Estate law is the ugliest, nastiest area of legal practice. The cupidity and grasping malevolence that often arise before the corpse is cold can make a misanthrope of a saint. Family law, however, takes a close second. Divorce in particular can bring out far more hostility, selfishness, bitterness, guile, and outright criminality than one would expect from the often lavish wedding ceremony and the solemn promise lasting «till death do us part». Fortunately for prospective litigants and for the legal profession, the Honourable Marvin Kurz of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in his recent decision Alsawwah v Afifi, 2020 ONSC 2883
Two years ago I gave an interview to the Toronto Globe and Mail about what is known as the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), by which Canada and the US recognise each other as countries in which people, with a few specified exceptions, can safely seek refuge. Canada has used the STCA to bar people arriving by land from seeking refuge in Canada. I opined that the STCA and its application violated the constitution, in particular Section 7 of the Charter on «the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except
We are come to the sesquicentennial of what is known as the reception of English common law in Alberta—and indeed also in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Statutes have established 15 July 1870 as the date on which English law took effect in all six of these jurisdictions. English law actually took effect much earlier—in some places perhaps as long ago as 1670, when the British colonial power appointed the Hudson Bay Company to govern much of the area. In practice, however, the Hudson Bay Company did little to impose English law until the nineteenth century.
If you are wrongly denied entry to Canada, consider fighting back. Smail Khaniche fought the government before the Federal Court, and won (Khaniche v Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2020 FC 559). Mr Khaniche, a gentleman from Algeria, had a valid temporary visa and had even visited Canada before without incident. Upon arrival, however, he was «intimidated and insulted by a Canadian immigration officer» (at para 3). The officer became abusive and «attempted to force [Mr Khaniche] to sign a voluntary departure form … without giving [him] an opportunity to read its contents» (at para 19). Mr Khaniche wisely refused to sign a false «voluntary»
[English version follows.] Pour la fête du Canada en 2003 je traduisis «Ô Canada» en latin à partir du texte français. La traduction se trouve ci-dessous, avec une partition et un enregistrement à l’ordinateur que je produisis. Il y a longtemps une dame de Radio-Canada à Vancouver vit cette version latine et m’invita à la chanter à la télévision pour la fête du Canada, ce que j’acceptai de faire, même en m’accompagnant au piano. Hélas ! l’équipe à Montréal (où je vivais) ne s’arrangea pas pour faire l’enregistrement à temps pour la fête. Ainsi l’hymne canadien n’a pas encore été
If you are 18 or older and live in Alberta, you should have a will. Even the Government of Alberta says so. If you die without a will («intestate» in legal terminology), the default rules of the law determine what happens to your estate. It may go to relatives whom you dislike or do not even know; it may even go to the provincial government. All of us will die and will therefore need a will eventually. Everyone knows that. Many adults, however, hesitate to write a will because they imagine that the process is complicated and expensive. But a
Whether you are planning your estate or have been appointed executor, you may wish to know the executor’s duties. Although these duties vary according to the circumstances of the deceased, this short article explains what the executor usually should do in Alberta. This article is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice, for which you should consult a lawyer. Understand the duties of an executor An executor, technically known in law as a personal representative, has a number of important duties, including the following: Making final arrangements, including any funeral or memorial service Preserving and managing the estate’s assets
Many people have been asking me for advice on legal issues arising from coronavirus COVID-19 and the drastic measures being taken to contain the virus. The following information is necessarily general; it does not constitute legal advice. To discuss your specific concerns, please contact me for an appointment. How does COVID-19 affect my civil lawsuit or my criminal charges? There is an entire page on the changes that the courts of Alberta and Canada have made in response to COVID-19. For the time being, the courts are generally hearing only urgent matters. Most hearings and other appointments in court have
Many people have been asking questions about immigration that are related to the coronavirus COVID-19. The following information is current as of 23 March 2020. I shall strive to update it regularly as long as COVID-19 seriously affects immigration, refuge, and travel. I have a visa for permanent residence but have not landed. May I still come to Canada? Yes, if you received your visa before 16 March 2020. You may travel to Canada immediately for the purpose of landing. Please note that you will not be allowed to board a flight to Canada if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
Article written on 15 March 2020. To be updated regularly. In an effort to contain the propagation of coronavirus COVID-19, many courts and other tribunals have introduced temporary changes that I have summarised below. For full details, please consult the relevant Web sites. I offer this summary as a public service; I do not guarantee its exhaustiveness or its ongoing accuracy. Update from 23 March 2020: Only people who need to attend the courthouses on business are allowed to do so. These include parties to litigation, witnesses, counsel, and members of the media. Most scheduled hearings have been postponed or