This week at the SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada has a full roster of hearings this week, with five of six cases being on appeal from the Court of Appeal of British Columbia.

October 31 – New Brunswick – Oland v. R.

Criminal law: The appellant was tried for the second-degree murder of his father by a judge sitting with a jury. Oland was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 10 years. He filed a Notice of Appeal against his conviction in the New Brunswick Court of Appeal as well as a motion for release pending his appeal. The motion was dismissed, and later a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal confirmed that decision. Oland’s appeal against conviction was scheduled to be heard before the New Brunswick Court of Appeal in October 2016, and in the meantime he is appealing to the SCC the release pending appeal decision only.

November 1 – British Columbia – Teal Cedar Products v. R.

Arbitration: The Forestry Revitalization Act, S.B.C. 2003, c. 17 permitted the Province of British Columbia to reduce by 20 per cent the land base and allowable annual cut of forest tenures held by British Columbia forestry companies, including the applicant, Teal Cedar Products Ltd. A dispute arose regarding compensation the Province must pay Teal for the “value of improvements made to Crown land” under the Act. The parties settled Teal’s compensation for the value of the lost harvesting rights but did not agree on the final compensation for the value of the related improvements. The dispute went to arbitration, and the arbitrator awarded Teal $5,150,000 in addition to the $4 million the Province had already advanced to Teal as compensation for the improvements. Both parties applied to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for leave to appeal the arbitrator’s award.

Read a summary of the British Columbia appeals court decision

Read the 2013 SCC judgment

November 1 – British Columbia – Urban Communications v. BCNET Networking Society

Arbitration: Under s. 31 of the Arbitration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 55, the arbitrator had to determine whether the respondent BCNET Networking Society properly and validly exercised its options under the agreement between itself and the applicant Urban Communications Inc. The arbitrator ruled in favour of the respondent finding the options had been properly exercised.

The chambers judge granted leave to appeal, allowed the appeal and amended the arbitrator’s award. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and reinstated the arbitrator’s award.

Read the British Columbia appeal court decision

November 2 – British Columbia – Paterson v. R.

Canadian charter (Criminal): Brendan Paterson was convicted of nine offences: two counts of possession of illicit drugs, three counts of possession of illicit drugs for the purpose of trafficking and four counts of unlawful possession of firearms. He was sentenced to four-and-a half years.
At the trial, a Charter voir dire was held to address Mr. Paterson’s objection to the admission of the evidence seized by police as a result of their entry into and search of his apartment. The trial judge dismissed the application to exclude evidence.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal found no reason to interfere with the findings of the trial judge. It dismissed the appeal from conviction.

Read the British Columbia appeal court decision

Read related news stories:
BC Court of Appeal Declines to Expand Scope of Confessions Rule: R v Paterson,

Appeal dismissed in Langley man's drug trafficking, weapons convictions, Langley Times

November 3 – British Columbia – R. v. Bradshaw

Criminal law: Two people were shot to death five days apart. A co-accused claimed the respondent, Mr. Big, had shot one victim and assisted in killing the other. At the respondent’s trial the co-accused refused to be sworn. The trial judge admitted a recording of the co-accused’s re-enactment of the murders under the principled exception to the hearsay rule, and a jury convicted the respondent on two counts of first degree murder. The Court of Appeal held that the recording of the co-accused’s re-enactment should not have been admitted, set aside the convictions and ordered a new trial on both counts.

Read the British Columbia appeal court decision

Read related news stories:
New trial granted due to hitman’s testimony, Vancouver 24 hrs

Killer tells all to undercover cop, Langley Times

Trial in 2009 double murder underway in New Westminster court, BC Local News

November 4 – British Columbia – Douez v. Facebook

Private international law: The applicant commenced an action and sought certification as a class action against the respondent. She alleged it used her name and portrait in an advertisement product known as “Sponsored Stories” without her consent, contrary to the statutory tort created by the Privacy Act. The respondent argued that it had obtained the consent of its users through its terms of use, other disclosure on its website, and through a user’s actions such as their privacy settings. It also submitted the court should decline jurisdiction on the basis that California was the designated choice of jurisdiction and applicable law in the terms of use. The Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the respondent’s application to have court decline jurisdiction and certified the applicant’s action as a class action. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia allowed the appeal, holding that the respondent’s forum selection clause should be enforced and granting a stay of proceedings.

Read the British Columbia appeal court decision

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