List of Supreme Court of Canada cases (Richards Court through Fauteux Court)

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This is a chronological list of notable cases decided by the Supreme Court of Canada from the formation of the Court in 1875 to the retirement of Gérald Fauteux in 1973.

Note that the Privy Council heard appeals for criminal cases until 1933 and for civil cases until 1949. Also between 1888 and 1926, no criminal appeals were allowed to the Privy Council.


Case name Citation Date Subject
April 8, 1875 – Act of Parliament creates the Supreme Court of Canada
Kelly v. Sulivan (1876) First case heard by Supreme Court of Canada

1900 – 1949[edit]

Case name Citation Date Subject
Quong Wing v. R. (1914), 49 S.C.R. 44 Constitutionality of provincial statute regulating "Chinamen"
Bedard v. Dawson [1923] S.C.R. 681 June 15, 1923 Federalism and criminal law
R. v. Eastern Terminal Elevator Co. [1925] Trade and Commerce power.
Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General) [1928] S.C.R. 276 "Persons Case"
1933 – Statute of Westminster, no more criminal appeals to Privy Council
Reference re Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act [1934] S.C.R. 659
Reference Re Alberta Statutes [1938] S.C.R. 100
Re Eskimos [1939] S.C.R. 104 Constitutional status of Inuit
Christie v. York (1939), [1940] S.C.R. 139 racial discrimination
Home Oil Distributors Ltd v. Attorney General of British Columbia [1940] S.C.R. 444
Provincial Secretary of Prince Edward Island v. Egan [1941] S.C.R. 396 division of powers
Reference re Persons of Japanese Race [1946] S.C.R. 248 constitutionality of Japanese deportation order
Margarine Reference [1949] Defining criminal law under the constitution
1949 – no more civil appeals to the Privy Council

1950 – 1959[edit]

Case name Citation Date Subject
Frey v. Fedoruk et al. [1950] S.C.R. 517 Breach of the peace, peeping toms
Noble v. Alley [1951] S.C.R. 64 December 18, 1950
Boucher v. R. [1951] S.C.R. 265 Seditious libel
Johannesson v. West St. Paul [1952] 1 S.C.R. 292
Azoulay v. The Queen [1952] 2 S.C.R. 495 Abortion
Saumur v. The City of Quebec [1953] 2 S.C.R. 299
Henry Birks & Sons (Montreal) Ltd. v. the City of Montreal [1955] S.C.R. 799
Reference Re Farm Products Marketing Act [1957] S.C.R. 198
Switzman v. Elbling [1957] S.C.R. 285 constitutional division of powers
Beaver v. R. [1957] S.C.R. 531 June 26, 1957 subjective mens rea required for possession
Priestman v. Colangelo [1959] Duty of Care in public service conduct.
Roncarelli v. Duplessis [1959] S.C.R. 121 constitution, arbitrary action by government.

1960 – 1969[edit]

Case name Citation Date Subject
August 10, 1960 – Canadian Bill of Rights was enacted.
O'Grady v. Sparling [1960] S.C.R. 804
R. v. George [1960] S.C.R. 871 intoxication defence
McKay v. The Queen [1965] S.C.R. 798 Election law
Munro v. National Capital Commission [1966] S.C.R. 663 powers of the NCC to expropriate and use land
Peso Silver Mines Ltd. (N.P.L.) v. Cropper [1966] S.C.R. 673 June 20, 1966 director fiduciary duties
Carnation Co. v. Quebec Agricultural Marketing Board [1968] S.C.R. 238 overlap of provincial law with federal commerce laws
R. v. Whitfield [1969] Definition of arrest
Walter v. Attorney General of Alberta [1969] S.C.R. 383 division of powers; law excluding hutterites.


Case name Citation Date Subject
R. v. Drybones [1970] S.C.R. 282 November 20, 1969 Canadian Bill of Rights
Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company v. Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. [1970] S.C.R. 833 April 28, 1970 Patents
R. v. Wray [1971] S.C.R. 272 June 26, 1970 pre-Charter right to silence
Caloil Inc. v the Attorney General of Canada [1971] S.C.R. 543 November 24, 1970 Trade and Commerce power, Constitution Act, 1867
AG Manitoba v. Manitoba Egg and Poultry Association [1971] S.C.R. 689 June 28, 1971 Trade and Commerce power, Constitution Act, 1867
Horsley v. MacLaren (The Ogopogo) [1972] S.C.R. 441 October 5, 1971 civil duty to rescue
Duke v. The Queen [1972] S.C.R. 917 June 29, 1972 fundamental justice
Tennessee Eastman Co. v. Commissioner of Patents [1974] S.C.R. 111 December 22, 1972 Patents
Calder v. British Columbia (Attorney General) [1973] S.C.R. 313 January 31, 1973 Aboriginal land title
Canadian Aero Service Ltd. v. O'Malley [1974] S.C.R. 592 June 29, 1973 Fiduciary duty owed by corporate officers

See also[edit]