This week, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear three appeals, including a jurisdictional appeal in the Cassels Brock auto dealership case and a sexual assault case that pits individual Charter rights against the public interest.
Dec. 1 – Alberta – Saeed v. R.
Charter of Rights: Upon arrest for sexual assault, the appellant was compelled by police to provide a swab from his penis. The swab contained DNA of the victim in the incident, leading to a conviction on sexual assault and sexual interference. Alberta’s appeal court, citing precedents, upheld the conviction despite acknowledging a breach of the appellant’s Charter rights. The SCC will review whether the appeal court mischaracterized the magnitude of the Charter breach. A publication ban is in place.
Read the Alberta appeal court decision
Related news stories:
SCC zeroes in on penile swabs, Law Times
Alberta genital swab case heads to Supreme Court of Canada, CBC
Dec. 2 – British Columbia – K.R.J. v. R.
Charter of Rights: The appellant pleaded guilty to charges relating to incest and child pornography committed before 2012. In August 2012, s. 161 of the Criminal Code was amended to include community supervision provisions for such offenders upon release. The appeal court ruled that these amendments apply retroactively. The SCC will review whether additional community supervision measures amount to additional punishment. A publication ban and a sealing order is in place.
Read the British Columbia Court of Appeal decision
Dec. 3 – Ontario – Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell
Choice of forum: Auto dealerships across Quebec launched a class action against Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP claiming the firm, which had represented the Canadian Automobile Dealers’ Association, had been negligent in legal advice relating to the closure of numerous dealerships by General Motors. The law firm countered that it only had the mandate to represent the association, and thus added 150 lawyers and law firms across Canada as third-party defendants. The applicants are law firms and lawyers in Quebec seeking an order that Ontario’s courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the proceeding.
Read the Ontario Court of Appeal decision
Related news stories:
Cassels Brock hit with $45 million in damages in GM dealers class action, Canadian Lawyer
Judge dismisses class action by GM Canada dealers, uphold claims against law firm, The Globe and Mail
Also this morning, the court granted leave to appeal in BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association v. Attorney General of British Columbia and Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia.