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liberty march 23

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University of Toronto St. George

Lecture 9 March 23, 2011 A. R v. Malmo-Levine; R vs. Caine 1. Background and case facts 2. Majority: Should the harm principle be recognized as a P.F.J? No. 3. Dissent: Should the principle The law cannot imprison someone who has done nothing wrong be a PFJ? Yes. B. Equality what is it, and why value it? 1. Why do we care about it? 2. Charles Taylor - Politics of equal dignity - Politics of difference Issue: whether parliament can legitimately criminalize the mere possession of marijuana and attach a penalty of imprisonment (strictly about drug trafficking) - It violates Canadian charter rights under section 7 - Levine freedom fighter of marijuana possession and Caine both convicted for marijuana - It says possible imprisonment Caine argued that it violated his section 7 rights and Levine argued that the criminalization of something that is central to his chosen lifestyle was violated - Section 7: idea is that you have a right not to be deprived of your liberty and security of a person, but if that deprivation is in accordance with the fundamental justice it is acceptable. Limitation is built in whatever the court deems to be fundamental justice - Section 1 means is that when we talk about rights in Section 7, they are never absolute - The fact that section 7 has such internal limits provided by the principles of fundamental justice - Caines argument: harm principle is a principle of fundamental justice under section 7, if that is true, since personal use of marijuana does not harm others attaching a penalty of imprisonment makes it a violation of my fundamental justice. - Malmo-Levines argument: concentration on personal lifestyle choice the issue is imprisonment we are thinking of negative freedom he was trying to u
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