The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Legal affairs

Friday weekly wrap-up

By Yves Faguy August 31, 2018 31 August 2018

Friday weekly wrap-up

Here’s a quick look at the major legal stories from the past week.

It’s been a stressful week ahead of the Labour Day weekend for the Trudeau government. Yesterday, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project on two grounds. The NEB was wrong not to assess the related effects of maritime shipping. And the government fell short in meeting its duty to consult First Nations. This is not to say that the project is dead, yet.  Ottawa could appeal the decision, and the Prime Minister has assured Alberta’s premier, Rachel Notley, that he “stands by the TMX expansion project and will ensure it moves forward in the right way.” But as Robert James writes “that decision is an indictment of DOJ/NRCAN approach to consultation and their efforts to turn it into a narrow, administrative law process.” Environmental assessments, done right, will save time, money and political heartburn. Notley has announced that Alberta is pulling out of the Trudeau government’s climate change plan.

Read More
CBA Futures

Friday weekly wrap-up

By Yves Faguy August 17, 2018 17 August 2018

Friday weekly wrap-up

 

Here’s a quick look at the major legal stories from the past week.

During the dog days of summer, especially as a government enters the last year of its mandate, pining for a snap election call is practically de rigueur among journalists – a habit that endures in spite of fixed election dates.  That’s understandable, though, because there isn’t anything legally problematic with calling an early election in Ottawa. As James Bowden reminds us, “fixed-date election laws do not mandate a minimum lifespan of a parliament; they only lower a parliament’s maximum lifespan.”  Channeling constitutional historian Alpheus Todd, Bowden also sketches out the four situations where a government should advise early dissolution of Parliament, and concludes that the time is not right for Justin Trudeau.

In the wake of last week’s shooting in Fredericton that killed four people, and perceiving a possible rise in illegal firearm use, Canada’s police chiefs are proposing to study data related to gun violence. Also, a New Brunswick judge has lifted a publication ban on court documents regarding the shooting, revealing details about the attack.

Read More
Criminal law

Aggravating factors: Sentencing for male intimate violence against women

By Yves Faguy August 16, 2018 16 August 2018

Aggravating factors: Sentencing for male intimate violence against women

 

Isabel Grant examines, in the latest issue of the Canadian Bar Review, sentencing for male intimate partner violence against women (MIPVW) since the Criminal Code provision made it a mandatory aggravating factor where the offender was in a spousal or common-law relationship with the victim.

The provision, section 718.2(a)(ii), was adopted in response to a growing recognition that courts were typically trivializing violence within intimate relationships. Grant aims to study whether the provision, over the last 22 years, has made a difference.

Acknowledging that the vast majority of the cases under study (94 per cent) involved male offenders being violent against female victims, Grant concludes that appellate courts are generally taking MIPVW seriously – though less so where sexual assault is committed. What’s more, at trial, myths about women who stay in abusive relationships are still hard to shake:

Read More
CBA Futures

Friday weekly wrap-up

By Yves Faguy August 10, 2018 10 August 2018

Friday weekly wrap-up

 

Here’s a quick look at some the top legal affairs stories from the past week in our Friday Wrap-Up.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s announced $25M in funding for “legal swat teams” at provincial courthouses to fight gun violence in Toronto.  Citing Chicago's experience as proof handgun bans don't work, Ford also dismissed calls for a similar ban on the sale of handguns in Toronto. In fact, the handgun ownership ban is no longer in effect in the Windy City. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 2010. Meanwhile, Evan Dyer points out that Canada needs much better data on where crime guns are coming from.

Beginning in September, Quebec’s Independent Investigations Bureau (BEI) will investigate all criminal allegations against police officers members of a First Nation or the Inuit nation. The BEI also announced its intention to recruit, as soon as possible, one or more First Nations and Inuit Investigators for greater representation within their organization.

Read More
CBA Futures

Legal futures round-up

By Yves Faguy August 8, 2018 8 August 2018

Legal futures round-up

 

Time for a quick round-up of notable trends and developments and views that highlight innovation in the legal industry.

The big news was the recent announcement that Big Four accountancy EY will acquire Riverview, a leader in the managed legal services space since its launch in 2012 with the backing of global law firm DLA Piper. Legal Business reports that DLA Piper is selling its interest in Riverview, though it retains a small stake in Kim Technologies, an AI platform that Riverview acquired in 2015 (but from which it has since demerged). The acquired entity will be known as EY Riverview Law once the deal is completed (possibly by the end of the month).

Liam Brown notes the obvious – that the move “reflects the growing ambitions of the Big 4 in law” – but also that “Riverview’s action reflects that making a dent in the legal market is hard yards.” He also cautions that we recently witnessed a similar move when Conduit Law partnered up with Deloitte in 2016, only to end their affiliation 18 months later.

The Ontario Bar Association is launching a first “Innovator in Residence” program that aims to identify, develop and advance innovations that will help members better serve their clients.  Peter Aprile, a tax litigator and founder of Counter Tax Lawyers, will be the first Innovator in Residence as of September.

Read More