Court References

Supreme Court of Canada

The following decisions refer to the treatise, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, 3rd ed. (LexisNexis., 2010, 587 pp.) by Donald J. Lange, B.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (Cantab.).


Rick v. Brandsema, [2009] S.C.J. No. 10 at par. 64 per Abella J. for the court:

[64] This makes it unnecessary to deal with the effect of the consent order since, as Osborne J.A. observed in McCowan v. McCowan (1995), 14 R.F.L. (4th) 325 (Ont. C.A.), at para. 19, “… it is well established that a consent judgment may be set aside on the same grounds as the agreement giving rise to the judgment”. This approach was explained by James G. McLeod as follows:

    • This rule reflects the reality that a consent judgment is not a judicial determination on the merits of a case but only an agreement elevated to an order on consent. The basis for the order is the parties’ agreement, not a judge’s determination of what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
    • (Annotation to Thomsett v. Thomsett, 2001 BCSC 546, 16 R.F.L. (5th) 427, at pp. 428-29.)

(See also Shackleton v. Shackleton, 1999 BCCA 704, 1 R.F.L. (5th) 459, at para. 12; Schlenker v. Schlenker (1999), 1 R.F.L. (5th) 436 (B.C.S.C.), at para. 21; McGregor v. Van Tilborg, 2003 BCSC 918, [2003] B.C.J. No. 1427 (QL), at para. 16; T.(L.A.T.) v. T.(W.W.), at para. 18; Huddersfield Banking Co. v. Henry Lister & Son Ltd., [1895] 2 Ch. 273 (C.A.), at p. 280;Monarch Construction Ltd. v. Buildevco Ltd. (1988), 26 C.P.C. (2d) 164 (Ont. C.A.), at pp. 165-66; Donald J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, (2nd ed. 2004), at p. 329; R.L.S. v. D.C.M., 2002 BCSC 1794, [2002] B.C.J. No. 2890 (QL), at para. 43; and Fraser, Horn and Griffin, The Conduct of Civil Litigation in British Columbia (loose-leaf), vol. 2 at p. 32-11.)

  1. v. Mahalingan, [2008] S.C.J. No. 64 at par. 108 per Charron J. for the minority:
[108] The importance of the doctrine of res judicata to the administration of justice is unquestionable. It has been variably described as lying “at the heart of the administration of justice” (Toronto (City) v. C.U.P.E., Local 79, [2003] 3 S.C.R. 77, 2003 SCC 63, at para. 15); as a “fundamental principle of our system of justice” (R. v. Van Rassel, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 225, at p. 238); and as “a cornerstone of the justice system in Canada” (D.J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (2nd ed. 2004), at p. 4).


[113] Identifying the elements of issue estoppel is deceptively simple, but applying the concept can prove rather complex, as evidenced by the considerable body of jurisprudence it has generated: see Lange for a useful discussion of the relevant jurisprudence. I will examine each element of issue estoppel in turn and discuss its application in the criminal context, starting with the requirement of mutuality. As we shall see, this requirement is so unsuited to the criminal context that it has never made its way into Canadian criminal law.


Garland v. Consumers’ Gas Co., [2004] SCC 25 at par. 71 per Iacobucci J. for the court:

[71] In addition, McMurtry C.J.O. is correct in holding that this action does not constitute an impermissible collateral attack on the OEB’s order. The doctrine of collateral attack prevents a party from undermining previous orders issued by a court or administrative tribunal (see Toronto (City) v. C.U.P.E., Local 79, [2003] 3 S.C.R. 77, 2003 SCC 63; D. J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (2000), at pp. 369-70).


Toronto (City) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 79, 2003 SCC 63 at par. 25, 38 per Arbour J., for the court, LeBeland and Deschamps JJ. concurring:

[25] There has been much academic criticism of the mutuality requirement of the doctrine of issue estoppel. In his article, Prof. Watson, supra, argues that explicitly abolishing the mutuality requirement, as has been done in the United States, would both reduce confusion in the law and remove the possibility that a strict application of issue estoppel may work an injustice. The arguments made by him and others (see also D. J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (2000)), urging Canadian courts to abandon the mutuality requirement have been helpful in articulating a principled approach to the bar against relitigation. In my view, however, appropriate guidance is available in our law without the modification to the mutuality requirement that this case would necessitate.


[38] It is true that the doctrine of abuse of process has been extended beyond the strict parameters of res judicata while borrowing much of its rationales and some of its constraints. It is said to be more of an adjunct doctrine, defined in reaction to the settled rules of issue estoppel and cause of action estoppel, than an independent one (Lange, supra, at p. 344). The policy grounds supporting abuse of process by relitigation are the same as the essential policy grounds supporting issue estoppel (Lange, supra, at pp. 347-48):


The two policy grounds, namely, that there be an end to litigation and that no one should be twice vexed by the same cause, have been cited as policies in the application of abuse of process by relitigation. Other policy grounds have also been cited, namely, to preserve the courts’ and the litigants’ resources, to uphold the integrity of the legal system in order to avoid inconsistent results, and to protect the principle of finality so crucial to the proper administration of justice.

Danyluk v. Ainsworth Technologies Inc., 2001 SCC 44 at par. 22 per Binnie J. for the court:

[22] The extension of the doctrine of issue estoppel in Canada to administrative agencies is traced back to cases in the mid-1800s by D. J. Lange in The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (2000), at p. 94et seq., including Robinson v. McQuaid (1854), 1 P.E.I.R. 103 (S.C.), at pp. 104-5, and Bell v. Miller (1862), 9 Gr. 385 (U.C. Ch.), at p. 386.



Ernst and Young Inc. v. Central Guaranty Trust Co., [2006] A.J. No. 1413 (C.A.) at par. 29, 37-38, 42 per the court:

[29] The doctrine of res judicata has two branches: issue estoppel and cause of action estoppel. Issue estoppel precludes the litigation of an issue previously decided in another court proceeding, and cause of action estoppel precludes the litigation of a cause of action which was adjudged in a previous court proceeding: Donald J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, 2d ed. (Ontario: LexisNexis Canada Inc., 2004) at 1 [Res Judicata]. We need not consider the applicability of cause of action estoppel because issue estoppel precludes Central Guaranty from attacking the validity of the trusts in this litigation.

[37] The second precondition for issue estoppel is met if a decision is final in the sense that it determines the question between the parties conclusively. A decision is final if the court that made it “has no further jurisdiction to rehear the question or to vary or rescind the finding”: Res Judicata, supra at 85-86.

. . . .

[38] A decision need not determine the entire subject matter of the relevant litigation in order to meet the second precondition. Rather, the precondition is met where a decision finally disposes of a substantive right between the parties. Consequentially, “a final disposition in an interlocutory proceeding may give rise to issue estoppel in a different proceeding:” Res Judicata, supra at 86 and 182.

. . . .

[42] The special circumstances exception bars the application of issue estoppel in a second proceeding. In order to demonstrate special circumstances, a party must show that he or she exercised reasonable diligence in the first proceeding. The standard of reasonable diligence is an objective standard: Res Judicata, supra at 232-234.

Anderson v. Airsprint Inc., [2005] A.J. No. 1294 (C.A.) at par. 7 per the court:

[7] As stated by Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada at p. [187]:

In regard to striking an action, if the first action is struck out because it discloses no cause of action, a second action is not estopped if it discloses a cause of action.

One of the cases cited by Lange in support of the above statement is Bank of Nova Scotia v. Guenette (1986), 75 A.R. 361 wherein Master Funduk makes the following pointed observation . . .

Peters v. Remington, 2004 ABCA 5 at par. 12, 17 per Wittmann J.A. for the court:

[12] Determining if res judicata applies is a question of law: Donald J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 2000) at 12; Gibson Mining Co. v. Hartin, [1940] 2 D.L.R. 605 at 607 (B.C.C.A.). As a result, this Court must review the trial judge’s decision on a standard of correctness.

[17] In evaluating what was decided for the purpose of res judicata, the court may look to documentation beyond the formal judgment itself: Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada; Maynard v. Maynard, [1951] S.C.R. 346, [1951] 1 D.L.R. 241 at 251-52, leave to appeal to Privy Council denied, [1952] 1 S.C.R. vii; and Smode v. Deveaux (1996), 216 A.R. 20 at para. 3 (C.A.).

574095 Alberta Ltd. v. Hamilton Brothers Exploration Company, 2003 ABCA 34 at par. 36-38, 44, 50-52, 59 per Wittmann J.A. for the court:

[36] In Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (2000, Butterworths, Toronto, ON) the author notes at p.344 that “to seek to litigate an issue that is barred by cause of action estoppel or issue estoppel is an abuse of process”. See also Ho-A-Shoo v. Canada (Attorney General) (2000) 47 O. R. (3d) 115 (O.S.C.J.) at 125. The notice of motion brought by the appellants arguably contained two separate, though inter-related, grounds for ending the litigation.

[37] The first basis was that the common law principle of res judicata applied to prevent the law suit from proceeding because of the public policy ground that it is in the public interest that an end be put to litigation after a final decision has been rendered (Lange at p. 4). If the legal tests for either of the two branches, issue estoppel or cause of action estoppel, are met, then res judicata arises unless the court exercises a discretion to allow the matter to continue in the interest of justice and fairness: Lange p. 32; Danyluk v. Ainsworth Technologies Ltd. [2001] 2 S.C.R. 460. On this basis, no discretion was applied in the present case since the chambers judge ruled that the tests for issue estoppel or cause of action estoppel were not made out. If the chambers judge applied the wrong legal test in coming to his conclusion that issue estoppel or cause of action estoppel did not apply then he made an error of law. The standard of review for an error of law is correctness.

[38] The second basis was that the litigation was a more general “abuse of process” and the amended statement of claim should be struck out pursuant to ARC 129(1)(d). This is far more of an exercise of discretion by the court since there are no clear legal tests, although if it can be shown that issue estoppel or cause of action estoppel apply then it is considered an abuse of process. For example, a court may rule that an abuse of process exists even when the legal tests for issue estoppel and cause of action estoppel are not made out. The standard of review for an exercise of discretion is reasonableness. Further, Lange notes at p. 346:

…Whether the doctrine of abuse of process by relitigation is applied with or without estoppel support, its invocation sounds a death knell to a successful appeal. Because the application of abuse of process by relitigation is an exercise in discretion, unlike the prevailing view of issue estoppel and cause of action estoppel, it gives little room for an appellant to argue any ground of appeal other than that of an egregious error in the exercise of discretion.

Consequently, it is a very high standard to meet.

. . . .

[44] This is clearly broader than the McIntosh concept that only those questions distinctly put into issue and directly answered in the earlier proceeding could form the basis of res judicata by issue estoppel. Dickson, J., for the majority in Angle, allowed that facts and conclusions of law that were not directly or explicitly put into issue could still have been necessarily determined if they were fundamental to the earlier decision. In a more recent analysis of res judicata, Lange stated at p. 42-43 that:

[For the same question test] the nature of the question includes what was “directly in question” and what was “necessarily presumed,” or to use the wording of Sutherland, J. from Re Agil Holdings Ltd. (1985) 32 A.C.W.S. (2d) 259 (Ont H.C.) at 61, what has been decided “expressly or by necessary implication.”

What comprises the subject matter fundamental to the question is, therefore, a twofold investigation to determine the nature of the question. Firstly, it comprises the express question that was actually decided…. Secondly, it comprises the latent structure support in the express question by virtue of an implied, inferred, or assumed recognition of that structure.

. . . .

[50] Determining if a question has been necessarily answered by previous litigation is not simple since there is confusion over Dickson, J.’s prohibition in Angle of “inference by argument from the previous judgment”. As Lange notes at p.45:

The meaning of “inference by argument” has not been defined in Canada. It may be difficult to distinguish between “inference by argument,” which is not part of the same question test, and phrases such as “necessarily inferred,” “by necessary logical consequence,” and “by necessary implication,” which are part of the same question test.

[51] However, Angle at p.555 has given some guidance as to when an issue is necessarily determined in the previous litigation by the requirement that the question or issue must have been so fundamental to the previous decision that the substantive previous decision could not be made but for the determination of the question or issue.

[52] Whether an issue is fundamental to the prior decision may not only prevent an answer to a question that was directly answered but collateral or incidental to the decision from being the basis of res judicata by issue estoppel but also provides guidance when a question not directly asked may form the basis of res judicata: Lange at p. 40. A question or issue would only be fundamental to, and necessarily determined by, a prior decision if that decision could not stand unless the question or issue was decided in a particular way. As Binnie, J. stated in Danyluk at para. [54]:

A cause of action has traditionally been defined as comprising every fact which it would be necessary for the plaintiff to prove, if disputed, in order to support his or her right to the judgment of the court: Poucher v. Wilkins (1915), 33 O.L.R. 125 (C.A.). Establishing each such fact (sometimes referred to as material facts) constitutes a precondition to success. It is apparent that different causes of action may have one or more material facts in common. In this case, for example, the existence of an employment contract is a material fact common to both the ESA proceeding and to the appellant’s wrongful dismissal claim in court. Issue estoppel simply means that once a material fact such as a valid employment contract is found to exist (or not to exist) by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction, whether on the basis of evidence or admissions, the same issue cannot be relitigated in subsequent proceedings between the same parties. The estoppel, in other words, extends to the issues of fact, law, and mixed fact and law [page490] that are necessarily bound up with the determination of that “issue” in the prior proceeding.

. . . .

[59] The chambers judge correctly stated in the context of cause of action estoppel that “while a party may be required to put forth all of its defences, it is not required to join, by way of counterclaim, a separate and distinct cause of action – see Hall v. Hall (1958), 15 D.L.R. (2d) 633 (Alta. C.A.) and Greymac Properties Inc. v. Feldman (1990) 1 O.R. (3d) 686.” Lange states at p. 49 that “[a]n issue which was not raised in the first action as a defence is not barred in the second action when the second action is based upon a separate and distinct cause of action – Wentworth (County) v. Hamilton Radial Electric Railway (1917) 41 D.L.R. 199 (Ont. C.A.) at 204-206.”

Wolch v. Wilder, 2001 ABCA 310 at par. 14, per Berger J.A., Fruman  and Cote J.A. concurring, at par. 21

[14] It follows that res judicata requires a prior adjudication to that now being sought, but it is the timing of the decision, not the timing of the commencement of the action, that is dispositive. See also ATL Industries Inc. v. Han Eol Ind. Co. (1995), 36 C.P.C. (3d) 288 (Ont. Gen. Div.). D.J. Lange, in his textbook The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 2000) at 72-73, listed factors that are to be considered to determine if a legal entity is a privy:

  • having knowledge of the previous proceeding
  • a clear interest in the proceeding
  • the ability to intervene as a participant but choosing to stand-by and watch
  • active participation in the previous proceedings by giving evidence, and being part of the litigation team
  • different parties who act together to circumvent a previous decision
  • having the non-party’s counsel present at the earlier proceedings
  • being affected by the issue determined in the previous proceedings

410675 Alberta Ltd. v. Trail South Developments Inc., 2001 ABCA 274 at par. 14 per curiam

[14] 410675 also relies on this court’s decisions in Pocklington Foods v. Provincial Treasurer (1995), 165 A.R. 155 (C.A.), andInternational Datashare Corporation v. Q.C. Data Petroleum Services Ltd. , [2000] A.J. No. 166 (C.A.), online: Q.L. (A.J.). Those cases do not deal with res judicata. They address the court’s power to prevent successive interlocutory applications, when the same or substantially the same relief has previously been sought and refused. This has been described as the power of the court to prevent abuse of its process by relitigation of interlocutory matters. The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, supra, at 363. The application before Gallant J. was not the relitigation of the same issue decided in the first action.



Susan Heyes Inc. (c.o.b. Hazel & Co.) v. Vancouver (City), [2010] B.C.J. No. 391 (C.A.) at par. 10 per Newbury J.A., for the court:

[10] There is no doubt that many of the same issues of fact and law will arise in Guatam as arose in Heyes. But res judicata, on either of its branches, applies only where the same issues arise in a previous proceeding as have been decided between the same parties or their privies. Thus Donald J. Lange in The Doctrine of Res Judicat in Canada (2nd. ed., 2004) offers this quotation from McIntosh v. Parent (1924) 55 O.L.R. 552 (C.A.), per Middleton J.A., as the classic definition of the doctrine:





When a question is litigated, the judgment of the Court is a final determination as between the parties and their privies. Any right, question, or fact distinctly put in issue and directly determined by a court of competent jurisdiction as a ground of recovery, or as an answer to a claim set up, cannot be retried in a subsequent suit between the same parties or their privies, though for a different cause of action. The right, question, or fact, once determined, must, as between them, be taken to be conclusively established so long as the judgment remains. [At 26-7; emphasis added.]

Azeri v. Esmati-Seifabad, [2009] B.C.J. No. 574 (C.A.) at par. 51 per Finch C.J.B.C., for the court:

[51] As well, it should be noted that, since the limitation period in relation to Mrs. Azeri’s children has not expired, and res judicatadoes not apply to a dismissal for want of prosecution, they are in a position to commence a new action in respect of their claims under the Family Compensation Act: see Lange, The Doctrine of ResJudicata in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 2000) at 187.





MacKinnon v. National Money Mart Co., [2009] B.C.J. No. 468 (C.A.) at par. 78, 80 per Newbury J.A., for the court:

[78] To similar effect, Donald J. Lange writes in The Doctrine of ResJudicata in Canada (2nd ed., 2004) that the test of finality for issue estoppel should not be confused with finality for the purpose of cause of action estoppel. He continues:

The test for issue estoppel is a substantive issue test where the decision affects substantive rights of the parties in respect of a matter bearing upon the merits of the cause of action, as distinct from some collateral matter. This can be readily seen in decisions in interlocutory proceedings. A decision is final in nature because it finally disposes of a substantive right raised between the parties which may or may not be determinative of the entire action. [At 86; emphasis added.]

Lange also notes that although there is no estoppel where a court of appeal grants a new trial of an entire case without restriction, the same is not true where a court of appeal in granting a new trial decides a substantive question in the litigation. That question, he writes, is taken to have been conclusively determined between the parties for purposes of the litigation. (At 99; see also Western Canada Power Co. v. Bergklint (1916) 54 S.C.R. 285, at 299, per Duff J., as he then was.)

 [80] Given, then, that the criteria for issue estoppel are met, the remaining question is whether this court should exercise its jurisdiction in the interests of justice to make an exception on the basis of “special circumstances”. This exception is used sparingly, but recognizes that estoppel is intended to serve the ends of justice, not defeat them: see Arnold v. National Westminster Bank Plc [1991] 2 A.C. 93 (H.L.) at 109-111, per Lord Keith, quoted in Hockin v. Bank of British Columbia (1995) 123 D.L.R. (4th) 538 (B.C.C.A.) at 550. The onus lies on the party seeking the exercise of this discretion: see Lange, supra, at 234.

Roeder v. Lang Michener Lawrence & Shaw, [2007] B.C.J. No. 501 (C.A.) at par. 21 per Newbury J.A., for the court:

[21] Had counsel for Mr. Roeder not made the concession he did and continued to assert that there was a causal nexus between the allegedly improper disclosure of information to the Commission and its 1995 order, I would also have concluded that the appeal must be dismissed – on the basis of abuse of process by relitigation. This principle is a wider one than the rule against collateral attack, and is not subject to the complexities of that rule, or of res judicata or issue estoppel, although all four principles involve many of the same policies: see Donald J. Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata (2000), at 343-52.





Dhillon v. Dhillon., [2006] B.C.J. No. 3008 (C.A.) at par. 7-8, 22, 30 per Thackray J.A., Finch C.J.B.C. concurring, Southin J.A. partially dissenting on other grounds:

[7] The appellants did not raise the form of the action in the case at bar, either in the trial court, or in this Court. However, the form in which the action was taken, that is an action referred to as “civil fraud”, caused problems at the trial and complicates this appeal. It might be expected that Mr. Dhillon would have brought an action specifically addressing the earlier judgment. Donald J. Lange, in The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, second edition, 2004, at page 250, states: “the common procedure to address the fraud of the first proceeding, and the estoppel effect of the judgment, is to set aside the [earlier] judgment itself.” If that had been done it would have been submitted that the default judgment was in error in that Mr. Dhillon had not been served with the process. Further, that the powers of attorney were forgeries and that the defendants were guilty of fraudulent acts.





. . . .

[8] However, what Lange suggests would be the common procedure to address the fraud of the first proceeding did not anticipate a situation such as in the case at bar. In the instant case the earlier judgment was not only 14 years earlier, but it was in favour of innocent plaintiffs.





. . . .

[22] Lange states, in The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada:





Pleading res judicata permits a litigant to argue that the earlier determination is conclusive evidence rather than merely prima facie evidence when not pleaded (at page 11).

The plea of res judicata must set out fully the facts which create the plea, not simply plead the first proceeding and the order. It must distinctly plead facts sufficient to show that the question raised in the second proceeding was absolutely adjudicated upon in the first proceeding (at page 12) [footnotes omitted].

The author notes that Gwynne J., for the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada in McMillan v. Davies (1892), reported in Edward Robert Cameron, Canada: Supreme Court Cases (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 1905) 306 at 317, stated this requirement to be as follows:

… it would be necessary that the plea [of estoppel] should contain suitable averments of what was the precise matter in contestation in such interpleader issue and of what is the precise matter in contestation in the present action so as to raise for adjudication the question of estoppel relied upon by the defendant.

[30] Further, Lange states, in The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, at page 250 that: “[p]roving fraud in the first proceeding has always deprived a litigant of the estoppel effect of an entered judgment.” He goes on to say,that “[i]n Canada, fraud has been described as an exception [to res judicata] of special circumstances”, citing St. Denis v. North Himsworth (Township)(1985), 50 O.R. (2d) 482 at 491 (Div. Ct.), Johnston v. Barkley (1905), 10 O.L.R. 724 at 728-729 (C.A.), and Hamada v. Northguard Mortgage Corp. (1985), 67 B.C.L.R. 115 at 121 (S.C.) in support. (Reservations aboutHamada were voiced by Mr. Justice Hardinge, sitting as a Local Judge of the Supreme Court, in Bank of B.C. v. Singh (1987), 17 B.C.L.R. (2d) 256.). Lange continues as follows:





A second proceeding, which relitigates the subject matter of the first proceeding founded on fraud, will be confronted with the estoppel effect of the first proceeding. To obviate this effect, the litigant may plead the special circumstances of fraud in order to relitigate the subject matter of the first proceeding.


Genpharm Inc. v. Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., 2003 FCA 467 at par. 46 per Rothstein J.A. for the court:

[46] Third, this litigation has both public law and public interest aspects which require that consideration of the application of the issue estoppel doctrine not be limited to its impact on the private rights of the parties. There is some authority for the proposition that issue estoppel does not apply to public law litigation, notably by McKeown J. in Del Zotto v. Canada, [1994] 2 F.C. 640 at 644 (T.D). However, in my view, the public law nature of the litigation is simply one of the factors to be weighed in the exercise of the Court’s discretion. For further discussion, see Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 2000), at 248-254.





 Apotex Inc. v. Merck & Co. Inc., 2002 FCA 210 at par. 27 per Malone J.A. for the court:

[27] In the words of Moir J.A. in Duhamel, supra, adopted by Lamer C.J. on appeal, “this contemplates that the prior decision could not have been obtained without the point in issue being resolved in favour of the party urging the estoppel” (Duhamel, supra, at 278 (C.A.)). In essence, this statement is merely an affirmation of the principles articulated by Dickson J. in Angle in 1974. This does not necessarily imply, however, that the issue must have been the main point or ratio decidendi of the first decision, but rather that resolution of the issue is an essential element of the logic or reasoning behind it (Iron v. Saskatchewan (Minister of Environment and Public Safety), [1993] 6 W.W.R. 1 at 11 (Sask. C.A.)). The decision which is said to give rise to the estoppel need not be a decision which determines the entire subject matter of the litigation. The test for issue estoppel is a substantive issue test where the decision affects substantive rights of the parties with respect to a matter bearing on the merits of the cause of action (see Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada(Toronto: Butterworths, 2000) at 78).





Nametco Holdings Ltd. v. Canada (Minister of National Revenue) 2002 FCA 474 at par. 8 per Strayer J.A. for the court:

[8] With respect to the arguments based on estoppel or res judicata, these doctrines can have no application where the first decision-maker had absolutely no jurisdiction to determine the issue it purported to decide. (See Angle v. MNR [1975] 2 SCR 248-257,Danyluk v. Ainsworth Technologies Inc. [2001] 2 SCR 460 at para. 51). Further, where the initial process was without any validity it cannot form the basis for alleged abuse of process. (See Rowett v. York Region Board of Education et al (1988), 63 OR (2d) 767, where it was held that abuse of process involves raising in a subsequent proceeding an issue that has previously been decided by a tribunal which had the jurisdiction to so decide). See also Lange, The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 2000) at 90, 109, 358.





 Krishnapillai v. Canada, 2001 FCA 378 at par. 9 per Decary J.A. for the court:

[9] For the doctrine of issue estoppel (as opposed to the doctrine of cause of action estoppel, which is not argued here) to apply, the same question must have been actually decided in the first proceeding. For the same question to have been actually decided in the first proceeding, it must be clear from the facts that the question has indeed been decided and the issue out of which the estoppel is said to arise must have been fundamental to the decision arrived at in the earlier proceeding. For the issue to have been fundamental to the earlier proceeding, there must be no doubt that the decision could not have been made without that issue being addressed and actually decided. There is no equivocal finding which can found issueestoppel. (See Angle v. M.N.R., [1975] 2 S.C.R. 248; The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada, Donald J. Lange, Butterworths, 2000, at page 38 ff.)