Re Skapinker and the Mootness Doctrine
Supreme Court Law Review, Vol. 6, p. 369, 1984
9 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2008
Date Written: 1984
Joel Skapinker's constitutional challenge rested on the fact of his lack of Canadian citizenship. In February 1983, the Supreme Court granted leave to hear his appeal, notwithstanding their knowledge that he would be eligible for citizenship in April of that year. In granting leave, the S.C.C. thus agreed to hear a case in which there no longer existed a dispute between the parties. In this paper, the authors address the principles applied by the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to the question of mootness on appeal. American jurisprudence on this issue is well developed and serves as a useful source in formulating a framework by which the Court can sort out and attach weight to the various interests at stake in a case where, on its face at least, there no longer exists a dispute between the parties to an appeal. Finally, the Skapinker case itself is analyzed in relation to principles by which the Court grants leave. The authors begin their argument with a review of the Canadian jurisprudence on the mootness issue.
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