Category Archives: Common Law

Canada’s Most Astonishing Courthouses

Old Supreme Court of Canada

At work today, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Old City Hall. So I decided to write a quick bit on Courthouses in Canada. There are at least 261 buildings in Canada designated heritage sites, so we have some ground to cover! We welcome additions, so please, if I overlook a magnificent / thoughtful building, please let me know.

Note: this post will double up as a link directly to the Court information of the particular Courthouse in question. That way, in case you randomly found this page in search of ‘useful’ information, all birds will have been killed.

1. Old City Hall, Ontario Court of Justice, Toronto, Ontario

Old City Hall, Toronto Archives, 1914

Even before being one of Canada’s most beautiful courthouses, Old City Hall makes the list as one of Canada’s most astonishing buildings. This court does mostly criminal – provincial and federal. Inside, you will find murals, stone work, stained glass, and remnants of its former self, the seat of municipal government for the City of Toronto. Absolutely beautiful, it is worth a stroll. This, coupled with the increasingly absurd treatment of criminals provides a fascinating vista into Canadian society. If ever in Toronto and so inclined, consult this online tour of the building to add nuance to a visit.

In the 2000s, CBC produced a show featuring a new criminal defence lawyer situated within Old City Hall. This is Wonderland ran for four seasons and, even though it is a comedy, gives a pretty accurate depiction of the every-day happenings at OCH.

2. Battleford Courthouse, Battleford, Saskatchewan

Welcome to Battleford

Unveiled 1785 – Like an fully-grown, old tree. This building is over 200 years and is still still simmering. Described as ” Romanesque Revival-style exterior.” The wikipedia article gives me lots of useful information. This building was formerly a trading post for Hudson’s Bay, post for the RCMP, and perhaps was even the seat of government, when the bustling metropolis of Battlefield was made capital of the North West Territories from 1877 to 1883. Indeed, the site is linked with the ignominious Red River Rebellions and several comrades of Louis Riel were probably executed at this site. For Canada approved history, look here; for critical history, look here.

Aside from standing as one of Canada’s oldest Courthouses, this building represents a relationship between First Nations peoples in Canada and White settler society. Thus, we find this building within the registry of buildings of Heritage Canada.

Talking Shop at Battleford

3. More to come…

Squatter’s Handbook England 13th Edition

“It’s a Steal”: Foreclosures in Florida

Great documentary on Foreclosures in Florida. It discusses some complex issues, like “title insurance”.

Listen to it by clicking here.

It’s a Steal (Documentary)

We started off the segment with Joe Koebel. He sells foreclosed homes in Florida. There have been a lot of those on the market in the wake of the US mortgage crisis. And a lot of the people doing the buying have been Canadians … who buy more property in Florida than any other group of foreigners.

But now, there are allegations that many of the foreclosed homes may have been seized through a system that is unfair … and perhaps even corrupt. The Current’s Howard Goldenthal headed down to Florida last year to look into those allegations and to find out how they are affecting Canadians. Here’s his documentary, It’s a Steal – which first aired on The Current in November.”

Episode 20 (Mar 2011) – Downtown Eastside, Vancouver

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT. We broadcast law broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un group des etudiants et etudiantes en droit de la communaute montrealaise. This month, LegalEase visits the self-proclaimed “Most Beautiful Place on Earth”- British Columbia! The program is entitled, “Downtown East Side, Vancouver” (Listen here).

DTES

First, LegalEase features a lecture by University of Victoria professor Hester Lessard, entitled “Jurisdictional Justice, Democracy and the Story of Insite”. She discusses the recent Insite safe injection site cases at the Supreme Court, specifically focusing on new directions for Canadian constitutional with respect to division of powers. Listen to this novel and unique argument for increased local autonomy.

Second, Jesse Gutman speaks with Fathima Cader about the “the Justice League,” a new networking group for progressive law students and young lawyers.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month from 11h00-12h00 on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca. For more programming, check us out at http://legaleaseckut.wordpress.com

Top Ten Most Cited Canadian Court Cases

Ever wonder what the top ten most cited canadian court cases are? Here is a list determined by a CanLii search. If the case is cited, perhaps you should read it (or at least the headnote!). The descriptors are not necessary accurate or verified – they are words commonly used throughout the decision and pulled by a CanLii program.

1. R. v. W.(D.), [1991] 1 S.C.R. 742 — 1991-03-28
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal recharge — jury — beyond a reasonable doubt — main charge — evidence
cited by 3689 cases

2. Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190 — 2008-03-07
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal adjudicator — review —reasonableness — administrative — procedural fairness
cited by 2855 cases

3. Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817 — 1999-07-09
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal humanitarian — compassionate — reasonable apprehension of bias — duty of procedural fairness — children
cited by 2701 cases

4. Housen v. Nikolaisen, 2002 SCC 33, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235 — 2002-03-28
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal curve — road — municipality — hazard — standard
cited by 2142 cases

5. Pushpanathan v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 982 — 1998-06-04
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal drug trafficking — contrary to the purposes — international — principles — refugee
cited by 2118 cases

6. R. v. Collins, [1987] 1 S.C.R. 265 — 1987-04-09 Supreme Court of Canada — Federal administration of justice into disrepute — bring the administration of justice — search — heroin — admission of the evidence
cited by 2044 cases
7. RJR — MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), [1994] 1 S.C.R. 311 — 1994-03-03 Supreme Court of Canada — Federal
public interest — irreparable harm — tobacco products — legislation — regulations
cited by 1923 cases

8. R. v. Proulx, 2000 SCC 5, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 61 — 2000-01-31
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal conditional sentence — offender — incarceration — community — imprisonment
cited by 1913 cases

9. Canada (Director of Investigation and Research) v. Southam Inc., [1997] 1 S.C.R. 748 — 1997-03-20
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal community newspapers — inter-industry competition — substantial lessening of competition — remedy — advertisers
cited by 1910 cases

10. R. v. M. (C.A.), [1996] 1 S.C.R. 500 — 1996-03-21
Supreme Court of Canada — Federal
sentence — offender — parole — imprisonment — fixed-term sentences
cited by 1900 cases

“From Tortia With Love”: Creativity and Law School Summaries

Hello cruel and curious world:

For those interested in Tort law – or extra-contractual law (as we call it at McGill) – take a look at this summary. It is a comic book. Two creative students put it together and made it available to everyone without cost. It covers some of the rudimentary subjects in Canadian tort law, in both common and civil law. You can download the pdf here.

Comic Law!

Isn't this neat?

For those who don’t know – most law students do not do all the readings. Intricate systems of summarizing cases are devised for each course. Sometimes a compilation is a group effort. In the case above, it was done by a team. Usually, a summary is adapted from some earlier version of the course (and some earlier summary) and updated based on the new readings and slightly altered lecture notes. In some cases, summaries enable students to either a) skip class or b) spend the entire class browsing facebook.

If you do go to law school, take your time to venture beyond the bland commonplace – use your talents to create interesting study tools. It will help you learn better and will make you proud of your work, despite whatever grade you may receive (and odds are, you probably will learn the material better in the process).

G20 and Canadian law

I think there is a need to publish some material on the ongoing G20 legal discussions. First, here is a legal analysis by an Osgoode student published on “the Court” (a blog): Click here.

For starters, here is the suspicious ‘order-in-council’ which amended the public works act within the jurisdiction of Ontario: Click here. It was passed June 21 and expired June 28.

Police

Police


For some alternate media coverage, please consult the Toronto Media Co-op.

More to come.