A Supreme Court stocked with newcomers heads into a challenging fall session beginning on Wednesday, featuring major cases on Internet regulation, aboriginal rights and freedom of association.
The court will also tackle a high-profile criminal case in which convicted murderer Dennis Oland seeks to be released on bail while he appeals his conviction. And a case on roadside testing of drug-impaired drivers could help establish some ground rules for the coming era of marijuana legalization.
The court has just two judges with more than five years of experience on the court. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin joined the court in 1989, and Justice Rosalie Abella was appointed in 2004. Three judges have been named since 2014, and the court is expecting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pick a new judge soon to replace Thomas Cromwell, a workhorse on a wide variety of cases since 2008; he retired on Sept. 1. Six of the current eight judges were appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper.