What is the standard of review on an appeal on a question of law?

Yukon, Canada


The following excerpt is from Wilkinson v. Watson Lake Motors Ltd., 2010 YKSC 48 (CanLII):

The standard of review on an appeal on a question of law is correctness and on a matter of fact, the question is whether the trial judge has made a palpable or overriding error. However, as set out in Housen v. Nicholaisen, 2002 SCC 33, at para. 37: “... “In many cases, viewing the facts through the legal lens of the standard of care gives rise to a policy-making or law-setting function that is the purview of both the trial and appellate courts”. In our view, it is settled law that the determination of whether or not the standard of care was met by the defendant involves the application of a legal standard to a set of facts, a question of mixed fact and law. This question is subject to a standard of palpable and overriding error unless it is clear that the trial judge made some extricable error in principle with respect to the characterization of the standard or its application, in which case the error may amount to an error of law.”

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