abuse of process

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A legal abuse of process is carefully defined in the Uniform Law Conference of Canada Model Act on Abuse of Process [1] and was extensively investigated in Ontario [2]. The issue was of concern to the media especially after Conrad Black's court victories using Ontario's absurd and inherently abusive libel laws. [3]. The Ontario Bar Association also recommended [4]

  • speedy hearing of a motion to dismiss an action (within 60 days);
  • the reverse onus proposed by the advisory panel, including the proposed balancing of the action of the plaintiff against the harm to public participation;
  • full indemnity costs to defendants if they are successful and damages to defendants in cases of findings of bad faith by the plaintiffs; and
  • suspension of any other activities in the proceeding unless this would cause undue hardship to the plaintiff.

This was by far the strongest statement in favour of the change in the law, which occurred in 2013. Quebec had enacted similar changes to its civil law code in 2009. BC in 2001 had a similar act quickly withdrawn by the Campbell government once it took power. NB and NS have had acts introduced but never enacted.

With respect to land use planning and public consultations, see reports particularly from Ontario [5]

There is clearly a need and demand for anti-SLAPP legislationin NB [6].