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The Treaty Legal Case In Britain

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MAY 1982      v12 n04 p10  
The day after the Canadian Bill passed through Westminster, British Government lawyers announced their intention to strike out all outstanding Indian legal cases. The argument was set for April 20th and it lasted through to April 26th.

According to our lawyers in Britain, the hearings were tough. They were pessimistic about the chances of the B.C./Ontario/Manitoba case but expressed themselves "cautiously optimistic" that Saskatchewan would `win. They felt we had a good hearing on the Treaties, on Treaties as contracts and as international Treaties, and on collateral warranties. The only argument that was not fully brought out was the one on trust; this was because the Crown did not resist our initial argument. Our lawyers felt they were especially successful in refuting the Alberta judgement. The British government could not respond. They could only say that it was a Court of Appeal judgement and would not argue the case.

Whether we win or lose the hearing, our lawyers expect good content in the judgement. Justice Megarrie reserved his decision: it is expected during the first week of May. At the All Chiefs meeting in Prince Albert in April, Chiefs resolved that the Constitution Commission meet when the decision is handed down to reconsider future constitutional legal action.