In the milestone case of Kravitz v. General Motors, the Supreme Court of Canada has recently confirmed that a contract of sale confers on the buyer a right of action against the manufacturer, as distinct from the seller, under the legal warranty against latent defects. The obligation to answer for latent defects is inherent in the sale, and the action to enforce that obligation becomes available, as a incidental right, to subsequent owners of the thing sold, who may proceed directly against the manufacturer.
This important case reinforces the prevalent tendency in Quebec case-law and legal writing towards better safeguards for the consumer. Interesting vistas are opened in this paper by comparing the principles underlying the Supreme Court's decision in Kravitz with French and American rules on manufacturer's liability. This exercise further highlights the significance of Kravitz in regard of the present state of the law and of legislative reforms currently under consideration.
The decisions rendered last December by the Supreme Court of Canada in Blaikie and Forest and in the Reference concerning the Senate are closely related. They curtail Canadian constitutional amending powers, especially those which were thought to have been repatriated in 1949. The reasons of the Court in these cases are commented upon and their impact is assessed. The author submits that the Supreme Court deviates from the principle of a Constitution similar to that of the United Kingdom. It gives itself too much leeway and not enough to Parliament and legislatures. But at the same time, the Supreme Court appeared to take account of constitutional propriety in construing a power which Ottawa gained unilaterally. The overall result is so favourable to the status quo that it increases the necessity for a fresh pact to be negotiated.
In the last decade of the 19th century, the English law of securities had already reached an advanced stage of development. Reception of that law seemed desirable throughout the British Empire. In Quebec, however, wholesale introduction of English concepts and rules could not easily be reconciled with the civil law system. This paper shows how the English law of securities, as it was perceived by writers and judges in Canada, gradually gained currency in many provincial incorporating statutes. This process culminated in the enactment by the Quebec Legislature of the Special Corporate Powers Act of 1914. The paper concludes with a description of the contents of this Act and its evolution up to the present day.
This paper, based on a public lecture given in October, 1979, at the Faculty of Law of Laval University, gives an account of recent developments in English administrative law concerning the concepts of fairness and reasonableness.
Tracing back the origins of the concept of fairness and its revival in Ridge v. Baldwin, the paper illustrates its current use by discussing several recent cases where Lord Denning's thinking appears to have had a strong influence. The contents of the administrator's duty to act fairly is described by the metaphor of a sliding scale allowing for a great diversity of requirements to suit the variety of statutory contexts.
As to the concept of reasonableness, the paper brings out its close affinities with private law, and its progressive introduction as a standard by which courts rule on the legality of administrative decisions. This process has recently culminated in the Tameside and Laker cases, which are discussed at length.
Both fairness and reasonableness may be shown to have rough equivalents in other European legal systems. The recent case of R. v. Barnsley Borough Council, ex p. Hook may point to another ground for cross-influences between English, French and German administrative law, especially in the context of EEC law : a concept of « proportionality » may be emerging in England — a distant outgrowth of the prohibition against « excessive fines » and « cruel and unusual punishment » in the Bill of Rights.
This paper is an account of the last phase in the work of the Research Project on Children and Young Persons' Law set up in 1974 within the Faculty of Law, Laval University. Its aim is to throw light through a comparative exercise, on the main features and deficiencies of the Youth Protection Act adopted by the Quebec Legislature on December 13, 1977 and progressively put in force over the period ending January 15, 1979. Having in mind the social, legal and cultural context of Quebec, the authors selected for comparative study the legislation on youth protection in England, Belgium, France and the States of New York and California. These had in any case been the legal systems whose influence was most strongly felt in the preparation of the Quebec Act. The paper first attempts to outline the philosophy underlying each of these systems. It then focuses on the provisions for remedial action both in respect of children living in unhealthy or dangerous conditions and of young offenders.
The present study deals with two particular aspects of the problem of retrospective operation of criminal statutes.
The principle of the retrospective operation of a procedural statute, as will be seen first, bears some exceptions. S. 36 of the Interpretation Act in particular prescribes that the retrospective operation of procedural enactments takes place only to the extent that the new rules of procedure may be adapted to proceedings taken before the new rules came into effect (R. v. Mustapha Ali).
Yet, as will be seen subsequently, it is often very difficult to distinguish between an enactment of substantive nature and one of procedural nature in order to give a retrospective operation to the latter only. This difficulty arose particularity after the modifications of the Criminal Code concerning the offence of driving a motor vehicle with more than a specified proportion of alcohol in the blood (R. v. Johnston).
After a brief discussion of those two cases, the author suggests that it is the duty of the legislator to indicate in clear terms what the retrospective operation of a new statute will be, in order to avoid many problems of interpretation.
Credit factoring has become over the years an important method of obtaining capital and adequate financing for medium size business. Although factoring imports a special relationship between the factor and his client, it is essential to keep in mind that the relationship with third parties is governed in such cases by the general rules of the Civil Code on assignment of book debts. The Faucher case discussed herein illustrates the applicability to factoring situations of the rules embodied in article 1571d) of the Civil Code.