Saturday, April 19, 2014

Endorsement of Court of Appeal of limited precedential value

R. v. Singh, 2014 ONCA 293:


[12]       While all decisions of this court are binding, care must be taken to avoid reading unwarranted jurisprudential principles into a decision of the court rendered in an endorsement as brief as in Bugler. Such endorsements are intended primarily to simply pronounce a decision for parties who, having been present in court during the argument of the appeal, will understand the thrust of the court’s reasoning. When the court intends to articulate jurisprudential principles for the first time, it does so in a written judgment. Vanderbruggen is such a case. This court has expressed this caution before. See the remarks of Osborne J.A. at para. 36 of R. v. Timminco Ltd./Timminco Ltée (2001), 54 O.R. (3d) 21 (C.A.):


Reasons of this court given by "endorsement" are mainly directed to the immediate parties. Endorsements, like all judgments of this court, have precedential value but they should not be construed to support broad overarching principles which are not specifically addressed in them.


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