It can be hard to keep track of the many cases the Supreme Court of Canada hears each term, and it is difficult to appreciate their significance in the daily lives of Canadians. Over the course of its history, however, the Court has dealt with many tough and crucial issues.
To make legal issues more accessible and to help the public understand what’s going on in Canada’s highest Court, the uOttawa Public Law Centre hosted the first of two events on Wednesday, October 9. During the session, held in front of a packed auditorium, renowned legal experts discussed some the most important cases that will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall.
“The Public Law Group started hosting the sessions in 2013, and since then, they have been a great opportunity for the public and the media to discuss these important legal issues with experts who are able to clearly explain complex legal situations”, explained Professor Kyle Kirkup, the moderator of the event.
- Marina Pavlović, Associate Professor at the uOttawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, analyzed Uber Technologies Inc., et al. v. David Heller, a case that raises important questions about where legal disputes involving Uber, the popular rideshare service, should be resolved.
- Martha Jackman, Full Professor at the uOttawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, helped attendees make sense of Joanne Fraser, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, an equality rights challenge to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s pension scheme.
- Y.Y. Chen, Assistant Professor at the uOttawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, dissected the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness v. Attorney General of Quebec, et al. case, which raises important questions about federal and provincial governance in the area of genetic non-discrimination.
- Nathalie Chalifour, Associate Professor at the uOttawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, explained the Attorney General for Saskatchewan v. Attorney General of Canada case, better known as the Carbon Tax Reference, which asks whether the federal government’s carbon pricing scheme is constitutional.
“The Supreme Court of Canada hears timely and important cases that affect the lives of all Canadians”, explained Kirkup. “For example, one of the major issues in the 2019 federal election is climate change, and this term, one case before the Supreme Court asks whether the federal government’s carbon pricing scheme is constitutional. The Court is likely also to provide some guiding principles on the constitutionality of future environmental law schemes. These are things that matter greatly to the Canadian public, and events like ours help shine a light on them.”
Later this month, a second conference, with a particular focus on issues pertinent to the civil law and to Quebec, will be held on the uOttawa campus.
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