POLITICS

Some recent Supreme Court decisions that went against Harper government

04/14/2015 03:28 EDT | Updated 06/22/2015 09:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada dealt the Harper government another blow on Tuesday, striking down mandatory minimum sentences for certain gun crimes.

With the exception of a decision last month upholding the government's position on the defunct federal gun registry, the Conservatives have not fared well at the high court. Here's a look at some recent decisions:

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April 14, 2015: The court rules 6-3 that the government's get-tough, mandatory-minimum sentences for gun crimes constitute cruel and unusual punishment and violate the charter.

Feb. 6, 2015: The court unanimously rejects as unconstitutional the ban on providing a doctor-assisted death to mentally competent but suffering and "irremediable" patients, giving Parliament a year to draft new legislation. The judgment says the current ban infringes on all three of the life, liberty and security of person provisions of the charter.

April 25, 2014: The court rules that the Harper government cannot use Parliament alone to impose Senate term limits, allow consultative elections for senatorial candidates or abolish the upper chamber. The justices hold that the first two changes would need the consent of seven provinces representing half the provinces. Abolition would require provincial unanimity.

April 11, 2014: The court overturns the government's Truth in Sentencing Act, which sought to stop judges from routinely giving inmates extra credit for time spent in jail before custody. The court ruled judges have the discretion to allow up to 1.5 days credit.

March 21, 2014: The court rules 6-1 that Justice Marc Nadon, named to the Supreme Court by Harper in 2013, is ineligible to sit. They found he did not meet the special criteria laid out for candidates from Quebec.

Dec. 20, 2013: The court struck down the country's laws prohibiting brothels, streetwalking and living off the avails of prostitution. The Harper government had strongly argued in favour of the laws. The 9-0 decision gave the government a year to enact a new statute.

Sept. 30, 2011: The court rules that Vancouver's controversial Insite safe-injection facility can stay open. The Harper government tried to close it by denying it a renewed exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The court found that denial contravened the principles of fundamental justice and ordered the exemption renewed immediately.