Vol. 35, No. 29 lawyersweekly.ca DECEMBER 4, 2015
WILLS, ESTATES, TRUSTS
Undue benefits ruled
in Humane Society case
can be costly
Pricey mistake to take
no position on motion
Struggles of an
BUSINESS & CAREERS
Early career challenges
were worth it for many
Military defence Charter thrust
parried in Supreme Court ruling
Decision casts wide net for prosecution of Canadian Armed Forces members
ruling seen as
The Supreme Court’s refusal to
constitutionally entrench “
legislative bilingualism” in Alberta
moves the fight for French language services in that province
back to the political realm, say
language rights advocates.
The court divided 6-3 on Nov.
20 to dismiss the appeals of two
francophone Albertans who challenged their English only traffic
tickets in 2008.
They argued that Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act was invalid because
the province was constitutionally
obliged to enact its laws in both
French and English by virtue of
the historic bargain Canada struck
in 1867 with the Metis and other
inhabitants of Rupert’s Land and
the North-Western Territory to
annex the Hudson Bay Company
controlled lands (comprising the
Prairies and the North, including
parts of Ontario and Quebec).
Gilles Caron and Pierre Boutet
won in provincial court, but lost
at Alberta’s Court of Queen’s
Bench and Court of Appeal.
They struck out for the third
and last time at the Supreme
Court where the majority did not
agree that Alberta is obliged to
enact, print and publish all its
laws in both languages pursuant
The Supreme Court has repelled
a sweeping Charter attack on
the military justice system in a
landmark decision that rejects
a constitutional challenge for
Justice Thomas Cromwell’s
9-0 judgment Nov. 19 concludes
that, pursuant to the National
Defence Act, military authorities
can opt to prosecute Canadian
Armed Forces members under
the Code of Service Discipline for
nearly all crimes and federal
infractions committed within
Canada—from sex assault to
copyright infringement — even if
the misconduct occurs outside
the military context.
The effect of the decision in R.
v. Moriarty,  SCC 55 is to
preserve the military justice system’s parallel jurisdiction over
“Bottom line, the Supreme
Court of Canada stated that the
purpose of the military justice
system is to deal with matters
that pertain both directly and
indirectly to military discipline,”
said Lieutenant Commander
Mark Létourneau, co-counsel for
the four appellant Forces mem-
bers who were variously con-
victed by service tribunals below
of sex, drug and fraud crimes.
The decision “means that each
and every conduct committed by
a military person is subject to”
the Code of Service Discipline,
“It really boils down to status: if
you’re military, or if you’re sub-
ject to the code, that’s it. You’re
going to be under the jurisdiction
of military courts—no matter
Létourneau, Page 26 Grammond, Page 3
Lieutenant Commander Mark Létourneau, left, and Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Bruno Cloutier, seen above in
Ottawa, were part of a defence team that launched an unsuccessful Charter appeal before the Supreme Court
of Canada regarding the breadth of powers within the military to prosecute Canadian Armed Forces members.
DaviD Chan for The Lawyers weekLy
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