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Brown v Alberta (1999), 177 DLR (4th) 349 (Alta. CA)


Brown was not appointed as a Senator following an election in Alberta compliant to the Senatorial Selection Act (Albertan Legislation).

Brown was seeking an order declaring the provision in the Constitution Act, 1867 (providing appointment of senators by the GG) are contrary to democratic principles IF Senators are not appointed consistent with the provisions of the Alberta statute – the Senatorial Selection Act.

The AG applied to strike out the order

At trial level – judge said court had no jurisdiction, since there was no legal interest engaged. It was clear to the court that the order could not succeed because there was no disclosed cause of action (no identifiable legal issue).

On appeal.


(1) Must Senators appointed from Alberta be done in a manner consistent with the processes of the Senatorial Selection Act?

(2) Has a legal issue even been presented to the court?

(3) Is there an issue of Justiciability? Can the court actually rule on the case at bar?


(1) A case must have a legal issue for the court to have jurisdiction to hear and rule on the case.

(2) There was no justiciability for the courts to rule on the case.


Brown brought forth no legal issue to the court due to the court's justiciability on the law.

The principle of Justiciability follow that Brown must establish he had 'Standing' which is used to determine if the party bringing the matter forth is appropriately establishing whether an actual adversarial issue exists.

Brown failed to do so.



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