Yesterday, Quebec Superior Court Justice Gérard Dugré published his decision [in French] in the case that pit Sa Ge, a member of the Post-Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University (PGSS), against the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).
The judge had a complicated balance to reach as the PGSS continues to be involved in a drawn out legal battle with the Canadian Federation of Students stemming from its 2010 referendum on continued membership in which students voted overwhelmingly to cease membership. A brief overview of that case was released by the PGSS last October. Therefore, Justice Dugré had to decide what effect, if any, a decision in Sa Ge’s case might have on future proceedings between the PGSS and the CFS (this case is set to be heard sometime in 2015).
A press release quotes Justice Dugré’s ruling:
The plaintiff has demonstrated a clear legal and quasi-constitutional right that a referendum take place in accordance with CFS bylaw I. Any delay in holding this referendum clearly causes an irreparable prejudice to the right of the plaintiff to not be affiliated with CFS. This prejudice is not only serious and irreparable but manifestly irreversible.
He concludes: “quasi-constitutional rights of the plaintiff are at stake and the legal and extralegal costs at play come from student fees, which could certainly be used in a more constructive fashion…”
Mr. Sa Ge is also quoted as having said: “This judgment sets a precedent for all Canadian students who believe in freedom of association. We thank the court for recognizing the importance of the voice of students, and in upholding the rights of students to not be held hostage by the [Canadian Federation of Students].”
Consult Regroupement des associations étudiantes c. Fédération canadienne des étudiants et étudiantes released late last week
More analysis to come…