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March 26, 2014

A Linguist’s Perspective on the Supreme Court Act

In my post yesterday on the decision in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, I mentioned that the statutory interpretation issues raised in the decision were as much linguistic as they were legal issues. It therefore seems appropriate to have the perspective of a trained linguist on sections 5 and 6 of...

March 25, 2014

Statutory Interpretation and the Nadon Decision

Despite the momentous issues at stake in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, 2014 SCC 21, the case, at bottom, involved a routine exercise of statutory interpretation: Do the words “from among the advocates of that Province” in section 6 denote current membership in the Quebec bar? Based on the often repeated...

January 24, 2014

Summary Judgment and the Civil Justice System in Canada

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, is an important one for civil litigators throughout the country. The case was about changes to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure on the use of summary judgment, however, the Court took the opportunity to discuss the values that underlie...

October 6, 2013

Oral Argument in the Supreme Court of Canada

I recently had the opportunity to speak on the subject of “Oral Argument in the Supreme Court of Canada” at the Commons Institute Conference on Constitutional and Supreme Court Litigation. The Chair of the Conference, my friend and colleague Eugene Meehan, suggested I make my thoughts more widely available, so here goes. One of the...