This week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the following four appeals this week:

Feb. 8 — Manitoba — R. v. Clato Lual Mabior

Criminal law: Clato Lual Mabior was charged with aggravated sexual assault after he had sex with various complainants without telling them he was HIV positive. Mabior’s viral counts were lowered by antiretroviral therapy and he occasionally used condoms. None of his partners contracted HIV. The issue is whether his partners were at significant risk of serious bodily harm given these facts. There is a publication ban in the case.

Feb. 8 — Quebec — R. v. D.C.

Criminal law: This case also relates to HIV. The respondent had unprotected sex with her former spouse without telling him she was HIV positive. She was convicted of sexual assault and aggravated assault but was acquitted since her viral load was undetectable at the time and therefore the risk of transmission to her partner was very low. There is a publication ban in the case.

Feb. 9 — Ontario — Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. Attorney General of Canada

Labour law: The unions and associations representing federal government employees, the RCMP, and armed forces personnel sued the government for $28 million, claiming the money should be returned to their pension plans after it was improperly taken through contribution holidays and withdrawal of surplus. The case takes into consideration the time periods before and after Bill C-78 came into effect, which amended the Superannuation Acts and therefore the plans.

Feb. 10 — Ontario — Momentous.ca Corp. v. Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball Ltd.

International law: Rapidz Baseball fielded a baseball team in the Can-Am League in 2008 but then chose to voluntarily withdraw under the league’s bylaws because of financial difficulties. The league’s board of directors rejected the application, terminated its membership, and drew a $200,000 letter of credit that Rapidz Baseball was required to post under the bylaws. Rapidz and its related companies sued the league and its principals who then sought to have the action dismissed on the ground that an Ontario court has no jurisdiction on this subject matter.

Update: The Supreme Court will also be releasing the decision in the broadcasting reference case, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists et al. v. Bell Aliant Regional Communication, on Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. The ruling comes out just a few scant weeks after the appeal was heard on Jan. 16 of this year.

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