Applicant raised serious issue, suitable for adjudication

Constitutional Law - Procedure in constitutional challenges - Standing

Applicant was law professor with expertise in constitutional law and national security. Applicant initiated challenge to s. 12 of National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act, alleging that it contravened inherent constitutionally protected right of Parliamentary privilege. Section 12 of Act prevents Parliamentary privilege from being invoked if member of National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is prosecuted for disclosing protected information. Application judge denied applicant public interest standing to advance this challenge. Applicant appealed. Appeal allowed. Application judge erred in principle in denying applicant standing. Applicant's public interest standing should be recognized. Applicant raised serious issue, suitable for adjudication. Applicant had demonstrated genuine interest in issue, having published on topic and having participated in committee hearings relating to legislation. Challenge applicant wished to bring was reasonable and effective way to bring matter before court. He was highly competent and able to represent constitutional issues at stake, and clearly motivated to do so. Applicant was granted public interest standing.

Alford v. Canada (Attorney General) (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 13132, 2019 ONCA 657, David M. Paciocco J.A., Harvison Young J.A., and B. Zarnett J.A. (Ont. C.A.); reversed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 14423, 2018 ONSC 3984, W.D. Newton J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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