• By: Allen Brown

5 top Canadian law cases that could change Canadian laws

Are you trying to learn more about Canadian law cases and how they impacted Canada? Read this article to learn more about the cases that made a difference.

Between 2017 and 2018, nearly half a million court cases were initiated in Canada. Canadian law cases have the potential to change the way you move through life. Yet, most Canadians aren't even aware of these rulings.

Want to brush up on the latest Supreme Court cases and what their decisions could mean for you and your neighbours? Keep reading for the five most influential rulings of the last decade.

1. The Case of Michael Ching Mo Yeung

In 1996, Chinese citizen Michael Ching Mo Yeung became a permanent resident of Vancouver. While Ching Mo Yeung was fighting for Canadian citizenship, the courts uncovered something surprising.

Ching Mo Yeung was Cheng Muyang, a wanted fugitive in China. This led the courts to deny his access to Canadian citizenship.

His case is still ongoing, but the Refugee Protection Division recently wrote in Ching Mo Yeung's favour. If he is granted citizenship, this could mean the alleged 26 other Chinese fugitives in Canada could have a case for citizenship, too.

2. Frank v. Canada

In 2019, Gillian Frank filed a complaint about her voting rights. Though she was a Canadian citizen, she'd lived abroad for many years. Canadian law previously stated that citizens living abroad for more than five years couldn't legally vote.

Frank ultimately won in the Supreme Court and the Canada Elections Act was amended. Today, Canadian citizens can vote regardless of their residency. This is a big step forward in granting more democratic rights for voters.

3. The Case of Barrett Jordan

Barrett Jordan was arrested and charged for drug trafficking in 2008. Yet, he didn't see his day in court until five years later, in 2013. It was there that Barrett's attorneys alleged that the trial was illegal under Canadians' right to be tried in a reasonable amount of time.

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in Jordan's favour. Now, there is a limit to how long a case can go without being tried. For province courts, a case must be tried within 18 months while a superior court case must see a trial within 30 months.

4. Carter v. Canada

After the late Kay Carter was forced to fly to Switzerland for a medically-assisted death, her family challenged Canada's assisted dying laws. Before 2015, medical assistance in dying was 100 per cent illegal in all territories.

Carter v. Canada changed all that when the Supreme Court lifted the ban. The court ruled the ban an infringement of citizens' rights to life, liberty, and security. Since then, the law has eased up on citizens seeking medical assistance in dying.

5. Canada v. Bedford

In Canada v. Bedford, three sex workers challenged laws criminalizing prostitution. They claimed these laws forced them to operate in a shadowy underground.

Citing citizens' rights to security, the Supreme Court agreed. Today, there are limits on where and how prostitutes can work. Still, Canada v. Bedford laid the groundwork for more constitutional rights for the sex working industry.

Canadian Law Cases Could Soon Impact You

Laws in Canada are constantly changing. Soon, one of the many Canadian law cases tried in the Supreme Court could affect you.

Make sure you stay in the know about all things B.C. law. Keep scrolling for more of the latest news and updates!