Privacy in the Courts

Privacy in the Courts: A quarterly review provides a practical, efficient and accessible resource to help busy in-house counsel, Chief Privacy Officers and compliance professionals navigate recent court decisions and gain a broad understanding of how privacy law is evolving in Canada. Each article provides an overview of the facts and decision related to each case, as well as a discussion of the key points. Expertly written commentary helps users identify trends over time and gain insights into the potential implications for their organizations. 

The Summer 2020 edition is now available with 17 informative case summaries!

Below is a sample summary from this latest edition:

Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of Genetic Non-Discrimination Act

Reference re Genetic Non Discrimination Act, 2020 SCC 17, July 10, 2020


This was an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of the Quebec government’s challenge to the constitutionality of Canada’s 2017 Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNDA). The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that the law fell outside federal jurisdiction over criminal law and intruded upon areas of provincial jurisdiction.

The appeal was brought, not by the federal Attorney-General, but rather by the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness, a group that had been an intervenor in the Court of Appeal proceedings. Notwithstanding the fact that the validity of a federal law was at issue, the federal Attorney-General sided with the Attorney-General of Quebec in arguing that the law was unconstitutional. This strange situation was due to the origins of the law. It was introduced and passed as a Senate bill before coming to the House of Commons. The federal government believed that it was unconstitutional and cabinet did not support it. However, given the subject matter of the bill, the government allowed a free vote in Parliament. The result was that the bill passed by a vote of 222 in favour and 60 against.


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