Class action filed on behalf of detainees in Nunavik for violation of constitutional rights
Kugler Kandestin is thrilled to announce that it has filed with Coupal Chauvelot, S.A. a class action on behalf of Nunavik detainees, after the Court of Appeal reversed the Superior Court’s judgment on authorization and authorized a class action claiming damages and punitive damages against the Government of Québec.
On January 10, 2022, the Court of Appeal rendered a judgment reversing the Superior Court’s judgment on authorization, which had only partially authorized the class action. A corrected judgment was rendered on January 21, 2022.
The Court of appeal agreed with Kugler Kandestin’s submissions that the class should be authorized to seek both damages and punitive damages against the Government of Québec for its discriminatory system in Nunavik which prevents detainees from having bail hearings within the time limits set by the Criminal Code and which resulted in unjustified and excessive pre-bail detention.
On February 17, 2022, Kugler Kandestin, with co-counsel Coupal Chauvelot, S.A., filed a Motion to Institute a Class Action (unofficial translation) claiming for the class members damages in the amount of $219M and punitive damages in the amount of $75M.
In April 2022, the Court approved notices advising class members of their rights following authorization of the class action. A copy of the authorization notice can be obtained here.
Kugler Kandestin and Coupal Chauvelot estimate that the case concerns more than 1500 individuals living in Nunavik, who were unjustly detained for periods of days, weeks and sometimes months.
Kugler Kandestin is collaborating with Coupal Chauvelot in a class action proceeding against the Attorney General of Quebec for the systematic violation of detainees’ constitutional rights in Nunavik. This class action seeks compensation for individuals who were detained and denied the right to be brought before a judge within three clear days of their appearance to challenge their detention, otherwise known as a bail hearing. For decades, this right has been ignored and breached by the Government of Quebec due to its failure to ensure that bail hearings could take place in a timely fashion concerning detainees from Nunavik. Instead, detainees in Nunavik have been systematically forced to remain detained for periods in excess of 3 days and remain in custody during lengthy travel until they can be brought before a judge in the courthouse of Amos – all of which is in violation of the Criminal Code, the presumption of innocence, and the right not to be detained except in accordance with the law, among other fundamental rights and freedoms.
If you or someone you know was arrested and detained in Nunavik and denied the right to be brought before a judge for a bail hearing within three days, we encourage you to speak with one of the lawyers working on this file to inform you of your rights and whether you may be a member of the proposed class.
|Me Alexandre Brosseau-Wery
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