Bad News from the Court of Appeal for Unconstitutional IRPs

Today, the BC Court of Appeal released its ruling in Jaswal v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles). This case was the appeal of whether drivers who were issued an Immediate Roadside Prohibition that was unconstitutional are entitled to have the IRP removed from their driving record, and to have their fines and penalties reimbursed.

The Court has upheld Justice Sigurdson’s initial ruling that despite the fact that the IRP law was unconstitutional from September 2010 to November 2011, there will be no remedy for those affected by it. Many drivers are out thousands of dollars, have lost their employment, and have their driving records permanently marred by an unconstitutional law that continues to affect them to this day. The judge found — and the Court of Appeal confirmed — that the ruling represented a substantial change in the law and did not entitle drivers to a remedy.

Our office has represented hundreds of drivers who were impacted by the original scheme. It now appears that those who appealed the IRP on constitutional grounds only, or those who appealed the IRP directly to the Court are at the end of the road, unless the Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear the case and the lawyers who argued it file an application for leave.

That does not mean that everyone is at the end of the road, however. Anyone who received an Immediate Roadside Prohibition between September 2010 and November 2011 and who had a hearing with the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles may still appeal their decision by seeking judicial review from the Court. If you argued anything other than that the law was unconstitutional, you probably have a good argument about the way the adjudicator decided your case. There have been significant developments in the way these cases are addressed and much of the practice of the tribunal that was in place in the initial year of the IRP scheme has been found to be unlawful. You may have a strong argument on judicial review. The current state of the law regarding these judicial reviews is that if the case was wrongly decided, the prohibition is removed from your record and the money is refunded.

If you’re wondering whether your case can be appealed, get a copy of your IRP review decision and give us a call. We’re available to discuss your options and willing to see what else can be done in your case.

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