The Odhavji Decision: Old Ghosts and New Confusion in Canadian Courts


  • Michael Bodner



The tort of misfeasance in public office was recently examined by the Supreme Court of Canada in Odhavj Estate v. Woodhouse. While the case provided a statement on the law in this area, it also left many questions unanswered. This article lays out the factual background of the case, the elements of the tort as laid down by the Court and the tort's relationship with other aspects of Canadian tort law. Further, the author critically examines the ambiguities and additional problems that have arisen in the wake of the decision and how the lower courts have been dealing with the tort in subsequent cases. The author ultimately concludes that it is very likely that the Supreme Court of Canada will need to revisit this area of tort law in the years to come.