This week at the SCC

This week, the Supreme Court of Canada’s winter session comes to an end. The court will hear five appeals, including a Charter challenge of B.C.’s regulations against medical marijuana sold in baked goods.

March 16 – Federal – CBC v. SODRAC

Intellectual Property: This case will decide whether incidental copies of music or video made during the production of a media segment each require royalty payments. The société du droit de reproduction des auteurs compositeurs et éditeurs au Canada (SODRAC) has argued that each copy adds value, and as such, the reproductions merit royalty payments as set out in the terms and conditions of the established licence. The CBC has sought judicial review in order to set aside certain terms in the licence.

Read the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision

Related blog post:
Supreme Court set to revisit technological neutrality in CBC v SODRAC, IP Osgoode

March 17 – Quebec – M.M. v. Canada

Extradition: The applicant is a woman from the United States who had lost custody of her three children. Her ex-husband reported the children missing. The children, who later testified that they had run away, were found with their mother in a battered women’s shelter in Quebec. The applicant is fighting extradition orders on defence of necessity. She argues that extradition must be refused where a defence available in Canada is not available in the United States.

Read the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision

March 18 – Quebec – Société en commandite Place Mullins v. Services immobiliers Diane Bisson

Civil law: Place Mullins authorized the respondent, a real estate broker, to sell a property. The contract stated that the broker would receive a commission upon “agreement concerning the sale” of the property. The broker closed a sale that was conditional on inspection. An inspection revealed oil contamination, which Place Mullins refused to clean up. The buyer therefore refused to purchase the property and Place Mullins refused to pay the commission. The broker commenced an action, which was dismissed by the Superior Court but accepted by the Court of Appeal.

Read the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision

March 19 – British Columbia – Sanghera v. R.

Charter of Rights: The appellant was convicted of unlawful possession and unauthorized transfer of a restricted firearm. Between the arrest and conviction, 36 months passed, and the appellant argued that the delay — mainly a result of the Crown’s decision to directly indict him — infringed his right to a timely trial. The appeal court dismissed the argument, with one judge dissenting. The SCC will review whether the appeal court erred in determining that the delay was acceptable within the framework of the Charter.

Read the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision

Related news story:
All charges stayed against ‘leaders’ of Sanghera crime group, Vancouver Sun

March 20 – British Columbia – R. v. Smith

Charter of Rights: Smith was a baker at an organization that offered baked goods infused with marijuana to patients suffering from chronic pain. He was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking. At trial, he argued that B.C. regulations preventing medical marijuana users from taking the drug in baked form were unconstitutional, forcing groups like his into existence. He was acquitted at trial, and the acquittal upheld on appeal. One judge, however, dissented, arguing that Smith had no standing to bring a constitutional appeal, and the regulations did not violate the Charter.

Read the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision

Related news stories:
B.C. court urged to snuff out medical pot access rules, Vancouver Sun

Medical pot cookie prohibition ruled unconstitutional, CBC

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