2.10: Intervenor status
14.2: Application of general rules
14.37: Single appeal judges

Case Summary

The Applicant sought permission to intervene in an Appeal pursuant to Rules 2.10, 14.2(1) and 14.37(2), which the Court noted were the relevant Rules on the Application. The Appeal concerned a habeas corpus Application made by an inmate concerning conditions of incarceration upon being placed within a correctional institution. The Applicant was a not for profit society comprised of lawyers, articling students, and law students who provide legal advice, representation, and advocacy for incarcerated individuals. The Applicant argued that it had broad experience and expertise in the areas of law engaged by the Appeal, and would not raise new issues on the Appeal.

The Respondent argued that the Application was brought only 13 days before the hearing and that created insurmountable problems for the remaining parties to respond and adequately prepare for oral argument.

Justice Feehan confirmed that the test for granting leave to intervene is a two step process which requires the Applicant to demonstrate: (1) either that they will be directly and significantly affected by the outcome of the Appeal, or that they have special expertise or perspective relating to the subject matter of the Appeal that will assist the Court in its deliberations, and (2) that they have a fresh perspective on the subject matter that will be helpful in resolving the Appeal. Feehan J.A. also endorsed the additional factors to be considered as set out by the Court of Appeal in Pedersen v Alberta, 2008 ABCA 192.

Justice Feehan found that the Applicants would be specially affected by the outcome of the Appeal as it would have a significant effect on its ability to achieve its mandate. Feehan J.A. found that the Applicant had special expertise or insight regarding the issues before the Court, and that their arguments would not merely repeat those of the Appellant. Justice Feehan also found that despite the short timeline, the Respondent would have an opportunity to reply to the Applicant’s submissions, such that there would be no prejudice or delay. The grounds on which the Applicant sought leave to intervene on were questions of a legal nature which would not risk transforming the Court into a political arena.

The Application for permission to intervene was granted with conditions.

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