Canadian Constitutional & Administrative Law

Canadian Constitutional & Administrative Law

March 2, 2009 Prof. Nergis Canefe (this class taught by Ian Greene) Schedule for tonight: Brief Introductions Course expectations Electronic resources Discussion about readings assigned for this evening Seminar Presentations Commentary on Canadian Legal System Case analysis Major Essay Seminar participation Avoid Plagiarism Name How does your work (current or past) relate to constitutional and administrative law? access to many course readings and powerpoint

presentations . (There will be some handouts.) index.html Adjudication is the dispute- resolution system used in courts. Characteristics? Law applied to facts Judge makes final decision Reasons presented for judgment How is adjudication different from arbitration and mediation?

Arbitration: standards agreed to by disputing parties applied, but not usually the whole body of law Mediation: assistance in listening, understanding, and resolving (contract) What are "legal persons? People, corporations, and governments What's the difference between negative and positive law? Negative law: prohibited from certain behaviours (crim. law) Positive law: positive incentive to change

behaviour (tax deductions for donations to political parties) Main sources of law: statute law (laws created by legislatures) case law (created by judges) Other (informal) sources: Ten Commandments, Magna Carta (1215), canon law, writings of legal scholars (eg. Coke ~ 1630, and Blackstone ~ 1770), community standards (eg. obscenity cases), Hogg's Constitutional Law of Canada. primary and subordinate legislation ratio decidendi; obiter dicta common = general

common law judges "find" the law Parliamentary sovereignty or legislative supremacy. Aggregate legislature can do anything. Seven-fiftyformula; unanimity formula; some-but-not-all formula; provinces alone; feds alone. Constitutional convention Reception: All English Federal gov't: date depends on NB & NS: 1758 Quebec: 1759: French civil law. 1763: English public law PEI: 1763 Ontario: 1792 Newfoundland: 1832 BC: 1858 Man, Alta., Sask: 1870.

statutes enacted prior to reception are law in Canada, unless changed in Canada. when federal laws were inherited from former colonies. Eg. Quebec, 1763; Ont. 1792. Imperial statutes remained in force until Statute of Westminster, 1931. Development of common law courts and courts of equity. Preamble to BNA Act: implied Bill of Rights Barristers and Solicitors Judicial Committee of the Privy

Council (JCPC); 1949. per curiam vs. seriatim England: specialized appeal j's; Canada: generalist appeal j's. ____________________________ | Supreme Court of Canada | | 9 judges | |___________________________| _____________________| | ____|___ ____|____ ________________|________ federal | | | | | | federal appointments | Tax | | Federal | | 10 provincial & 3 territorial | appointments,

& admin. | Court | | Court | | courts of appeal | provincial | 27 js | | 47 js | | 128 judges | administration |______| |________| |_______________________ | | | _____________ |______ | federal | | | appointments | provincial superior | | provincial | trial courts |

| administration | 829 judges | | |__________________ | | |___________________| | | | ___________ |__________ | | (All counts as of 2001) provincial | pure provincial and | appointments | territorial courts | & admin. | 984 judges | |______________________| federal appointments and administration

common law stare decisis adversary system circuit judges: assizes. Why dont judges have to retire until 70 or 75? County and District courts now merged with superior courts judicial independence: purpose to promote judicial impartiality Valente decision (1985) security of tenure financial security judicial control over adjudicative matters judicial discipline: Canadian Jud Council & prov. Jud. Councils (eg. - Hryciuk) Trial Courts: Improvisors (~10%) no single process, but for most outcomes would be the same

Strict Formalists (~ 20%) particular process followed, and always leads to the same conclusion. Pragmatic formalists (~45%) particular process followed (check list, shifting balance, water rising), but judges might decide differently. Intuitivists (~25%) gut feeling Appeal courts: Panel process different Supreme Court of Canada a public law court (~100) leave to appeal (~600 apps) Problems with justice

system for some litigants and lawyers, a game delay in clients interest (about half of trial lawyers) judges limited by adversary system re control of caseflow Role of courts: dispute resolution, prevent abuse of power, official const. philosophers, pawns in other peoples battles Minor appeals heard by a single judge in a higher court (summary conviction appeals) Major appeals heard by the provincial Court of Appeal Ontario has about 18 Court of Appeal judges; usually they sit in panels of 3 (sometimes 5) The Federal Court (Appeal Division) has about a dozen judges; hear cases in panels of 3. Supreme Court (9 judges) most often hears cases

in panels of 7; sometimes panels of 5 or 9. per curiam (or per coram) vs. seriatim decisions Chapter 1 of Boyd The role of law: competing perspectives on legal order Judicial positivism (John Austin, A.V. Dicey, H.L.A. Hart) The only law that exists is the written (positive) law Good judges can generally nterpret the positive law correctly Based on principle of legislative (parliamentary) supremacy as described by A.V. Dicey Social contract theory: democratic elections are the will of the people; the social contract binds judges to enforce laws created by elected legislatures Positivist theorists like Austin and Hart agree that valid law must have a moral content, but disagree about the tipping point about when a law is no longer valid because is it immoral or undemocratic. Natural law (John Locke, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin) There are higher laws that positive law ought to emulate. These higher

laws might be created by religion, logic, or ethical principles. Natural law theorists include Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Hobbes, Spinoza and Rousseau, as well as Locke, Rawls and Dworkin. Locke and Rawls base their natural law theories on contract theory; Dworkin basis his on logical reasoning. Boyd states that the U.S. Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are statements of natural law ideals (11), eg. freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and freedom of conscience and religion. Dworkin and Rawls are often cited by Canadian Supreme Court justices Marxist theory: Marxist theory has evolved considerably since Marx dialectical materialism: in capitalist societies there is always economic exploitation of the most vulnerable, and so the overthrow of the capitalist classes is inevitable Critical Legal Theory a branch of critical theory, which examines institutions from the perspective of class analysis. One of most persuasive: Michael Mandel. Claims such as rule of law often ridiculed. Judicial realism (Karl Llewellyn) Even if judges try to be impartial, the law can never be perfectly clear. What makes judges decide the way they do?

Canadian Judicial realism: Sidney Peck, Peter Russell, many current scholars. Feminist Legal Theory No single feminist theory of law; all analyse the law and legal institutions from the perspective of the impact of male and female stereotypes Stare decisis: a rigid form of doctrine of precedent Ways around stare decisis: Distinguish Ratio is really obiter Per incuriam Emphasize different majority opinion ignore Hierarchy of courts determining application of stare

decisis SCC can choose not to follow precedent. Ont CA: policy: follow What if conflicting precedents? Legislation: primary legislation (enacted by a sovereign legislature, i.e. Parliament or provincial legislature) subordinate legislation (eg. Orders in Council, city bylaws, CRTC regulations) Both are law; subordinate must be cleary authorized by primary Manner and form requirements for judges to recognize a law

Canadas constitution: 1. Written parts a) Canada Act, 1982 (British statute that makes CA, 1982 law and declares that no British statute will in future extend to Canada) b) S. 52 CA 1982: ~30 statutes and orders listed in the schedule to the Schedule to the Const. Act, 1982, most importantly the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the BNA Act; contains division of powers), and the Constitution Act, 1982 (contains the Charter and the five amending formulas) - Others: statutes & orders established new provinces, or amended the BNA Act. Presentation by Frank Belluardo You need to know the bolded parts of the web document for

career purposes CONSTITUTION ACT, 1867 Ss. 56, 57 & 90: reservation and disallowance 91. the "preamble" to S.91 is the "POGG" clause (peace, order and good government): It shall be lawful for [Parliament] to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Canada, in relation to all matters NOT coming within the subject-matters assigned exclusively to the Provinces in S. 92. For greater certainty, Parliament may make laws with regard to matters covered by the following list. However, this list merely provides examples, and these examples are not to be interpreted by courts as limiting Parliament's power. 2. Trade and Commerce 2A. Unemployment insurance (added in 1940) 3. Unlimited taxing powers (direct and indirect) 14. Currency & coinage 15. Banking 24. Indians, and lands reserved for Indians 27. The Criminal Law 92 - 2. Direct taxation 10. Local works and undertakings EXCEPT a) interprovincial railways & telegraphs b) international shipping

c) any works that Parliament has declared are within federal jurisdiction. (declaratory power): eg. Grain elevators, local railways, canals, bridges, some mines, some factories. Used 470 times, but not since 1961. 13. Property and civil rights (meaning private law) 14. The administration of justice in the province, including the establishment of all courts except the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court, and prosecution of criminal cases. 16. All matters of a merely local or private nature. 92A (added in 1982). The provinces can regulate non-renewable natural resources, including forestry and electrical energy, and can even regulate exports. However, the federal government can also regulate exports in this area, and federal laws are paramount. 93. The provinces control education, except that the feds can intervene to protect Roman Catholic schools in Ontario and separate schools in any province that existed at the time the province entered Confederation. 95. Agriculture and Immigration are

concurrent powers (both the feds and the provinces can legislate). If there is a conflict, the federal legislation is paramount. 96. The federal cabinet has the power to appoint all superior court judges in the provinces. 99. Superior court judges cannot be removed except by joint address of the Senate and House of Commons. Superior court judges hold office "during good behaviour" to the retirement age of 75 (to protect judicial independence). 100. The salaries of superior court judges are set by Parliament, not by the cabinet (to protect judicial independence). 101. Parliament may establish a Supreme Court of Canada (which it did in 1875) and other courts to adjudicate federal laws other than the Criminal Code (eg. the Federal Court, which hears federal administrative law cases, and the Tax Court.) 109. The provinces own the natural resources within them. 121. There shall be no customs duties or

restrictions of trade between provinces. 132. Parliament can make any law to implement British Empire treaties, even if the law invades provincial jurisdiction. However, after 1931 the courts interpreted this section to mean that provincial approval is required for any non-British Empire treaty which affects matters under provincial control. 133. English and French can be used in Parliament, and Canada's laws must be in both languages. Likewise, English or French may be used in Quebec's National Assembly, and Quebec's laws must be in both languages. Either language may be used in the courts of Quebec, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Tax Court. Ss 1-34: The Charter of Rights S. 35: Aboriginal rights S. 36: commitment to equalization payments, so that poorer provices can provide adequate services. 1867: Canada independent re its internal affairs Balfour Declaration (1926) and Statute of Westminster (1931): Canada recognized as an

independent state re foreign relations BNA Act (1867) was an imperial statute, therefore could only be amended by British Parliament. 19261981: many failed constitutional conferences. Victoria Charter nearly successful (1971): Amending formula would include Parliament, Ontario, Quebec, 2/4 Western provinces, 2/4 Atlantic provinces. Failed when a new govt elected in Alberta, and Quebec premier couldnt get cabinet to agree. Alberta suggested an alternative: Parliament, and 2/3 of provinces representing 50% of Canadian population. In Canada, there are 5 amending formulas for the constitution: Unanimity formula (Queen, GG, LGs, composition of SCC, senate floor rule, federal language rights, amending formulas some but not all (eg. language within province, denominational school rights, change in prov.

borders) Provinces can amend own constitutions Fed govt can amend its internal constitution General amending formula (seven-fifty): the rest of the constitution (incl div of powers & Charter) can be amended with Parliament, 7 out of 10 provinces representing 50% of pop. Dissenting provinces may opt out, and get reasonable compensation if amendment affects culture or education. 38-40 & 42. The 7-50 formula. Most of the narrow constitution, including the Charter of Rights and the division of powers in ss. 91 and 92 of the C.A., 1867, can be amended with the agreement of seven provinces representing 50% of Canada's population and Parliament.

(That is, either Ontario or Quebec must be included.) Up to 3 provinces could opt out of such an amendment. If they opt out of an amendment which transfers educational or cultural matters to Ottawa, these provinces shall be compensated financially by Ottawa (Ottawa must give to the opting-out provinces what they are spending, per capita, on the opting-in provinces). There is a 3-year time limit which begins with the first resolution for amendment (which could be in any provincial legislature or Parliament). No amendment may take effect according to this procedure until at least one year after the first resolution has passed (unless all governments have passed resolutions). No province can opt out of an amendment affecting: a) proportionate representation of the provinces in the House of Commons b & c) the Senate d) the Supreme Court of Canada e) the extension of existing provinces north

f) establishment of new provinces 41. The unanimity formula. Unanimous agreement of all provincial legislatures and Parliament is required for amendments affecting: a) the Queen, Governor General and LieutenantGovernors b) the "Senate floor rule" (no province can have fewer MPs than Senators). c) the use of English or French in S. 133 or the Charter d) the composition of the Supreme Court, and e) changes to the amending formulas. 43. The "some but not all" forumla: Amendments which affect some but not all provinces need by approved only by the provincial legislatures affected and Parliament. 44. Parliament may amend parts of the constitution that affect only Parliament. 45. Legislatures may amend parts of their constitutions that affect only them. U.S.: Congress proposes amendments (2/3 of both houses)

Proposals have to be ratified by of state legislatures, or of state constitutional conventions Comparison: U.S. constitution amended 17 times in 21 decades (rate .08/year) Canadian constitution amended 32 times in 13 decades (.23 to 1982, and 9 after) (rate .24/year) Canadas constitution is more flexible Major Can. amendments: 1940: unempl ins 1951: old age pensions 1964: old age pensions broadened to include supplementary, survivors, disability (CPP) 1982: Charter and amending formulas 1983: S. 35.1: must be a

constitutional conf including native peoples before native rights amended 1987-1998: 3 amendments to den school rts in Nfld 1997: den school rts Quebec 1993: equality of Fr & Eng in New Brunswick Canada 1927-1982: six failed attempts to find a domestic amending formula 1971 Victoria charter came close 1982: success achieved after SCC decision (discussed later in course) Meech Lake & Charlottetown Accords

(discussed later) U.S.: 6 amendments proposed by Congress but not ratified by states, including ERA (equal treatment of women in all legislation) Impact of court decisions: 1940, 1951 amendments in Canada a reaction to court decisions Civil war amendments in U.S. a reaction to court decisions 1918: SCUS decision led to amendment to prohibit child labour. 1938: Roosevelt threatened to pack court. Court overruled 1918 decision. United States Washington: cabinet advisory & responsible to president

Jefferson: declared that U.S. could purchase new territory; never challenged in court Political parties developed without constitutional amendment Congress assumed vast powers over economy in 1930s and 1940s Canada Feds assume they have power to do something under POGG, or provinces assume they have power to do something under 92(13) After 1995, fed legislation passed to prevent cabinet ministers from proposing amendments under 750 without support of Quebec, Ont, B.C., 2/3 prairie provinces, 2/4 Atlantic; Quebec recognized as distinct society Clarity Act (2000) Was Dicey right that in the U.S.,

judges are supreme because they declare the constitution? Does Diceys analysis apply to Canada? 1. Constitutional conventions -Rule of law -Judicial independence -Responsible government -cabinet responsible to the legislature -Ministerial accountability -Cabinet solidarity -Gov Gen and Lieut Govs must act according to the advice of the first minister, unless that advice is unconstitutional -The leader of the group in H of C or prov leg that can command the support of the majority of members becomes first minister and chooses cabinet. First minister tells GG or LG when to call election, unless another group can form govt 2. The ratio in the judicial decisions about the meaning of the constitution (eg. the ratio in the cases well be studying in this course) Codification of laws Coutume de Paris (1580) Confusion after 1759

Royal Proclamation (1763) Quebec Act 1774 Codification: 1866: Civil Code of Lower Canada (CCLC) 1994: Civil Code of Quebec (CCQ) Deductive Reasoning Inquisitorial System (not in Quebec) Code, la doctrine, precedent Quebec courts: Court of Appeal (s.96) Superior Court (s.96) Court of Quebec (provincial s. 92(14))

Civil and common law approaches coming closer together Stare decisis: a rigid form of doctrine of precedent Ways around stare decisis: Distinguish Ratio is really obiter Per incuriam Emphasize different majority opinion ignore Hierarchy of courts determining application of stare decisis SCC can choose not to follow precedent.

Ont CA: policy: follow What if conflicting precedents? Natural Justice & Fairness Natural Justice Nemo judex in sua causa Audi alteram partem Jurisdictional Abuse of power Natural justice Functions of Admin. Agencies:

Legislative Administrative Executive Judicial or quasi-jud. Judicial review Jud or quasi-jud Doctrine of fairness Privative clauses Cant hide behind priv clause if const issue, or patently unreasonable Rules of Statutory Interpretation (1)

Why are rules needed? Intent of legislature reasonable person test 1.Plain meaning rule 2.golden rule: avoid absurdity & inconsistency 3.What was the mischief & remedy? Specific words help explain general ones nearby Express inclusion of some items implies exclusion of items not mentioned

Aids: Interpretation statutes Definition sections of statutes Rules of Statutory Interpretation (2) More Aids: Context in statute Other similar statutes Legislative history Minimal weight. Why? Books on rules of interpretation, & legal dictionaries

French & English text International conventions & treaties (sometimes) Preamble (but not marginal notes) Headings (except in Ontario excluded by statute) Presumptions Criminal law: in favour of accused Taxation law: in favour of taxpayer

Against alteration of common law Mens rea (guilty mind), unless express absolute liability Against retroactivity Against ousting jurisdiction of courts For crown immunity (now mostly replaced by statutes allowing suits against crown) Every word is deliberate Specific given precedence over general More recent > older Leg. did not intend

drafting error (cts can correct)

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