Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

AuthorAdministrator
DateDecember 13, 2015

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (November 12 – December 11, 2015 inclusive).

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: Dangerous Driving Causing Death; Test For Mens Rea
R. v. Hecimovic, 2014 BCCA 483(36260) 2015 SCC 54

Justice Abella: “The majority is of the view that the appeal should be dismissed …” The B.C.C.A. (by majority) ordered a new trial; clarification of subjective v. objective conduct.

Criminal Law: Jury Instructions re Homicide
R. v. Neville, 2015 NLCA 16(36412) 2015 SCC 49

The Chief Justice: “…The jury in its final question asked the judge to clarify the distinction between “to kill” and “to murder”. This raised the question of intent in relation to the charges of murder and attempted murder. The judge should have clarified the nature of the concern, and then addressed it. Instead, the judge merely referred the jury to the written instructions he had previously given the jury. … The appeal is allowed, the verdicts are set aside, and a new trial ordered on both charges.”

Criminal Law: Importing & Possession for the Purposes
R. v. Singh Riar, 2015 ONCA 350 (36449) 2015 SCC 50

The Chief Justice: “We are all of the view that the appeal should be allowed … The conviction is set aside and a new trial is ordered.” Justice Laskin (dissenting in the C.A.) focused on a ‘litany of errors’ in assessing the appellant’s evidence and in rejecting the appellant’s denial of allegations which materially affected credibility assessment.

Appeals

Class Actions: Limitation Periods & Related Issues
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. Green, 2015 SCC 60 (35807, 35811, 35813)

Section 28 of the Class Proceedings Act suspends the limitation period in s. 138.14 of the Ontario Securities Act applicable to a statutory cause of action under s. 138.3 when the action is commenced, that is, when leave is granted under s. 138.8. While courts have the inherent jurisdiction to issue orders nunc pro tunc for leave to proceed with an action where leave is sought prior to the expiry of the limitation period, the doctrine of special circumstances is of no avail to the plaintiffs herein since neither the limitation period in s. 138.14 nor the leave requirement in s. 138.8 can be defeated by amending the pleadings to include a statutory claim under s. 138.3. Threshold for leave under s. 138.8: a reasonable or realistic chance that the action will succeed.

Constitutional Law: Division of Powers; Bankruptcy and...

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