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POL214Y1 Lecture Notes - Henry Morgentaler, Fundamental Justice, Unintended Consequences

Political Science
Course Code
Victoria Wohl

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Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CRF)
Judicial review of the constitution
Public opinion and the CRF
Unintended consequences of the CRF
The CRF and the constitutional order
Last week the prof talked about what essay questions might be on the test:
Diff types of federalism
Looked to law and how courts interpreted and how public opinion changed and all that.
2nd pillar federalism
Charter also looked at law.
2 center pieces of the 1982 const. Are sections 1-34 The Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
3rd branch of the government:
Its plays the role of interpretor of the law and the constitution. It interprets the vague and
general terms used in the constitution.
Constitutions are meant to last, they are not temporary. And as such require interpretation.
Alot of words especially in the const. Are elastic. Public expectations change.
Singh (1985)
Morgentaler (1988)
Borowski (1989)
Section 7: says that everyone has the right of liberty and security under the principles of
fundamental justice.
The courts add flesh and bone to the constitution with the precedents that they set.
Supreme court law quote in one of our readings. (p60?)
When court makes a decision, it is now a part of constitutional law: precedents.
Ex: same sex marriage
There are many aspects of the constitution one can look at when analysing a problem. There are
many different interpretations and vantage points: the spirit of the constitution, the public
opinion, the legislation, etc...
The judiciary can defer to the legislature in certain cases. And in others they remain objective
and independent.
Our courts differ than the ones in europe where government is supreme; we are more like
american courts.
Only in the last 30 years has the canadian population realized the importance of the courts.
We have constitutional supremacy. 1982 dramatically broadens the view of the constitution.
The courts realized that they had to get involved in the process because they realized that
without their arbitration, the govs could potentially subvert the constitution. 1982 says that the
inconsistent laws with the charted cannot be in effect. Now because of the charter, you can sue
the government.
Americans had their bill of rights and we got a charter of rights
Movement for a rights document after the holocaust and the international rights.
Courts took a very limited view to the bill of rights passed in 1960. They said that the bill
Why did we get a charter?
Judicial review of the Constitution:
Lec 8: Charter of Rights and Freedoms 2
2:10 PM
POL214 Page 1
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