior courts are constitutionally protected by s. 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867. Accordingly, the 'core or inherent jurisdiction which is integral to their operations ... cannot be removed from the superior courts by either level of government, without amending the Constitution' ... The rationale for s. 96 has evolved to ensure 'the maintenance of the rule of law through the protection of the judicial role' ... the doctrine of inherent jurisdiction does not operate without limits ... even where there are no legislative limits, the inherent jurisdiction of the court is limited by the institutional roles and capacities that emerge out of our constitutional framework and values ... the inherent jurisdiction of superior courts provides powers that are essential to the administration of justice and the maintenance of the rule of law and the Constitution. It includes those residual powers required to permit the courts to fulfill the judicial function of administering justice according to law in a regular, orderly and effective manner - subject to any statutory provisions. I would add, however, that the powers recognized as part of the courts' inherent jurisdiction are limited by the separation of powers that exists among the various players in our constitutional order and by the particular institutional capacities that have evolved from that separation. ... Accordingly, the limits of the court's inherent jurisdiction must be responsive to the proper function of the separate branches of government, lest it upset the balance of roles, responsibilities and capacities that has evolved in our system of governance over the course of centuries." - See paragraphs 17, 18, 22, 24, 26, 30.

Cases Noticed:

Canada (Attorney General) v. Law Society of British Columbia - see Jabour v. Law Society of British Columbia.

Jabour v. Law Society of British Columbia et al., [1982] 2 S.C.R. 307; 43 N.R. 451, refd to. [para. 17].

MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Simpson et al., [1995] 4 S.C.R. 725; 191 N.R. 260; 68 B.C.A.C. 161; 112 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [paras. 18, 111].

Reference Re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3; 217 N.R. 1; 206 A.R. 1; 156 W.A.C. 1; 121 Man.R.(2d) 1; 158 W.A.C. 1; 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1; 483 A.P.R. 1, refd to. [paras. 18, 125].

Reference Re Residential Tenancies Act (N.S.), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 186; 193 N.R. 1; 149 N.S.R.(2d) 1; 432 A.P.R. 1, refd to. [para. 19].

Société des Acadiens du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc. and Association de conseillers scolaires francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick v. Minority Language School Board No. 50 and Association of Parents for Fairness in Education, Grand Falls District 50 Branch, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 549; 66 N.R. 173; 69 N.B.R.(2d) 271; 177 A.P.R. 271, refd to. [para. 20, footnote 1].

British Columbia Government Employees' Union v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 214; 87 N.R. 241; 71 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 93; 220 A.P.R. 93, refd to. [para. 20, footnote 1].

R. v. Morales (M.), [1992] 3 S.C.R. 711; 144 N.R. 176; 51 Q.A.C. 161, addendum (1993), 147 N.R. 335, refd to. [para. 20, footnote 1].

R. v. Hinse (R.), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 597; 189 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 20, footnote 1].

R. v. Rose (J.), [1998] 3 S.C.R. 262; 232 N.R. 83; 115 O.A.C. 201, refd to. [para. 20, footnote 1].

R. v. Cunningham (J.) - see Cunningham v. Lilles et al.

Cunningham v. Lilles et al., [2010] 1 S.C.R. 331; 399 N.R. 326; 283 B.C.A.C. 280; 480 W.A.C. 280; 2010 SCC 10, refd to. [paras. 20, 111 footnote 1].

R. v. Caron (G.), [2011] 1 S.C.R. 78; 411 N.R. 89; 499 A.R. 309; 514 W.A.C. 309; 2011 SCC 5, refd to. [paras. 20, 111, footnote 1].

Rawi et al. v. United Kingdom (Security Service) et al., [2011] N.R. Uned. 135; [2012] 1 A.C. 531; [2011] UKSC 34, refd to. [para. 22, footnote 2].

Batistatos v. New South Wales (Roads and Traffic Authority), [2006] HCA 27; 227 A.L.R. 425, refd to. [para. 22, footnote 2].

Fraser v. Public Service Staff Relations Board, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 455; 63 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 27].

Reference Re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217; 228 N.R. 203, refd to. [para. 27].

New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. Speaker of the House of Assembly (N.S.) et al., [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319; 146 N.R. 161; 118 N.S.R.(2d) 181; 327 A.P.R. 181, refd to. [para. 29].

R. v. Power (E.), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 601; 165 N.R. 241; 117 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 269; 365 A.P.R. 269, refd to. [para. 29, footnote 3].

Doucet-Boudreau et al. v. Nova Scotia (Minister of Education) et al., [2003] 3 S.C.R. 3; 312 N.R. 1; 218 N.S.R.(2d) 311; 687 A.P.R. 311; 2003 SCC 62, refd to. [para. 29, footnote 3].

Newfoundland (Treasury Board) v. Newfoundland Association of Public Employees, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 381; 326 N.R. 25; 242 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 113; 719 A.P.R. 113; 2004 SCC 66, refd to. [para. 29, footnote 3].

House of Commons et al. v. Vaid et al., [2005] 1 S.C.R. 667; 333 N.R. 314; 2005 SCC 30, refd to. [para. 29, footnote 3].

Khadr v. Prime Minister (Can.) et al., [2010] 1 S.C.R. 44; 397 N.R. 294; 2010 SCC 3, refd to. [para. 29, footnote 3].

Residential Tenancies Act of Ontario, Re, [1981] 1 S.C.R. 714; 37 N.R. 158, refd to. [para. 32].

Di Iorio and Fontaine v. Warden of the Common Jail of Montreal (City) et al., [1978] 1 S.C.R. 152; 8 N.R. 361, refd to. [para. 33].

Criminal Code, In re (1910), 43 S.C.R. 434, refd to. [para. 35].

R. v. Peterman (B.) (2004), 186 O.A.C. 83; 70 O.R.(3d) 481 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 36].

R. v. Rowbotham et al. (1988), 25 O.A.C. 321; 41 C.C.C.(3d) 1 (C.A.), refd to. [paras. 36, 96].

Boucher v. R., [1955] S.C.R. 16, refd to. [para. 37].

Nelles v. Ontario et al., [1989] 2 S.C.R. 170; 98 N.R. 321; 35 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 37].

R. v. Valente, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 673; 64 N.R. 1; 14 O.A.C. 79, refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. Swain, [1991] 1 S.C.R. 933; 125 N.R. 1; 47 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 51].

Auckland Harbour Board v. R., [1924] A.C. 318 (P.C.), refd to. [paras. 57, 127].

R. v. Cai - see R. v. Chan (M.K.) et al.

R. v. Chan (M.K.) et al. (2002), 317 A.R. 240; 284 W.A.C. 240; 2002 ABCA 299, refd to. [para. 66].

R. v. Ho (G.D.) (2003), 190 B.C.A.C. 187; 311 W.A.C. 187; 2003 BCCA 663, refd to. [para. 66].

New Brunswick (Minister of Health and Community Services) v. J.G. and D.V., [1999] 3 S.C.R. 46; 244 N.R. 276; 216 N.B.R.(2d) 25; 552 A.P.R. 25, refd to. [para. 66].

R. v. White (J.R.), [2010] 3 S.C.R. 374; 414 N.R. 375; 275 O.A.C. 1; 2010 SCC 59, dist. [paras. 68, 137].

R. v. Figueroa (N.) et al. (2003), 171 O.A.C. 139; 64 O.R.(3d) 321 (C.A.), dist. [paras. 68, 133].

R. v. Rockwood (1989), 91 N.S.R.(2d) 305; 233 A.P.R. 305 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 70].

Child and Family Services of Winnipeg v. J.A. et al. (2003), 180 Man.R.(2d) 161; 310 W.A.C. 161; 2003 MBCA 154, refd to. [para. 70].

R. v. Ryan (W.J.) (2005), 248 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 162; 741 A.P.R. 162; 199 C.C.C.(3d) 161; 2005 NLCA 44, refd to. [para. 70].

R. v. Gagnon (M.) (2006), 230 B.C.A.C. 200; 380 W.A.C. 200; 2006 YKCA 12, refd to. [para. 70].

Grollo v. Palmer (1995), 184 C.L.R. 348 (Aust. H.C.), refd to. [para. 79].

Québec (Procureur général) v. R.C. (2003), 13 C.R.(6th) 1 (Que. C.A.), refd to. [para. 106].

Canadian Human Rights Commission v. Canadian Liberty Net et al., [1998] 1 S.C.R. 626; 224 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 111].

R. v. 974649 Ontario Inc. et al., [2001] 3 S.C.R. 575; 279 N.R. 345; 154 O.A.C. 345; 2001 SCC 81, refd to. [para. 112].

R. v. Cairenius (R.), [2008] O.T.C. Uned. B93; 232 C.C.C.(3d) 13 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 117].

R. v. Samra (K.S.) (1998), 112 O.A.C. 328; 41 O.R.(3d) 434 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 117].

R. v. Lee (1998), 125 C.C.C.(3d) 363 (N.W.T.S.C.), refd to. [para. 118].

R. v. Bain, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 91; 133 N.R. 1; 51 O.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 124].

Krieger et al. v. Law Society of Alberta, [2002] 3 S.C.R. 372; 293 N.R. 201; 312 A.R. 275; 281 W.A.C. 275; 2002 SCC 65, refd to. [para. 136].

R. v. Chemama, 2008 ONCJ 140, refd to. [para. 139].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Berg, David, The Limits of Friendship: the Amicus Curiae in Criminal Trial Courts (2012), 59 Crim. L.Q. 67, pp. 72 to 74 [para. 49].

Canadian Judicial Council, Alternative Models of Court Administration (2006), p. 46 [para. 39].

Covey, Frank M., Jr., Amicus Curiae: Friend of the Court (1959), 9 DePaul L. Rev. 30, p. 33 [para. 45].

Dickens, Bernard M., A Canadian Development: Non-Party Intervention (1977), 40 Mod. L. Rev. 666, p. 671 [para. 46].

Edwards, J.L.J., The Law Officers of the Crown (1964), p. 16 [para. 34].

Goldsmith, Advocate to the Court (online) (February 1, 2002), generally [para. 47, footnote 5].

Halsbury's Laws of England (2001) (4th Ed. - Reissue), vol. 37, para. 12 [para. 111].

Jacob, I.H., The Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court (1970), 23 Current Legal Problems 23, pp. 24 [para. 23]; 51 [para. 20].

Mallette, Jonathan Desjardins, La constitutionnalisation de la juridiction inhérente au Canada: origines et fondements (2007), vol. 2, p. 375 [para. 25].

Mohan, S. Chandra, The Amicus Curiae: Friends No More? (2010), Singapore J. of Legal Studies 352, pp. 356 to 360 [para. 45].

Romney, Paul, Mr. Attorney: The Attorney General for Ontario in Court, Cabinet, and Legislature 1791-1899 (1986), pp. 6, 7 [para. 34].

Counsel:

Malliha Wilson, Troy Harrison, Kristin Smith and Baaba Forson, for the appellant;

P. Andras Schreck and Louis P. Strezos, for the respondent, the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario;

No one appeared for the respondent, Lawrence Greenspon;

Alain Préfontaine, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Canada;

Jean-Yves Bernard and Brigitte Bussières, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Quebec;

Written submissions only by Deborah Carlson and Allison Kindle Pejovic, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Manitoba;

Bryant Alexander Mackey, for the intervener, the Attorney General of British Columbia;

Micah B. Rankin, Michael Sobkin and Elizabeth France, for the intervener, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association;

John Norris, for the intervener, the Advocates' Society;

Anita Szigeti, Mercedes Perez and Marie-France Major, for the intervener, the Mental Health Legal Committee.

Solicitors of Record:

Attorney General of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

Schreck Presser, Toronto, Ontario; Louis P. Strezos & Associate, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent, the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario;

Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Canada;

Attorney General of Quebec, Quebec, Quebec, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Quebec;

Attorney General of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the intervener, the Attorney General of Manitoba;

Attorney General of British Columbia, Victoria, British Columbia, for the intervener, the Attorney General of British Columbia;

Sugden, McFee & Roos, Vancouver, British Columbia, for the intervener, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association;

Simcoe Chambers, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervener, the Advocates' Society;

Hiltz Szigeti, Toronto, Ontario; Swandron Associates, Toronto, Ontario; Supreme Advocacy, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervener, the Mental Health Legal Committee.

This appeal was heard on December 12, 2012, before McLachlin, C.J.C., LeBel, Fish, Abella, Rothstein, Cromwell, Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Wagner, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On August 1, 2013, the judgment of the Court was delivered in both official languages and the following opinions were filed:

Karakatsanis, J. (McLachlin, C.J.C., Rothstein, Moldaver and Wagner, JJ., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 85;

Fish, J. (LeBel, Abella and Cromwell, JJ., concurring), dissenting - see paragraphs 86 to 143.

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