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Tsilhquot’in victory in the Supreme Court

On June 26, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Tsilhquot’in people in their title claim to more than 1700 square km of land in British Columbia. The case is a landmark, and was a unanimous decision, supported 8-0 by the justices. The decision, is the first time the Canadian courts have recognized full aboriginal title to a specific tract of land by, and experts in the field expect the ruling to have an impact on future title questions worldwide (from Vancouver Island to New Zealand, or, one might say, from PKOLS to Aotearoa) [more inside]
posted by chapps on Jul 8, 2014 - 37 comments

Problem solved!

After the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canadian prostitution laws (previously), the Conservative Party has introduced new measures that would legalize the sale of sex, but that also criminalize the purchase of sex or soliciting in public, print or online. [more inside]
posted by Reversible Diamond-Encrusted Ermine Codpiece on Jun 4, 2014 - 39 comments

SCC Strikes Down Prostitution Laws

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down Canada's prostitution laws saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution are arbitrary and create severe dangers for vulnerable women. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Dec 20, 2013 - 39 comments

No, this is not an Admiralty Court.

Canadian self-described "Freemen" in Alberta have recently attracted a great deal of public attention to themselves. The justice system generally takes a very dim view of their shenanigans, as laid out in one of the most comprehensively researched and bizarre judgment issued in recent memory. Here's a general overview and debunking of the arguments they use. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Sep 23, 2013 - 142 comments

"The teacher, the hitman, and the questions that remain..."

Nicole Ryan, a Nova Scotia teacher, offered a hit man $25,000 to bump off her husband because the police would not protect her from his abuse (longer, audio only). In her first 2010 trial, where she raised the defense of duress, she was aquitted; the Crown's 2011 appeal of that acquittal was dismissed, and her third 2013 trial resulted in a stay. But the victim didn't go on the stand to tell his side of the story. [more inside]
posted by saucysault on Jan 22, 2013 - 75 comments

Insanity, Death, or Abandonment

"A blue cloud of smoke wafted over the Famous Five statue that sits just east of the Senate doors. No one seemed to be going insane or looking like they were about to personally invade the United States. There were people of all colours in the crowd, but if any of them were members of The Ring, they hid it well. The peaceful demonstrators were, however, breaking the law, smoking a banned substance that could in theory have landed any one of them in prison." Emily Murphy’s legacy lives on in more ways than most care to remember.
posted by mannequito on Oct 1, 2012 - 14 comments

British Columbia court legalizes assisted suicide

The British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide, in a whopping 1415-paragraph decision. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Jun 15, 2012 - 57 comments

“So if we continue voting like this in the (House of Commons), there’ll be no b-day for me this year?” tweeted NDP MP Hoang Mai.

It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill" (previously), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest against legislation which many critics have argued goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget. [more inside]
posted by mek on Jun 14, 2012 - 76 comments

SCC OKs Safe Injection Sites

SCC approves safe injection sites. The Supreme Court of Canada today ordered the federal government to stop its efforts to shut down a safe injection clinic in Vancouver, opening the door to more clinics opening across the country. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 30, 2011 - 35 comments

"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."

The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 28, 2011 - 20 comments

Canuck court claims consciousness-less consent clearly crap.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today, in a 6-3 decision, that a person cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious. [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on May 27, 2011 - 109 comments

Marriage Commissioners must wed same-sex couples

Right before the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Thecourt.ca gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it.
posted by Lemurrhea on Jan 19, 2011 - 40 comments

Why doesn't the government have its own shoe stores as well?

Have you ever wondered why you can't get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, etc.? Mark Hicken, a British Colombian lawyer, is a great source of information on the state(s) of Canadian liquor regulations. Sure, a little localised and dry, but that's the terroir, man. Also, he does point out some inanities that have a relatively universal appeal.
posted by converge on Dec 10, 2009 - 27 comments

Turnabout is FairPlay

Canadian Recording Industry Faces $60 Billion Copyright Infringement Lawsuit. [more inside]
posted by findango on Dec 7, 2009 - 46 comments

Canadian Songwriters propose $5 licence fee for P2P

A proposal for the monetization of the file sharing of music from the Songwriters and Recording Artists of Canada. "Most Canadians are aware that the Internet and mobile phone networks have become major sources of music. What they may not know is that songwriters and performers typically receive no compensation of any kind when their music is shared or illegally downloaded... We believe the time has come to put in place a reasonable and unobtrusive system of compensation for creators of music in regard to this popular and growing use of their work."
posted by tranquileye on Jan 29, 2008 - 38 comments

Poverty and the right to council

In 2005, the Supreme Court of British Columbia decided that taxing the legal services of the poor "constitutes indirect taxation and is a tax on justice contrary to the Magna Carta and the Rule of Law." Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the decision, rejecting "the respondent’s contention that there is a broad general right to legal counsel as an aspect of, or precondition to, the rule of law." The case was largely the initiative of Dugald Christie, a Vancouver lawyer and political activist who devoted his life to the cause of improving access to the legal system, before dying on a cross-Canada bicycling fundraiser ten months ago. He is well remembered by lawyers and cyclists.
posted by sindark on May 26, 2007 - 47 comments

Canadian province says child can have 3 parents on birth certificate.

Canadian province says child can have 3 parents on birth certificate. Canada approved 2 mothers and father on birth certificate, allowing the lesbian family and birth father to have full legal parental rights. A major step in Lesbian and Fathers rights. Judicial activism or catching up to the reality of families in modern day? The battle continues.
posted by IronWolve on Jan 4, 2007 - 40 comments

Ontario Judge: Anti-Terrorism Act Unconstitutional

Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal. The act itself was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001 which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
posted by Popular Ethics on Oct 24, 2006 - 13 comments

There's gold in them thar hills

In BC, Canada, you can buy the mining rights to your neighbors' land for a $25 permit and 17 cents an acre, and you can do it all from the comfort of your office chair.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jun 15, 2006 - 20 comments

Not guilty.

Not guilty. It's been nearly 20 years since Air India Flight 182 crashed into the ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard, after a bomb went off in the luggage compartment. Today, the two main suspects in the case were acquitted. Families of the victims are upset, disgusted. Of the 329 victims, 82 of them were under the age of 12. Let's take a moment to remember them; victims of one of the worst terrorist acts prior to September 11th, 2001.
posted by juliebug on Mar 16, 2005 - 53 comments

Sharia? Shuria thing

Sharia recommended to Ontario government. A review of Mumtaz Ali's recommendation to permit legal arbitration by Islamic law has concluded in his cause's favour, recommending that sharia be allowed for family disputes and inheritance cases. Sharia may be joining Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish laws as religious law arbitration options, which is good. But women's groups are worried about the inherent discriminatory nature of sharia, which is bad.
posted by DrJohnEvans on Dec 20, 2004 - 36 comments

Canadian Lawyers Charge Bush with Torture

LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
posted by sunexplodes on Dec 1, 2004 - 66 comments

Breaking updates!

Updating this mefi story here where a set of extremely abusive parents who abused their children into their teens were sentenced to only 9 months prison. A judge now deems that sentence "demonstrably unfit" and resentences the mother and father to 5 and 4 years in jail, respectively. Thanks to t r a c y for the update.
posted by shepd on Nov 5, 2004 - 4 comments

A Day of Wrest

No Sunday shopping in Nova Scotia (apparently some were for and against).
posted by boost ventilator on Oct 17, 2004 - 26 comments

Canada decides to revamp its Copyright Act

Lobby Now! Alan McLeod, Canadian Lawyer, writes "Make sure you are heard as Canada decides to revamp its Copyright Act." He goes on to encourage Canadians to contact the Heritage Minister and weigh in as the Copyright rules in Canada may be about to change.
posted by stevengarrity on Apr 14, 2004 - 1 comment

Ryan Malcolm knows what's up.

In response to Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruling that file sharing was legal in Canada (previously discussed here), Federal Heritage Minister Helene Scherrer has stated that "As minister of Canadian Heritage, I will, as quickly as possible, make changes to our copyright law".

The problem is that Canadian copyright law has been going through a slow and thoughtful reformation process. Since the unveiling of A Framework for Copyright Reform in 2001, a lot of progress has been made in updating the laws to reflect the needs and concerns of content producers, and the public domain. Now, however, it seems that all of this work may be bulldozed by Helene Scherrer, who declared her intentions at the Juno Awards last night.
posted by Jairus on Apr 3, 2004 - 11 comments

Hork. Mix. Burn. (Strange Brew? Anyone? Anyone?)

So, when did Canada become the globe's official Progressive Society Laboratory? They've got the health care, they've got the gay marriage, and now, they've got 100% legal file-sharing -- a judge has ruled that not only is downloading copyrighted material legal, but sharing it is as well. Um, whoa? How long can this stand on appeal? Is anyone here a Canadian legal expert who can tell us about how Canadian copyright law differs from our own? (Tall order, I know...)
posted by logovisual on Mar 31, 2004 - 28 comments

BC Legalizes Gay Marriage

British Columbia joins Ontario as the second province in Canada to allow gay marriage. Not everyone is happy though.
posted by cyberbry on Jul 8, 2003 - 51 comments

Enforcing publication bans

Enforcing silence: American media are unsurprisingly preparing to publish details of Vancouver's Pickton case despite a Canadian publication ban. Are media blackouts censorship, necessary for justice, or both? Or are they just doomed to fail when you can just, you know, do stuff like this?
posted by transient on Nov 21, 2002 - 22 comments

Controversial new bill

Controversial new bill to lay out reproductive technology guidelines. Canadian version of this battle doesn't seem to feature as many religious wackos. It's just not as fun without them.
posted by Leonard on May 9, 2002 - 0 comments

The DMCA, a flawed law responsible for such things as the lawsuit against 2600 and adobe's attempt to prosecute Dmitry Sklyarov is spreading! Canada is starting hearings into its own version of the US's DMCA! Where will all this end? Via /.
posted by bytecode on Jul 28, 2001 - 5 comments

Canadian hate crime laws

Canadian hate crime laws are trying to be applied to filmmakers. Sure they made fake snuff films and there are no victims. So far they have them on an obscenity charge and I thought we had free speech problems.
posted by skallas on Oct 16, 2000 - 5 comments

Man, I love Ontario.

Man, I love Ontario. Monday afternoon, an amazingly significant court trial ruled that possession of marijuana being criminal is unconstitutional, and that new laws need to be written.
posted by cCranium on Aug 2, 2000 - 9 comments

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