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Case Briefing: Leon v. Stewart

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Pig and Whistle story universe
Author: Lloyd

The Facts

On March 9th, 2012, Benjamin Leon, an employee of the Stewart Courier company, fell ill and was diagnosed with Blowtorch Fever and subsequently entered the early stages of Transformative Failure of Ontogenetic Regulation (TFOR). After four days, Leon was diagnosed as a Stage 2 (“morphic”) timber wolf teefer, and completed physical rehabilitation successfully. Upon returning to work, Leon was dismissed after two days with his boss, Mathew Stewart, citing an unwillingness to "have a wild animal around" as the reason behind the decision. Leon filed suit for wrongful dismissal, seeking reinstatement.

Arguments

Stewart acknowledged Leon’s successful work record of five years without any form of incident, but stated that he had a duty to protect himself and his other employees from Leon, who was now approximately 53% timber wolf. To support his decision, Stewart cited the Brown incident, in which a morphic coyote savagely mauled three bystanders after succumbing to uncontrollable instincts. Stewart further stated that the lawsuit was groundless as Leon was no longer human and therefore did not qualify for protection offered under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that, even if he was, there was no protection against discrimination based on species included in the Charter.

Leon presented evidence of numerous medical examinations stating that his changes due to TFOR, while extensive, were purely physical and held no bearing on his state of mind. He also contended that the Charter protection against discrimination over physical appearance or illness were more than enough to support the lawsuit

Legal Issue

Do teefers qualify for protection under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, if so, to what extent does that protection extend?

Decision

The judge ruled that Leon had been unfairly discriminated against based on his status as a teefer and ordered his reinstatement.

Rationale

The following is an excerpt from the judge’s ruling:

"…This case has raised a number of issues regarding how our laws can adapt in the face of something as world-changing as TFOR. With regards to the defendant's assertion that Leon is not covered by the Charter since he is no longer human, it must be said that the Charter makes no reference to humans at any point in its text, only ‘persons’. The question must then be asked… what makes a person? Undoubtedly, there are numerous opinions on the subject, but none that have been successfully made in regards to the law. …The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was made to protect members of society and to secure the inherent rights of all people, and it is a logical extension that this can be reasoned to mean that members of a society are therefore people. So then, what makes a person a member of a society? The Social Contract theory states that a society is formed when people naturally limit their behavior for the benefit and continued prosperity of a group, and that this fact has been a constant truth since the dawn of humanity. What I infer from this, is that anyone who has demonstrated a willingness to enter a Social Contract with the North American Republic is a sign that they are a member of that society. By extension, this means that they are considered people for the purposes of law. The plaintiff has, in my opinion, proven his ability to enter a Social Contract by using the tools of our society to solve his problem, and is therefore considered a person and thus offered protection under the Charter. I also am inclined to agree that the plaintiff’s position on the nature of the protection against physical discrimination would also extend to him in this situation."

The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling.