Federal Court upholds First Nation’s contractual rights

Stockwoods lawyers Brendan Van Niejenhuis and Owen Rees persuaded the Federal Court to reject an application brought by a party to a tenancy agreement with the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Band Council, seeking to impose a duty of procedural fairness on the Band Council’s decision to enforce its contractual rights under the lease. The applicant argued that a Band Council deciding to evict a tenant should hold a hearing prior to deciding whether to do so. In rejecting this argument, Justice Russell accepted Stockwoods’ argument that the First Nation’s ability to govern its relationships through the law of contract ought to be preferred to imposing public-law remedies on a Band Council’s decision whether to enforce those contractual rights. To read the decision, click here.