Court of Appeal of Quebec

Amnistie Internationale Canada v. Environnement Jeunesse



Application for amicus curiae intervention.  Granted.

Amnesty International Canada seeks to intervene in the appeal of a judgment dismissing an application for authorization to institute a class action relating, inter alia, to Canada’s conduct in environmental matters and the resulting abuse of fundamental rights. It intends to base its arguments on international instruments ratified by Canada and not dealt with by any of the parties.

The special intervention procedure provided for under art. 586 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CQLR c C-25.01) (C.C.P.) adds to the general procedures for interventions. Therefore, they apply to the special regime established for class actions. Furthermore, although an intervention for aggressive or conservatory purposes is unlikely at the authorization stage, amicus curiae interventions cannot be excluded at the outset. In general, courts have shown some flexibility towards amicus curiae interventions when the dispute is of public interest or raises issues of public law. That flexibility arises from art. 187 C.C.P. itself. The requirements of the second paragraph of that article, however, must be adapted to the nature of the authorization process, such that the criterion of expediency (measured according to the importance of the issues and the usefulness of the third person’s contribution) resembles the criterion of indispensability. In this case, the intervenor’s presence appears to provide useful and even necessary assistance to the Court.

*Summary by SOQUIJ
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