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This week at the SCC

|Written By Elizabeth Raymer

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear three appeals this week, its first of the fall session. The first two appeals involve charges of sexual assault against Indigenous persons, while the third concerns an alleged Charter breach in a search-and-seizure case.

October 10 – Manitoba – J.W. and REO Law Corporation v. Attorney General of Canada, et al.

Civil procedure, class actions: While a student at an Indian residential school, a nun grabbed the appellant J.W.’s penis while he was in line for the shower. Following the establishment of the Independent Assessment Process under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, J.W. filed a claim arguing compensable sexual abuse, which was denied on the basis that he had failed to establish the nun’s act had a “sexual purpose.” A supervising judge for the IRSSA in Manitoba partially granted the declaration sought by J.W. and found that the review adjudicators had failed to correct the error of the original hearing adjudicator, namely that J.W. needed to prove a “sexual purpose.” The Manitoba Court of Appeal allowed Canada’s appeal, finding that the supervising judge had exceeded his jurisdiction and misinterpreted the terms of the IRSSA.

Read the appellate court decision here.

Related law firm bulletin:
Ontario Court Of Appeal Summaries (September 10-14, 2018); Blaney McMurtry LLP

October 11AlbertaBarton v. R.

Criminal law: Cindy Gladue bled to death in the bathtub of the appellant Barton’s Edmonton hotel room. An injury to her vaginal wall caused her death. Barton admitted hiring Gladue as a prostitute, but claimed the injury was an accident resulting from consensual sexual activity and that she bled to death after he fell asleep. Crown counsel argued at trial that Barton intentionally inflicted the fatal injury and was guilty of first degree murder; alternatively, Crown argued that Gladue did not consent to the conduct that caused the injury and that Barton was guilty of manslaughter in causing death in the course of a sexual assault. Following Barton’s acquittal, the Court of Appeal granted the Crown’s appeal, set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial.

Read the appellate court decision here.

Related news story:
Supreme Court will hear appeal of new-trial decision in Cindy Gladue case; CTV News

October 12 – Ontario – Tom Le v. R.

Charter of Rights: The appellant was charged with several firearm and drug-related offences. At trial, he argued that police had violated his constitutional rights to be free from arbitrary detention and unreasonable search and that the evidence should be excluded under s. 24(2) of the Charter. The trial judge found no violation of Charter rights, but, if there was any Charter violation the evidence should not be excluded. The appellant was convicted on all charges, and the majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. Lauwers J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal, and directed that verdicts of acquittal be entered, as he was of the view that the appellant’s Charter rights were breached by the police.

Read the appellate court decision here.

Related news story:
Case on privacy rights headed to SCC; Law Times


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