The CBA statement on Hryniak decision at SCC

  • January 27, 2014

Ottawa — The CBA welcomes today’s Supreme Court decision in Hryniak v. Mauldin. The CBA, represented by Ontario members Paul Sweeny and David Sterns, intervened in the case, and their submission has helped create real change: the ruling in Hryniak should make justice more accessible, swifter and less costly.

The CBA has long been addressing access to justice issues, especially the “formidable barriers” that litigants face in today’s civil justice system. In Hryniak, the Supreme Court responded to these concerns by emphasizing that judges should not be forced into an “all or nothing” choice between paper-based summary judgment hearings and full-scale trials. Instead, the Court affirmed the broader role that could be played by summary judgment motions, which, in most cases, can be heard more quickly and with far less expense than typical trials.

The CBA is pleased that the nation’s top court has endorsed principles the CBA has been advancing for years. The Court recognized that the appeal involved the very “values and choices underlying our civil justice system, and the ability of ordinary Canadians to access that system.”  

In endorsing a more expansive role for summary judgment motions, the Court has helped dismantle some of the barriers ordinary Canadians confront.  “We welcome the Court’s decision, and we thank our counsel, as well as all of our members who have worked on this issue over the years, for time and effort they’ve put into making justice easier to come by,” says CBA President Fred Headon, of Montreal.