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Legislative reform and equal access to the justice system: An examination of Alberta’s new minor injury cap in the context of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This article surveys the provisions in Alberta's new legislation limiting recovery for motor vehicle accident victims suffering from minor injury. The author argues that the legislation effectively limits access to the justice system for a class of persons (those suffering minor injury) and this constitutes a violation of the equality guarantee in s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She then outlines the practical impact of the legislation and employs the Law Test with reference to Nova Scotia (Workers' Compensation Board) v. Martin and Hemandez v. Palmer. These two cases dealt with situations where legislative distinctions between types of injury sufferers were struck down and upheld, respectively. The author emphasizes notions of fairness and access to the justice system in concluding that Alberta's legislation is an example of poor civil justice reform because it discourages and impedes deserving claims. The article concludes by urging a reconsideration of the legislation even in the absence of a constitutional challenge. | Cet article passe en revue les dispositions de la nouvelle legislation de 1 'Alberta limitant le recouvrement pour les victimes d'accidents automobile ayant subi une ldsion ljgkre. L 'auteurfait valoir que la ldgislation limite I'accbs au systkme judiciaire pour une classe de personnes (notamment, celles ayant subi une Idsion lggre), ce qui constitue une infraction des Droits biI 'Vgalitdd critsb t I 'article 15 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libert~s. Ensuite, elle donne les grandes lignes des ripercussionspratiquesd e la ligislation et a recours au Law Test en faisant refirence, aux causes Nova Scotia (Workers' Compensation Board) c. Martin et Hemandez c. Palmer. Is 'agit de deux causes oih les distinctions ligislatives entre les types de personnes lisdes ont dt respectivement annulies et accueillies. Dons so conclusion, l'auteur souligne les notions d'equitd et d 'accbs au systdme judiciaire et elle ddclare que la Idgislation de 1 'Alberta est un exemple de mauvaise rdforme de lajustice civile puisqu 'elle dissuade et fait obstacle aux rdclamations dignes d 'intrdrt

  • Date created
    2005
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3474759H
  • License
    © 2005 Barbara Billingsley et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Billingsley, B. (2005). Legislative reform and equal access to the justice system: An examination of Alberta’s new minor injury cap in the context of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Alberta Law Review, 42(3), 711-739. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/alblr42&div=32&g_sent=1&collection=journals
  • Link to related item
    http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/alblr42&div=32&g_sent=1&collection=journals