New Scholarship:The Attorney General’s Forgotten Role as Legal Advisor to the Legislature: A Comment on Schmidt v Canada (Attorney General)

CALE member Andrew Martin has a new article up on SSRN (published in UBC Law Review).

Here is the abstract:

In Schmidt v Canada (Attorney General), the Federal Court of Appeal interpreted a series of provisions requiring the Minister of Justice to inform the House of Commons if government bills or proposed regulations are “inconsistent with” the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Canadian Bill of Rights. The Federal Court of Appeal, like the Federal Court below, held that these provisions are triggered only where there is no credible argument for consistency. In doing so, both Courts relied, in part, on a separation of powers argument. They stated that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General is not a legal advisor to Parliament. However, this statement was a legal error: federal legislation provides that the Attorney General is, as a matter of law, a legal advisor to Parliament.

Regulatory Developments in Ontario

Several significant motions passed at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Convocation meeting today, including a motion dealing with a name change and a motion dealing with alternative business structures.

With respect to the name change, “Convocation voted overwhelmingly to change the Law Society’s name at its next meeting in November and to discontinue use of the words “Upper Canada.” For more details, see here. A lively debate on this issue that took place before today’s vote can also be found at on Slaw.ca here.

Regarding alternative business structures, “Convocation approved, in principle, a policy to permit lawyers and paralegals to provide legal services through civil society organizations (CSOs), such as charities and not-for-profit organizations.” For more details, see here.