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Top Five 2004

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Summaries of important legal cases from 2004, as identified by the Honourable Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge of the Ontario Court of Appeal at OJEN’s 2004 Summer Law Institute.

1.  Bouzari v Islamic Republic of Iran (2004), 71 OR (3d) 675 (CA)

A man sought to sue the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ontario for the damages he suffered in Iran at the hands of the Iranian regime.  The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant’s claim against Iran because Canada’s State Immunity Act afforded Iran, a foreign state, immunity from this claim. The full decision is available here.

2. Harper v Canada (AG), 2004 SCC 33, [2004] 1 SCR 827

The leader of the federal party with the third highest number of seats in the House of Commons at time, Stephen Harper, challenged Canada’s election law that limited third party advertising spending. The full decision is available here.

3. R v Hamilton (2004), 72 OR (3d) 1 (CA)

Two Jamaican women pled guilty to drug smuggling.  In court, the judge entered a conditional sentence, which was lighter than usual for the type of crime. The full decision is available here.

4. R v Malmo-Levine; R v Caine, [2003] 3 SCR 571, 2003 SCC 74

In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada was called on to determine whether something must pose a harm or danger to society for it to be regulated by Criminal Law.  A man was convicted of possessing marijuana, and in his defence, he argued that the prohibition against marijuana possession was unconstitutional. The full decision is available here.

5. R v Mann, [2004] 3 SCR 59, 2004 SCC 52

The case outlines the powers of the police when detaining someone as part of an investigation. The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2004

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