Imagery of a cyber lock and password. Thinkstock.com

Computer Privacy and Security: Lawful and Unlawful Access

Canadians increasingly store or access personal information on their computers and mobile devices, much of which can be accessed by others, whether lawfully or not. Cybercrime, or computer crime, is also increasing. As technology advances, cybercriminals are using more sophisticated methods that make it easier for them to avoid detection. The challenge for lawmakers has…

Supreme Court of Canada

Are you Ready to Legislate?

Dara Lithwick Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Government legislation often overshadows the important role played by individual members of Parliament and senators in proposing laws. Since 1910, 278 bills sponsored by MPs and senators have been passed by Parliament, 43 in the 41st Parliament alone. Of the 43 receiving royal assent, some designated various days, such as…

Picture of the Canadian mosaic

International Context for Refugee Protection

Sandra Elgersma Legal and Social Affairs Division More people than ever before have been displaced from their homes around the world as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence and human rights violations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that, by the end of 2014, this population had reached an all-time…

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Parliament and the Courts: Balancing the Roles

Maxime Charron-Tousignant Robin MacKay Legal and Social Affairs Division The role of judges and the courts in the evolution of Canadian law must be examined in the Canadian federal and constitutional context. It is closely linked to the role of Parliament and the provincial legislative assemblies (legislative branch). The judicial branch is independent, and its…

Supreme Court of Canada Building

The Role of the Supreme Court of Canada – Membership and the Nomination Process

Maxime Charron-Tousignant Robin MacKay Legal and Social Affairs Division The Supreme Court of Canada was created by Statute in 1875 and since that time its membership and nomination process have evolved considerably. The Court acts as a general court of appeal for Canada, deriving its authority from section 101 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and…

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In retrospect: The 10th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision in Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, and the Future of Parliamentary Privilege

Dara Lithwick Legal and Social Affairs Division Ten years ago, in May 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision that clarified the scope and application of parliamentary privilege. The decision, in Canada (House of Commons) v. Vaid, was the third parliamentary privilege case heard by the Supreme Court following the advent of…