Justice Beverley Mclachlin: Canadian Tort Law's Most Influential Judge - Who Knew?

Common Law Controversies at the McLachlin Court, Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda and Owen Rees, eds., UToronto Press, Forthcoming

Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2018-20

22 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018

See all articles by Bruce Feldthusen

Bruce Feldthusen

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: August 1, 2018

Abstract

No judge has had a greater influence on modern Canadian tort law than Justice Beverley McLachlin. During her 28 years on the Supreme Court she sat on all but 13 of the 145 torts cases that came before the Court. Nine of the 13 she missed came during her first year. She was present for every torts hearing from outside Qu├ębec between 1992 and 2002, and for every torts hearing from 2002 until she retired in 2017. She was in the majority in 81.8% of the torts cases on which she sat, and gave the majority judgement in 25.7% of them. Her most important contributions were in the development of novel duties of care in negligence based on proximity, and in liability for sexual battery. This article searches for themes and patterns in these judgments, including both the triumphs and the inevitable failures. Either way, it is a remarkable story.

Keywords: Torts, Negligence, Supreme Court of Canada, Justuce Beverly McLachlin, proximity, women and the law, psychiatric damage, original position

Suggested Citation

Feldthusen, Bruce, Justice Beverley Mclachlin: Canadian Tort Law's Most Influential Judge - Who Knew? (August 1, 2018). Common Law Controversies at the McLachlin Court, Vanessa Gruben, Graham Mayeda and Owen Rees, eds., UToronto Press, Forthcoming; Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2018-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3224539

Bruce Feldthusen (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

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