The Commission addresses two conflicting viewpoints: that access to justice is reduced by the high cost of litigation and the relatively low value of awards, and that such costs should be higher to deter frivolous lawsuits. The Commission outlines Saskatchewan’s partial indemnity cost regime and compares it to full and no indemnity systems in other jurisdictions, canvassing arguments in favour of each approach.
Structured settlements provide compensation to a plaintiff in periodic payments instead of a lump sum. Though Saskatchewan courts approve settlements negotiated between parties, they lack jurisdiction to deliver structured judgments. The proposed Structured Judgments Act would allow courts to make structured awards while providing them with some guidance on the complexities involved.
Legislation is proposed that gives more power to the courts to require fair restitution when a contract has been found to be frustrated. The Commission recommends an approach that allows the courts to more fairly allocate the burden of frustration between the parties.
A contract is frustrated when an unforeseen event so distorts the agreement that the law declares it ended and discharges the parties from their duties. The Commission proposes a Frustrated Contracts Act that allows courts a wider ability to adjust the situation post-frustration to ensure a fair result for all parties.