watson ja (EX OFFICIO)

3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
15.2: New rules apply to existing proceedings
15.6: Resolution of difficulty or doubt

Case Summary

The Applicant, Larouche, filed an Originating Notice on April 18, 2006 seeking a declaration that the former Chief Justice of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench made an unlawful administrative decision by setting a pre-condition for scheduling bail release hearings. The release condition set by the Chief Justice was that no accused’s motion for bail would be set on the hearing list until the accused arranged with Crown Counsel to have all of their other outstanding warrants also set down to be heard either in advance of or at the same time as the requested bail hearing. The Applicant asserted that this direction was contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was ultra vires or was otherwise contrary to law. The impugned direction was repealed by the Court in February 2014. The Crown, as Respondent, cross-applied under Rule 7.3 to summarily dismiss the Claim on the basis that the underlying Originating Application was moot.

As a preliminary matter, Watson J.A. noted that, by operation of Rule 15.2, the Applicant’s Originating Notice under the former Rules was automatically transformed into an Originating Application under Division 2, Part 3 of the current Rules. However, neither party raised the issues of delay or procedural defect, so Justice Watson did not need Rule 15.6 to rectify any process.

Watson J.A. stated that, from a “process perspective”, Summary Judgment can be granted if a disposition that is fair and just to both parties can be made on the existing record. His Lordship went on to note that, from a “substantive prospective”, Summary Judgment would only be granted if there was no merit to the Claim. Combining these two elements, Watson J.A. stated that a case will be found to have merit where there is a genuine dispute over a potentially decisive material fact that cannot be summarily found against the non-moving party, on the particular record revealed in a “fair and just process”. The Court also cautioned that the merit analysis under Rule 7.3 should not be confused with the analysis undertaken under Rule 3.68, as the underlying focus of the two Rules is distinct. Watson J.A. held that the Application was moot. Accordingly, the Originating Application of the Applicant was dismissed.

View CanLII Details