Money: Quebec Court of Appeal rules companies can suffer cruel and unusual punishment - PressFrom - Canada
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MoneyQuebec Court of Appeal rules companies can suffer cruel and unusual punishment

09:55  05 march  2019
09:55  05 march  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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Cruel and unusual punishment is a phrase describing punishment that is considered unacceptable due to the suffering , pain, or humiliation it inflicts on the person subjected to it.

Cruel and unusual punishment is a phrase mentioned in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S The Court reasoned that prisoners would suffer and could die if they did not receive with adequate For more on cruel and unusual punishment , see this Florida State University Law Review article, this

Quebec Court of Appeal rules companies can suffer cruel and unusual punishment© Steve Marcus/Reuters Carpenters frame a home at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas, Nevada April 5, 2013. The buying of foreclosed homes and other distressed homes by three big institutional buyers is reshaping the housing market in Las Vegas. REUTERS/Steve Marcus MONTREAL - The Quebec Court of Appeal has ruled that the Charter protection against cruel and unusual punishment can apply to companies as well as individuals.

The question arose when a company convicted of acting as a construction contractor without the necessary license was fined $30,000, the minimum under the provincial Building Act.

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CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT The prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments is one of the most important constitutional limitations upon the penal The Court reasoned that drug addiction is a disease and, as such, could not be punished under the proscription of cruel and unusual

Monday, overcrowding-related hazards were deemed so egregious that the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that these prisons violate the Eight Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment , and ordered California cut 30,000 inmates over the next two years.

The numbered company sought to have the minimum fine in the law struck down. It invoked Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states, “Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.”

In a decision rendered Monday, the Court of Appeal sided with the company, with one of the three judges who heard the case dissenting.

The main argument against giving a legal entity the protection provided under Section 12 is that it falls within the framework of the preservation of “human dignity.” In an online “Guide to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” the federal government cites torture, abusive use of force and disproportionate prison sentences as examples of cruel and unusual punishment.

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The prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments has led courts to hold that the Constitution totally prohibits certain kinds of punishment , such as drawing The Supreme Court has ruled that the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause applies to the states as well as to the federal government.

The term " cruel and unusual punishment " comes from the eighth amendment to the US constitution . The court of human rights in Strasbourg has not adopted any exhaustive definitions, frequently making the point that whether treatment is inhuman or degrading may in part turn on the personal

But Court of Appeal Justice Dominique Belanger, writing for the majority, said she is not convinced Section 12 refers only to “human dignity.” She noted that companies have successfully invoked other Charter protections in the past.

“The fine can be cruel to the legal entity,” she wrote. “A legal entity may suffer from a cruel fine that manifests itself by its harshness, its severity and a sort of hostility.”

She said she does not believe that Canadian society would find it acceptable for a company to be driven into bankruptcy by a disproportionate fine, “thereby jeopardizing the rights of its creditors or forcing layoffs.”

Writing in dissent, Justice Jacques Chamberland said Section 12 should not be “distorted so as to protect the economic rights of a legal entity.” If that were the case, he said, “it is easy to foresee the negative impact it would inevitably have on all public policy laws aimed at regulating various sectors of economic activity and disciplining the participants.”

The court did not rule whether the specific fine in this company’s case violated the Charter. That question has been referred to another judge to decide.

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