Schreiber v. Can. (A.G.), (2002) 292 N.R. 250 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateApril 16, 2002
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2002), 292 N.R. 250 (SCC);2002 SCC 62;164 OAC 354;[2002] SCJ No 63 (QL);216 DLR (4th) 513;JE 2002-1705;167 CCC (3d) 51;292 NR 250;61 OR (3d) 160;AZ-50143744;[2002] CarswellOnt 2921;[2002] 3 SCR 269

Schreiber v. Can. (A.G.) (2002), 292 N.R. 250 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

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

....................

Temp. Cite: [2002] N.R. TBEd. SE.007

Karlheinz Schreiber (appellant) v. The Federal Republic of Germany and The Attorney General of Canada (respondents) and United States of America and Amnesty International (interveners)

(28543; 2002 SCC 62; 2002 CSC 62)

Indexed As: Schreiber v. Canada (Attorney General)

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.

September 12, 2002.

Summary:

Canada arrested Schreiber so that he could be extradited to Germany in relation to tax evasion and other charges. Schreiber sued Canada and Germany, seeking damages for breaches of duties of care, abuse of public office, bad faith and violation of Charter rights. Canada sought to stay the action pending the determination of the extradition proceedings. Germany sought an order dis­missing the action on the ground that it enjoyed state immunity.

The Ontario Superior Court, in a decision reported at [2000] O.T.C. 373, dismissed the claim against Germany and granted Canada's motion for a stay. Schreiber appealed the dismissal of the action against Germany.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a decision reported at 142 O.A.C. 27, dismissed the appeal. Schreiber appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal.

International Law - Topic 2201

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Acta imperii (sovereign or public acts) - Schreiber sued Germany in Canada in tort - Germany claimed sovereign immunity - Schreiber relied upon the "personal injury" exception in s. 6(a) of the State Immunity Act - An intervener submitted that a dis­tinction had to be made between acts of government (acta jure imperii) and acts of a commercial nature (acta jure gestionis) in determining whether any of the exceptions to immunity under the State Immunity Act were applicable - The intervener submitted that each of the exceptions to immunity depended on the nature of commercial or other private law conduct underlying the claim - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the acta jure imperii and acta jure gestionis distinction did not apply to the "death or personal injury" exception in s. 6(a) - See paragraphs 29 to 37.

International Law - Topic 2202

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Exceptions - Proceedings relating to com­mercial activity of foreign state - Acta gestionis - [See International Law - Topic 2201 ].

International Law - Topic 2203

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Exceptions - Death, personal injury, torture and hostage taking - [See International Law - Topic 2201 ].

International Law - Topic 2203

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Exceptions - Death, personal injury, torture and hostage taking - Canada arrested Schreiber so that he could be extradited to Germany in relation to tax evasion and other charges - Schreiber sued Germany for damages for personal injuries suffered as a result of his arrest and detention in Canada - Germany sought to dismiss the action, asserting state immunity - Schreiber alleged that the mental distress, denial of liberty and damage to reputation he suf­fered due to his wrongful arrest and impri­sonment was a "personal injury" under the exception in s. 6(a) of the State Immunity Act - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the expression "personal injury" in s. 6(a) did not include the injuries for which Schreiber was seeking damages.

International Law - Topic 2203

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Exceptions - Death, personal injury, torture and hostage taking - Section 6(a) of the State Immunity Act stated that "A foreign state is not immune from the jurisdiction of a court in any proceedings that relate to (a) any death or personal injury" - The Harmonization Act amended s. 6(a) to refer to "any death or personal or bodily injury" - The appellant submitted that "personal injury" must mean something more than just "bodily injury", otherwise its inclusion in the English version of the Harmonization Act would be redundant - The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the submission - The Harmonization Act amendment to s. 6(a) seemed to use the "simple double" technique to ensure that the civil law term ("dommages corporels") was added to the English version by insert­ing the words, "or bodily injury" to the list of "any death or personal injury" - The purpose of the Harmonization Act was to highlight bijural terminology used by common law and civil law systems - It did not substantively change the law as set out in the statute - See paragraphs 66 to 77.

International Law - Topic 2203.1

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Exceptions - Submission to jurisdiction - Canada arrested Schreiber so that he could be extradited to Germany in relation to tax evasion and other charges - Schreiber sued Germany for damages for personal injuries suffered as a result of his arrest and deten­tion in Canada - Germany sought to dis­miss the action, asserting state immunity - Schreiber claimed that immunity was not available because Germany had submitted to the jurisdiction by initiating proceedings in a Canadian court (State Immunity Act, s. 4(2)(b)) - The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that Germany did not initiate the judicial proceedings - Its request to arrest and imprison Schreiber was made to the executive branch of government pursuant to the Extradition Treaty - Schreiber's tort liability action against Germany was a separate and distinct action from the extra­dition process - See paragraphs 19 to 27.

International Law - Topic 2208

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - When determined - Germany obtained an order dismissing an action against it based on state immunity - On appeal, the plain­tiff submitted that the motions judge erred by determining immunity on the merits; he should only have decided whether it was "plain and obvious" that Germany was entitled to claim immunity - The Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the submission - The plaintiff appealed - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal - The court stated that "The defence of sovereign immunity can be raised by a defendant state to be determined in a pre­liminary motion, as a matter for summary judgment or at trial. ... [E]ven if a defend­ant state fails in its bid to dismiss the action at a preliminary motion, it is not precluded from raising the immunity defence sometime during the trial, as the case develops." - See paragraph 18.

International Law - Topic 2216

Sovereignty - Incidents of - Immunity - Practice - [See International Law - Topic 2208 ].

Statutes - Topic 1806

Interpretation - Intrinsic aids - Bilingual statutes - Inter­pretation of one version by reference to the other - The Supreme Court of Canada interpreted "personal injury" in s. 6(a) of the State Immunity Act to mean bodily injury where the French version referred to "dommages corporels" - To interpret s. 6(a) to include injury not related to bodily injury would be to ignore the words used by Parliament in the French version - The French version was clearer and more restrictive than the Eng­lish version - The French version best reflected the common intention of the legislator found in both versions - See paragraphs 52 to 57.

Statutes - Topic 2617

Interpretation - Interpretation of words and phrases - Interpretation by context (incl. "modern rule") - Harmonization of statutes - [See third International Law - Topic 2203 ].

Words and Phrases

Personal injury - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of the phrase "personal injury" as found in s. 6(a) of the State Immunity Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-18 - See paragraphs 27 to 57.

Cases Noticed:

Jaffe v. Miller et al. (1993), 64 O.A.C. 20; 13 O.R.(3d) 745 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 18].

Walker et al. v. Bank of New York Inc. et al. (1994), 69 O.A.C. 153; 16 O.R.(3d) 504 (C.A.), dist. [para. 18].

United States of America v. Friedland (1999), 128 O.A.C. 201; 46 O.R.(3d) 321; 182 D.L.R.(4th) 614 (C.A.), apprvd. [para. 18].

Reference Re Canada Labour Code and State Immunity Act (Can.), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 50; 137 N.R. 81, refd to. [para. 29].

Congo (République démocratique) v. Venne, [1971] S.C.R. 997, refd to. [para. 29].

Pinochet, Re, [1999] 2 W.L.R. 827; 237 N.R. 225 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 37].

R. v. Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate et al.; Ex parte Pinochet Ugarte (No. 3) - see Pinochet, Re.

Daniels v. White, [1968] S.C.R. 517, refd to. [para. 50].

R. v. Sharpe (J.R.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 45; 264 N.R. 201; 146 B.C.A.C. 161; 239 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 54].

R. v. Proulx (J.K.D.), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 61; 249 N.R. 201; 142 Man.R.(2d) 161; 212 W.A.C. 161; 140 C.C.C.(3d) 449, refd to. [para. 54].

R. v. Lamy (E.) (2002), 284 N.R. 311 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 54].

R. v. Mac (M.K.) (2002), 287 N.R. 75; 159 O.A.C. 33 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 54].

Tupper v. R., [1967] S.C.R. 589, refd to. [para. 56].

R. v. Dubois, [1935] S.C.R. 378, refd to. [para. 56].

Pollack Ltée v. Comité paritaire du com­merce de détail, [1946] 2 D.L.R. 801, refd to. [para. 56].

Pfizer Co. v. Deputy Minister of National Revenue (Customs and Excise), [1977] 1 S.C.R. 456; 6 N.R. 440; 68 D.L.R.(3d) 9, refd to. [para. 56].

Gravel v. St-Léonard (City), [1978] 1 S.C.R. 660; 17 N.R. 486, refd to. [para. 56].

Regent Taxi and Transport Co. v. Congré­gation des Petits Frères de Marie, [1932] A.C. 295, refd to. [para. 60].

Montreal (Ville) v. Tarquini, [2001] R.J.Q. 1405 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 61].

Dubé v. Québec (Procureur général), [1997] R.R.A. 555 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 63].

Michaud v. Québec (Procureur général), [1998] R.R.A. 1065 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 64].

Subilomar Properties (Dundas) Ltd. v. Cloverdale Shopping Center Ltd., [1973] S.C.R. 596, refd to. [para. 73].

Statutes Noticed:

State Immunity Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-18, sect. 4, sect. 6(a) [para. 7].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Arbour, J.-M., Droit international public (3rd Ed. 1997), p. 286 [para. 13].

Baudouin, J.-L., and Deslauriers, P., La responsabilité civile (5th Ed. 1998), p. 288 [para. 64].

Brownlie, Ian, Principles of Public Interna­tional Law (5th Ed. 1998), pp. 289 [para. 13]; 324 to 326 [para. 14]; 332, 333 [para. 17]; 339 [para. 15].

Canada, Department of Justice, Bijural Terminology Records (2001), p. 95 [para. 72].

Canada, Hansard, House of Commons Debates, vol. 137, 1st Sess., 37th Parlia­ment, p. 3640 [para. 69].

Canada, Hansard, Senate Debates, vol. 139, No. 5, 1st Sess., 37th Parliament, (February 7, 2001), pp. 83 to 88 [para. 70].

Canada, Hansard, Senate Debates, vol. 139, No. 23, 1st Sess., 37th Parliament (April 4, 2001), pp. 572 to 576 [para. 70].

Canada, Hansard, Senate Debates, vol. 139, No. 29, 1st Sess., 37 Parliament (April 26, 2001), pp. 684 to 690 [para. 70].

Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Pro­ceedings of, Issue No. 12, p. 12:9 [para. 32].

Cane, P., Atiyah's Accidents, Compensa­tion and the Law (5th Ed. 1993), pp. 5, 61, 62, 63 [para. 46].

Cooper-Stephenson, K.D., and Saunders, I.B., Personal Injury Damages in Canada (1st Ed. 1981), p. 5 [para. 44].

Cooper-Stephenson, K.D., Personal Injury Damages in Canada (2nd Ed. 1996), generally [para. 45].

Côté, P.A., Interprétation des lois, 3e éd. 1999, pp. 349, 350 [para. 73]; 351 [para. 74]; 413 [para. 55]; 414 [para. 56].

Côté, P.A., The Interpretation of Legisla­tion in Canada (3rd Ed. 2000), pp. 275, 277 [para. 73]; 278 [para. 74]; 323 to 342 [para. 55]; 327 [para. 56].

Driedger, Elmer A., Construction of Stat­utes (2nd Ed. 1983), pp. 165 to 181 [para. 55].

Driedger, Elmer A., Construction of Stat­utes (3rd Ed. 1994), pp. 215 to 235 [para. 55].

Dukelow, D.A., and Nuse, B., The Dic­tionary of Canadian Law (2nd Ed. 1995), p. 891 [para. 43].

European Convention on State Immunity and the Additional Protocol, Explanatory Report on (1972), art. 11, para. 48 [para. 47].

Emanuelli, Claude, Droit international public: contribution à l'étude de droit international selon une perspective cana­dienne (1998), pp. 303 [para. 13]; 304, 305, 306 [para. 16].

Gardner, D., L'évaluation du préjudice corporel (2nd Ed. 2002), pp. 9, 10 [para. 60]; 12, 13 [para. 61]; 14 [para. 62]; 15 [paras. 62, 63]; 22 [para. 64].

Hansard - see Canada, Hansard, House of Commons Debates.

Jennings, Robert, and Watts, Arthur, Oppenheim's International Law (9th Ed. 1996), vol. 1, pp. 341 [para. 13]; 342 to 343 [paras. 13, 14]; 344, 345 [para. 16].

Latin for Lawyers (2nd Ed. 1937), p. 217 [para. 13].

United Nations, Yearbook of the Interna­tional Law Commission, Fifth Report on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property (1993), vol. 2, Part 1, p. 25 [para. 36]; paras. 63, 67, 69, 77, 99 [para. 36].

United Nations, Yearbook of the Interna­tional Law Commission, Draft Articles on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property and Commentaries Thereto (1991), vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 13 [para. 16]; 43 [para. 47]; 44 [para. 35].

Vézina, N., Préjudice matériel, corporel et moral: variations sur la classification tripartite de préjudice dans le nouveau droit de la responsabilité (1993), 24 R.D.U.S. 161, pp. 165, 166 [para. 59]; 168, 169 [para. 61].

Wellington, Louise Maguire, Harmoniz­ation of Federal Legislation with the Civil Law of the Province of Quebec and Canadian Bijuralism, Bijuralism in Canada Harmonization Methodology and Terminology, Booklet 4 (2001), pp. 1, 9, 10 [para. 71].

Counsel:

Edward L. Greenspan, Q.C., David Stratas, for the appellant;

Ed Morgan, for the respondent, the Federal Republic of Germany;

Brian J. Saunders and Michael H. Morris, for the respondent, the Attorney General of Canada;

Malcolm N. Ruby, for the intervener, the United States of America;

David Matas and Michael Bossin, for the intervener, Amnesty International.

Solicitors of Record:

Greenspan, Henein and White, and Heenan Blaikie, Toronto, Ontario, for the appel­lant;

Ed Morgan, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent, the Federal Republic of Germany;

The Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the respondent, the Attorney General of Canada;

Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Toronto, Ontario, for the intervener, the United States of America;

David Matas, Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the intervener, Amnesty International.

This appeal was heard on April 16, 2002, by McLachlin, C.J.C., Gonthier, Iacobucci, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. LeBel, J.A., delivered the following reasons for judgment in both official languages for the court on September 12, 2002.

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