A positive development in the law of protest and picketing injunctions

 

British Columbia Chief Justice Hinkson has rejected the provincial government’s application for an injunction to shut down the homeless tent city on the lawn of the Victoria court house.  He made several rulings that will be important in future trespassing injunction cases. The decision is posted here. It represents a triumph of empathy for people who live in poverty and are given no reasonable alternatives but to be chased from place to place.

Perhaps most important in its legal impact, he rejected the province’s argument that the normal hurdles an injunction application has to clear don’t apply where interference with rights to land are involved.  Employers often raise this argument in applications for injunctions to prohibit picketing on their property by employees.  Mr. Justice Hinkson ruled that the normal legal rules apply where Charter rights are in issue, even if the applicant is a landowner seeking to remove alleged trespassers.

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