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Supreme Court Of Canada Broadens The Scope Of Summary Judgment Proceedings – Will This Be A Game Changer In Wrongful Dismissal Actions

A summary judgment is a procedure used during civil litigation to promptly and expeditiously dispose of a case without a trial or the pre-trial processes such as examinations for discovery and production of documents. Essentially, a summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue requiring a trial.

Despite changes to summary judgment laws in 2010 meant to increase their efficiency and frequency, courts have underutilized the process. This is due in part to a Court of Appeal decision that applied an overly restrictive test for their use.

However, in an effort to increase their application, the Supreme Court of Canada in Hryniak v. Mauldin has finally provided guidance on how courts should interpret and apply the law with regards to summary judgments.

In its decision, the Supreme Court first sets out why summary judgments are critical to providing access to justice:

[1] Ensuring access to justice is the greatest challenge to the rule of law in Canada today. Trials hav...

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