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Articles on Supreme Court of Canada

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Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole speaks to the media in Fredericton, N.B. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Erin O'Toole’s abortion stance serves neither physicians nor women

Legislating a woman’s right to timely access to abortions, rather than simply ensuring she’s not punished for having one, is the first step to striking the balance between physician and women’s rights.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford walks to his office in June 2020 as legislators debated the government’s legislation that enabled it to invoke the notwithstanding clause. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Notwithstanding the notwithstanding clause, the Charter is everyone’s business

By paying greater attention to the originally intended application of the Canadian Constitution’s notwithstanding clause, along with the diversity of lawmakers in Canada, there’s a better path forward.
Tulips bloom outside the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Bilingualism and diversity: The Supreme Court can — and should — have both

Pitting the representation of historically marginalized groups on the Supreme Court against another constitutionally protected minority — Canada’s francophones — is a misguided race to the bottom.
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the request to strike down national carbon pricing. The plan is key to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

What the Supreme Court ruling on national carbon pricing means for the fight against climate change

In its decision, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the gravity of climate change and upheld the idea that Parliament has the authority to act on matters of “peace, order and good government.”
The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision has put a halt to any legal claims that there’s no difference between corporations and people. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Supreme Court dismisses company’s cruel and unusual punishment claim

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent ruling against a company that claimed a fine against it constituted cruel and unusual punishment will quell fears of weakening corporate law.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that courtrooms have been forced to become virtual, but is the long-term adoption of technology a threat to justice? (Shutterstock)

Guilty or innocent? In virtual courtrooms, the absence of non-verbal cues may threaten justice

The coronavirus pandemic has forced courtroom proceedings online, and what is now missing are most of the non-verbal cues used to determine whether or not those taking the stand are being truthful.
Canada doesn’t extradite people to countries with the death penalty. But there are other ways to put those accused of crimes at serious risk. (Erika Wittlieb/Pixabay)

Is Canada helping other countries kill people?

Canadians should know more about how our government co-operates with other countries in criminal cases. Are we unwittingly risking the lives or rights of those accused of crimes?
The statue of Veritas (Truth) is pictured in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa in May 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Supreme Court: Can a corporation be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment?

A Québec company is asking for a Charter right usually reserved for people. There could be unintended consequences if it wins its challenge to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference in Ottawa to respond to allegations his office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould in the SNC-Lavalin affair. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

SNC-Lavalin & the need for fresh thinking around independence and interference

The prospect of political interference is at the heart of the SNC-Lavalin controversy. But it raises more issues related to identifying and preventing inappropriate interference.
Chief Archie Waquan responds to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on whether the government has a duty to consult Indigenous people on legislation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

Let Indigenous treaties – not the duty to consult – lead us to reconciliation

Rather than the duty to consult, governments should proactively engage with Indigenous treaties or other locally relevant treaties, agreements, laws and relationships at all stages of law-making.
Steve Courtoreille, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, is seen on Parliament Hill in January 2013 after speaking about legal action against the federal government. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against the First Nation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

What the Supreme Court ruling means for Indigenous consultation

The headlines suggest the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against Indigenous consultation. But its recent ruling is much more nuanced and complex than that.
People hold artwork of various marine life and youth during a rally celebrating a recent federal court ruling against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, in Vancouver, on Sept. 8, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

No quick or easy resolution to the Trans Mountain pipeline question

Contrary to what some have suggested, the uncertainty over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be drawn out.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks to reporters in Toronto on Sept. 10, 2018, after announcing he’ll invoke the notwithstanding clause in his battle to shrink Toronto city council. Is Ford taking on the “Court Party?” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov.

Doug Ford’s attack on the ‘Court Party’

Doug Ford’s wielding of the notwithstanding clause is part of a broader opposition to judicial activism that has developed among right-wing politicians and academics in the post-Charter era.
A different decision from the Supreme Court of Canada on inter-provincial trade barriers could have, among other things, finally forced politicians to deal with the country’s problematic supply management system for the dairy and poultry sectors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The measly $292.50 that could have transformed Canada’s agrifood sector

The Gérard Comeau case was never just about beer. It was essentially about enabling Canada’s domestic economy across the country to thrive. Here’s how the Supreme Court of Canada got it so wrong.
Australian scientist David Goodall photographed in Basel, Switzerland, on May 8, 2018 ended his life in with assisted suicide. (AP Photo/Jamey Keaten)

‘Suicide tourism’ and understanding the Swiss model of the right to die

Recent stories in the media highlight the idea of suicide tourism to Switzerland. But what does that mean? How is the Swiss view of assisted dying different from the Canadian one?
Legislative issues around prostitution have the ability to lead the conversation and determine research priorities. Here, Terri-Jean Bedford makes a victory sign with Nikki Thomas, left, and Valerie Scott, right, after the Ontario’s Court of Appeal struck down a ban on brothels in 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Who are we talking about when we talk about prostitution and sex work?

Prostitution is now illegal in Canada. Is prostitution harmful and exploitative? Or is sex work a legitimate form of labour?
Jerry Natanine, community leader and former mayor of Clyde River, at a news conference in Ottawa in July following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that upheld Inuit treaty rights in the Arctic. His lawyer and co-author Nader Hasan stands behind him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Lessons from Supreme Court decisions on Indigenous consultation

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decisions on Clyde River and Chippewas contain key lessons to ensure that Indigenous rights are recognized and respected in the future.
A polar bear suns herself on an ice floe on Baffin Bay in Nunavut. (Shutterstock)

What comes next for Clyde River after Supreme Court victory?

The Inuit town of Clyde River has won a long battle to stop Arctic seismic testing. The Supreme Court ruled the Inuit weren’t adequately consulted. What does that mean for future consultations?
In a case last year, the Supreme Court of Canada grappled with trial delays. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Dealing with trial delays without ending prosecutions

The idea that courts should routinely grant stays of proceedings in the event of trial delays is largely unique to Canada. There are ways to address trial delays without terminating prosecutions.

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