Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada – 2013 SCC 26

British Columbia Aboriginal rightsAbuse of processConsultation

Summary

The Supreme Court tackles a long standing issue in aboriginal law: can Aboriginal individuals assert ancestral rights?

The Court decided that unless an individual was appointed to represent its First Nation as an ensemble in the defense of its rights, he or she can not assert a breach to the Crown’s duty to consult.

Individuals can nonetheless, in some instances, ask the government to discuss with them directly or assert their rights before the court when they have interest in an aboriginal or treaty right with an individual aspect

Issue

  1. Can the Behns, as individual members of an Aboriginal community, assert a breach of the duty to consult?
  2. Can the Behns, as individual members of an Aboriginal community, assert treaty rights?
  3. Did the Behns commit an abuse of process in contesting the legality of the licenses only as a defense to the lawsuit initiated by Moulton and not after their delivery?


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