SCC clarifies that provincial superior courts can decide the lawfulness of federal legislation if doing so is a “necessary step” in resolving the claim before them


On July 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Strickland v Canada, 2015 SCC 37 (Strickland). At the heart of the case was whether the Federal Court was correct in refusing to exercise its discretion to hear a judicial review of the Federal Child Support Guidelines (the Guidelines) on the basis that the provincial superior courts were a more appropriate venue. While the decision dealt specifically with the Guidelines, the conclusions reached therein apply equally to all federal legislation.