March 20, 2009

Canada – Proposed changes to Federal Courts Rules dealing with summary judgment and summary trials

The Rules Committee of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court (“Committee”) has proposed amendments to the Federal Courts Rules regarding summary judgment and summary trials.

The changes address the Committee’s concerns on the current judicial interpretation of the summary judgment rule which makes it unlikely that a motion for summary judgment will be granted if there are conflicts in the evidence and the case turns on the drawing of inferences, or if an issue of credibility arises. 

The rules on summary judgment will be amended to create a summary trial proceeding. This is in addition to motions for summary judgment. The Court can then determine an issue or action by way of summary trial when it becomes clear, in the course of adjudicating a motion for summary judgment, that there is conflicting evidence or that issues of credibility exist which would otherwise require a full trial.

For the full text of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement and proposed amendments see:

http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2009/2009-01-24/html/reg1-eng.html

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