Mar 20, 2014
March 14, 2014
Kim Arnot, The Lawyers Weekly
A British Columbia Court of Appeal ruling that judges there may only preside over hearings that take place within the province offers a new challenge in the quest for efficient management of national class action cases, according to experts in the field.
“The question was whether traditional principles should bend in light of modern needs,” said Chris Naudie, who co-chairs the national class action specialty group at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt. While the lower courts ruled that they should, the B.C. Court of Appeal decision found that longstanding common law principles should be respected, barring legislative change.
While the decision may not have much practical impact on the current administration of cases, which typically already involve a link to a live courtroom, it is still noteworthy, said Naudie.
“There is an important point of legal principle out there and it’s likely to create a significant obstacle to ongoing efforts to improve the co-ordination of national class actions in Canada,” he said.
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