Our office is passionate about pursuing strategic litigation to challenge unfair and unjust laws. We are proud of the work we have done to move the law forward in areas where a client or a group of people were unfairly impacted by a lawin some way. These cases have included the following cases that we brought to Supreme Court of Canada as lead counsel:
R. v. Wong, 2018 SCC 25 – The Supreme Court of Canada clarified the law applicable to persons seeking to withdraw a guilty plea because they were not informed of the serious collateral immigration consequences that automatically resulted from their plea. The law was previously interpreted differently by the Courts of Appeal across Canada, and many jurisdictions applied a standard that did not allow a guilty plea to be withdrawn for this reason alone. This approach recognized the unfairness caused to persons who would not have pleaded guilty, had they been properly informed that they might be deported from Canada as a result.
Tran v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness),  2 SCR 289 – The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal that had found a person sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 6 months or more, who was inadmissible for that reason, included persons sentenced to Conditional Sentence Orders (which are sentences served in the community that tend to be longer than comparable prison sentences). The Court recognised that this was an inequitable result that unfairly impacted persons who had committed an offence that was less serious than persons who were not captured by the provision, and so found CSOs not to be terms of imprisonment for the purposes of IRPA.
B010 v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration),  3 SCR 704 – The Supreme Court of Canada found the lower courts unreasonably interpreted the inadmissibility provision of “people smuggling” under s. 37(1)(b) of IRPA. The Court found the definition had to comply with international law, which contemplated the requirement that a person have acted to assist asylum‑seekers to enter Canada in order to obtain a financial or other material benefit in the context of transnational organized crime (rather than merely for humanitarian or mutual aid purposes).
R. v. Appulonappa,  3 SCR 754 – The Supreme Court of Canada found s. 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the criminal offence of organizing entry into Canada) to be overly broad and contrary to s. 7 of the Charter. The Court read in exceptions that included family members, humanitarians, and persons engaging in mutual aid.
We have assisted with many cases and issues that were equally important before the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Immigration Division, the Immigration Appeal Division, the Refugee Protection Division, the Refugee Appeal Division, the BC Supreme Court and the BC Court of Appeal.