Tag: charter of rights

09 Jan

An Estate cannot pursue Charter Claims

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In a recent decision Giacomelli v. Canada (Attorney General), the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that an estate cannot continue a claim based on the Charter.

The Deceased was a Canadian citizen of Italian origin who brought a statement of claim against the Government in 2005 for damages relating to his detention at a concentration camp. The Deceased alleged that Canada’s refusal to offer compensation to Italian Canadians while offering compensation to other ethnic minorities was discriminatory and contrary to sections 7 and 15 of the Charter.


The Deceased died in 2006 and his estate trustees obtained an Order to Continue. In 2007, citing Canada (Attorney General) v. Hislop the Government was successful in obtaining a motion varying the Order to Continue so that the Estate could not pursue any claims for relief for Charter based violations. The estate trustees appealed this decision.


The Court of Appeal dismissed the estate trustees’ appeal. Gillese J.A. stated that she was also of the view that Hislop was determinative that an estate cannot continue a claim based on s. 15(1) of the Charter as rights guaranteed by s. 15(1) are personal and end with the death of the affected individual.


Further, Gillese noted that the Supreme Court identified only two exceptions to that principle being, when the individual dies after judgment while an appeal is pending or when the individual dies after the conclusion of argument but before judgment is entered.As these did not apply, the Appeal was dismissed.


Enjoy your weekend,


Diane Vieira

23 Apr

The Gala Tribute to Chief Justice R. Roy McMurtry

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On April 12, 2007, I attended, with colleagues from Hull & Hull LLP, the gala tribute for the Chief Justice of Ontario, The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, who is retiring at the end of May 2007. The event was held at the Toronto Convention Centre.

Prior to the gala, during the day, a conference was held in celebration and remembrance of the 25th anniversary of the Charter of Rights.

The gala event was co-hosted by the Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the President of the Advocates’ Society.

The night was filled with a combination of in person tributes (including from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable James K. Bartleman, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, and The Honourable Madam Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, Justice of Supreme Court of Canada) and those by way of video from various politicians, lawyers, colleagues and friends of the Chief Justice.

Our own Rodney Hull was included with those on the video tribute.

The tributes were a captive and eloquent blend of endearment, high esteem, personal notes and often wit, and covered the Chief Justice’s career as a lawyer, the Chairman and CEO of the Canadian Football League, a politician, his tenure as the Attorney General of Ontario and the Solicitor General of Ontario, his significant role in the patriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1982 and the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights, and his appointments as, or to, Canada’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Great Britain, the Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court (Trial Division) in Ontario (1991), the Chief Justice of that Court (1994) and the Chief Justice of Ontario (1996).

Believe it or not, towards the end of the evening, the Justices of the Court of Appeal sang a “tribute” to the Chief Justice (prepared lyrics to the music of “This land is our land, this land is your land”).

Before the night was over, two of the Chief Justice’s children, one of whom is a Judge of the Queen’s Bench in Alberta, and the other, apparently an actor/writer/comedian, spoke, or what might fairly be described as a roasting, of their father.

It was truly an impressive evening by and on all accounts, for an inspirational man considered by many to be a nation builder.




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