5 Charter of Rights and Freedoms.doc

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15 Apr 2012
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5. CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Constitutional engineering seeks to solve the problems of a federal system
through the establishment or alteration of constitutional structures. Often,
constitutional engineering will include a bill or charter of human rights.
Predecessors of the Canadian Charter
- English Bill of Rights, 1689
- US Bill of Rights, 1789
- Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, 1947
- UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
- Canadian Bill of Rights, 1960
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- fundamental freedoms
- democratic rights
- mobility rights
- legal rights
- equality rights
- official languages
- minority language educational rights
- notwithstanding clause
Charter Challenges in the Courts
- reasonable limits clause
- Oakes test
- Lord’s Day Act and Sunday shopping case
- right to collective bargaining
- Quebec sign law
- Criminal Code restrictions on abortion
- dissemination of hate literature
- pornography
- assisted suicide
- sexual orientation and same-sex couples
- monopoly of public health care
Legalized, Judicial Politics
- increased role of the courts at the expense of elected officials
- judges have tremendous leeway in their decisions
- courts and the legal profession in general are conservative and favour the
corporate sector
- social and economic rights are more important, but are ignored.
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