In its decision in Runkle v. Alberta (Chief Firearms
Officer), the Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal
from the Court of Queen's Bench on the basis of mootness. The
respondent Runkle had originally brought a claim against the Chief
Firearms Officer of Alberta ("CFAO"), because the CFOA
had amended the respondent's Long-Term Authorization to
Transport Firearms to exclude permission to transport his firearm
to a gunsmith. However, by the time the appeal reached the Alberta
Court of Appeal, the respondent had received the authorization he
originally sought from the CFOA. Therefore, the respondent
requested to have the appeal dismissed on the grounds that the case
was now moot. Conversely, the CFOA wanted the appeal to be heard,
for fear that the Queen's Bench decision would set a
The court determined that on the facts, this appeal became moot
once the respondent had been given exactly what he had wanted from
the CFOA. The Court stated that it does retain the discretion to
entertain a moot appeal under limited circumstances:
 The three criteria
applied in deciding whether to exercise the discretion are whether
there still exists an adversarial relationship, concern for
conserving judicial resources and sensitivity to the court's
proper law-making function [...]
However, in this case the court determined that the remaining
questions of law were best left for an appropriately adversarial
set of facts. Specifically, the Court stated:
While we endorse the observation of the leave judge that the law in
this area might benefit from greater certainty, it can perhaps be
said in most cases where the issue becomes moot on the facts that
the law could still use clarification. The adversary system,
however, generally contemplates a real dispute existing in order to
nourish the exercise of appellate jurisdiction.
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