At first blush, the result in North End Community Health Association v. Halifax (Regional Municipality), 2012 NSSC 330 is striking. A municipality's decision to sell an old school to a property developer was held to be unlawful because it breached a duty of fairness to local non-profit organizations and because it was sold at less than market value.
Saturday 29 September 2012
Thursday 20 September 2012
One of the cardinal principles of administrative law is that a decision-maker should never fetter his or her discretion. A recent case involving a claim for reimbursement for medical marijuana illustrates the principle nicely: Heilman v The Workers’ Compensation Board, 2012 SKQB 361.
Wednesday 19 September 2012
Osgoode's twitter feed alerted me yesterday that Sean Rehaag has an interesting empirical analysis of judicial review determinations by the Federal Court on SSRN. His dataset includes leave determinations and determinations on the merits in refugee cases.
Monday 17 September 2012
You know when academics say, "Some of my best ideas come from students"? Sometimes, we mean it.
I have previously blogged about the place of precedent in modern Canadian administrative law. The basic idea is not difficult to grasp. In Canada there is no presumption that there is a "right" answer to any question of law or discretion that arises before administrative bodies. Accordingly, administrative bodies are not bound by their previous decisions. As long as the decision in any given case is reasonable, then it should not be struck down just because the administrative body previously reached a different decision.
There is much interest in the United States these days in the "unwritten constitution". Better late than never, those of us schooled in the Old World might mutter. Snark aside, one of the spin-offs is some interesting work on the place of administrative law in this unwritten constitution. Americans have long been troubled by the constitutional legitimacy of the administrative state, so the surge of interest is not surprising. I have previously mentioned recent contributions by Gillian Metzger and Adrian Vermeule.
Tuesday 11 September 2012
You may be baffled by the gun registry decision, even having read my earlier explanatory post. You might think along the following lines: the federal government set this registry up in the first place, using its power to enact criminal laws, by making it an offence not to register certain weapons. If that is so, the federal government is surely entitled to subsequently decide to close the registry and destroy the data. They made it, so they can unmake it, right? You can't just leave all that data lying around!
Major kudos must go to the Québec government's team of lawyers, who masterminded the challenge which resulted yesterday in the grant of a permanent injunction against the destruction of the long-gun registry data by the federal authorities.
Thursday 6 September 2012
Blogging has been light recently: teaching, writing and administrative commitments, allied to some technical problems, have been holding me up.