This Week at the SCC (03/10/2014)

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a judgment in one case and denied leave to appeal in another case of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), a majority of the Court ruled that a provincial rule requiring the payment of court hearing fees, with limited exemptions, was unconstitutional, as it infringed litigants’ right to access to justice.  The majority of the Court ruled that, in order to pass constitutional muster, such fees cannot be so high as to cause litigants to “sacrifice reasonable expenses in order to bring a claim.”

In Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec v. Conseil pour la protection des malades, the Court refused to grant leave to appeal a decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal which had awarded moral damages to a class comprised of patients whose surgeries had been postponed as a result of employment-related protest actions taken by the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec against the Minister of Health and Social Services.

2014 QCCA 459 2014 SCC 59 access to justice court hearing fees Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec v. Conseil pour la protection des maladies leave to appeal rule of law Supreme Court of Canada This Week at the SCC Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General) unconstitutional

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