Montreal

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Quebec student protest leader, to have case heard by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the contempt-of-court case against Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, one of the most prominent figures in the Quebec student protests in the spring of 2012.

Former student leader could be retried for contempt of court for comments during spring 2012

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, the former face of the Quebec student movement, will be back before the courts, this time in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the contempt-of-court case against Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, one of the most prominent figures in the Quebec student protests in the spring of 2012. 

On Thursday, Canada's top court granted the leave to appeal sought by Jean-François Morasse, the Laval University student who claimed Nadeau-Dubois incited students to break a court-ordered injunction by inviting them to strike and disrupt classes.

The court case dates back to the student protests of 2012, when a provincial government proposal to hike student fees by $1,625 annually sparked months of civil unrest in Quebec.

During the height of the tensions on university and college campuses in May, Morasse obtained an injunction to be allowed to attend his classes at Laval University.

Jean-François Morasse was a student at Laval University in 2012 when he won an injunction to prevent striking students from blocking access to his classes.

A few days later, on May 13, Nadeau-Dubois — the spokesman for CLASSÉ, the most hardline student organization involved in the strike movement — said in an interview on Radio-Canada it was "legitimate" for students to picket classrooms, to block access to students who wanted to attend class.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was instrumental in the student movement of 2012. (The Canadian Press)

"I believe it's legitimate for students to take the necessary means to respect the democratic choice that was made to go on strike." said Nadeau-Dubois in the interview.

Morasse contended that Nadeau-Dubois's public comments contravened the injunction and constituted contempt of court.

Nadeau-Dubois was found guilty in November 2012 and was sentenced to 120 hours of community service. Justice Jacques Denis wrote in his ruling that Nadeau-Dubois had advocated anarchy.

However, in January 2015, Quebec's Court of Appeal overturned that ruling. Three justices ruled in favour of Nadeau-Dubois, and he was acquitted. 

The former student leader had taken to Twitter to say that justice had been served.

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