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On March 21, 22 and 25, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeals in four private international law cases.  Each is a case in which the Ontario court has held that it has jurisdiction to hear the dispute and that the proceedings should not be stayed in favour of another forum. 

Two of the cases – Van Breda (information here) and Charron (information here) – involve Ontarians who were killed or severely injured while on holiday in Cuba.  They now seek to sue various foreign defendants in Ontario.  These cases involve tourists in the traditional sense of the word.  Two of the cases – Banro (information here) and Black (information here) – involve claims for defamation over the internet and damage to reputation in Ontario.  There is some allegation that these cases involve what has become known as “libel tourism”, especially in England and in the United States.

Several parties have already been granted leave to appear as intervenors and others are seeking such leave.  The decisions in these four cases could be very important for the Canadian law on jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court of Canada now posts PDFs of the written submissions of litigants as they are received, so those wanting more details about the cases should click on the “factums” button for each case.

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