The Year in Review 2012

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION  I     PART 1        Jones v Tsige       Bedford v Canada (AG)       R v Baldree       Temoin v Martin       R v Pham       Mihalyko (Re)       Darcis v Manitoba       Small v NB Liquor       Lewis v Central Credit       Mor-Town v MacDonald       Statutory Interpretation       Clarification of the Law       Internet Luring       Constitutional Challenges       Universities and the Charter       Aboriginal Law       Class Actions       Legal Process       Jurisdiction  II    PART 2        Bedford v Canada (AG)       Evidence Law       Privacy law  III   CONCLUSION 


In 2008, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review began its Year in Review Project. The original goal of the project was to produce a yearly article reviewing the significant judgments out of appellate courts from across Canada. In 2009, Year in Review editors added an online component. The goal became twofold: not only to continue to provide a year-end review article like this one, but also to post timely summaries of significant cases to the website. The scope of the project has always been all Canadian appellate court cases (save for those of the Quebec Court of Appeal). Summaries posted to the website are spare, focusing on only the significant aspects of the cases, and are free of editorial comment. The Year in Review strives to offer students, practitioners, judges, and academics a succinct survey of changes in the law from across the country. The database is accessed free of charge, via a link from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review website.

Decisions are determined to be significant for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, they might be found to have effected a change in the law. Unexpected applications of unchanged law are likewise significant. Occasionally, unusual fact situations merit review. Some decisions have interesting theoretical implications. New and extended applications of statutory rules are noteworthy. And certain cases will have a political or practical importance outside the law proper. Working in groups, associate and articles editors read the thousands of cases reported across Canada every year in search of that small proportion that--on the basis of these editors' hard work and close attention--makes up the substance of our print and electronic review. While the website provides something in the way of a real-time reporter, our year-end article aims to highlight a small selection of the most meaningful cases reviewed, and to structure this more in-depth review around a few important themes.

It is our hope that the Year in Review website is found to make a useful contribution to contemporary case reporting. The vast number of appellate cases heard across this country in any given year makes close attention on the part of any one individual reader practically impossible. To be sure, it offers challenge enough for a team of busy (if keen and talented) students. The student-editors benefit from the challenge in several ways, however. First and foremost, they gain a great deal of experience reading and understanding cases quickly, and then writing concise summaries. Further, they find themselves engaged with current case law in ways that inform their developing interests, their term assignments, and perhaps ultimately their careers. Oftentimes the full import of a case reviewed is revealed only with the passage of time. Student-editors gauge the evolution of their understanding of law in looking back on summaries written months ago.


In Part 1, we consider in brief a variety of cases that were found significant. These are representative of the kind of summaries (or "blurbs" as we refer to them) that we upload to our Year in Review blog. Part 2 presents the handful of the more significant cases discussed in fuller detail.


In 2012, a number of cases made significant changes to the law. Among the most interesting of these must be the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Jones v Tsige. …