Paul v. Paul

Supreme Court of Canada [1986] 1 S.C.R. 306

British Columbia Application of laws to AboriginalsDivorceGovernance (self-determination, self-government)Indian Act

Summary

This case was delivered on the same day as Derrickson. In Derrickson, the Court decided that a provincial law about family patrimony could not apply on reserve.

Here, the Court refuses to make a distinction between occupation and possession of these lands in terms of patrimony, and again refused to apply the provincial law.

Issue

Is provincial family law concerning interim occupation of the family residence during divorce proceedings valid, applicable, operative and in force when applied to a residence situated on a reserve?


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Derrickson v. Derrickson

Supreme Court of Canada – [1986] 1 S.C.R. 285

British Columbia Application of laws to AboriginalsDivorceGovernance (self-determination, self-government)Indian Act

Summary

This case was delivered on the same day as Paul v. Paul. It reached its denouement in June of 2013.

The Court refused to apply a provincial law about the division of assets applicable to matrimonial property on reserve, covered by the federal Indian Act which didn’t contain dispositions about equitable division of assets.

After the creation of numerous committees and reports, it was not before June 2013 that a bill was passed to fill this legal void. The new bill is however criticized by many as a paternalistic act imposed on Indians by the government.

Issue

Are the dispositions of the Family Relations Act of British Columbia concerning the division of assets applicable to property situated on an Indian reserve? If not, can they still be applied by reference under section 88 of the Indian Act?


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