The Law of Declaratory Judgments, Fourth Edition

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The Law of Declaratory Judgments, Fourth Edition is an authoritative review and study of declaratory judgments in Canada, a unique reference and guide to what declaratory judgments are, and when and how they can and should be used.

The analysis of the subject includes reference to historical origins, procedural requirements, jurisdictional framework, and application of the declaratory judgment in the determination of issues in constitutional, administrative, municipal, labour, contractual, and estate law. Along with an overview of the Canadian law, the author gives special attention to the experience of Quebec courts in the matter of declaratory relief.

In addition to analyses and discussions of the substantive law, The Law of Declaratory Judgments, Fourth Edition also addresses the practical aspects of the law through provisions of precedents. Dealing with an area of law where there is so little current, available commentary, this is an indispensable resource providing practitioners, academics, researchers, and students with the tools necessary to understand this complex area of law from both a theoretical and practical point of view.

New in this edition:

  • Analyses and discussions of recent case law on declaratory judgments from all Canadian jurisdictions, including:
    • Mounted Police Assn. Of Ontario/Assoc. De la Police Montée de l'Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General) (2015 S.C.C.)
    • Hryniak v. Mauldin (2014 S.C.C.)
    • L. (S.) c. Des Chênes (Commission scolaire) (2012 S.C.C.)
    • Khadr v. Canada (Prime Minister) (2010 S.C.C.)
    • Canadian Transit Co. v. Windsor (City) (2015 F.C.A.)
    • Allen v. Alberta (2015 Alta. C.A.)
    • British Columbia v. BCTF (2015 B.C.C.A.)
    • Chaudhary v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness) (2015 Ont. C.A.)
    • Air Canada c. Québec (Procureure générale) (2015 Q.C.C.A.)
    • Springhill Institution v. Richards (2015 N.S.C.A.)
    • Yukon (Department of Highways and Public Works) v. P.S. Sidhu Trucking Ltd. (2015 YK.C.A.)
    • New Brunswick Power Distribution and Customer Service Corp. V. Kinsella (2013 N.B.C.A.)
    • Jivalian v. Nova Scotia (Department of Community Services) (2013 N.S.C.A.)
    • Blood Tribe v. Canada (2012 Alta. C.A.)
    • Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. V. Canada (Attorney General) (2010 Man. C.A.)
    • M. (S.A.) v. K. (R.) (2015 NU.C.J.)
    • Harbour Authority of Savage Harbour v. Simpson Aqua Ventures Ltd. (2015 P.E.I.S.C.)
    • Procyk v. Procyk (2015 Sask. Q.B.)
    • Power v. O'Neill (2013 N.L.T.D.(G.))
  • A discussion of the jurisdiction of the lower courts in declaratory matters
  • A review of the Supreme Court's approach to suspending declarations
  • An analysis of the use of the remedy by administrative tribunals
  • An overview of the use of declaratory judgments in aid of habeas corpus


  • Discussion of article 142 of the Quebecs Code of Civil Procedure, which in 2016 introduced a reformulation of the declaratory power
  • Inclusion of additional portions of the United States' Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act
  • Addition of extracts of the following pieces of legislation:
    • Quebec's Code of Civil Procedure
    • Nova Scotia's Judicature Act, RSNS 1989, c. 240
    • Prince Edward Island's Judicial Review Act, RSPEI 1988, c. J-3
    • Newfoundland's Judicature Act, RSNL 1990, c. J-4
    • New Zealand's Declaratory Judgments Act 1908


  • Addition of summary checklist for precedents
  • Addition of general contractual matters precedent (4(b))
  • Addition of further administrative matters precedent (7(b))

Libraries that have previously purchased Sarnas text on declaratory judgments will want to purchase the latest edition, in order to ensure that their coverage of this topic is up-to-date. The law in this area has changed substantially since the third edition was published in 2007. Libraries serving civil litigators, constitutional law specialists, public interest lawyers or others interested in obtaining declaratory relief may find this to be a useful additional resource for their collections.
Melanie R. Bueckert, Legal Research Counsel, Manitoba Court of Appeal, 2017 Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit, Volume/Tome 42, No. 2.


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