September 9 2013
The Constitution is the fundamental, supreme law of Canada. Because Canada has inherited
British constitution, it is deeper than just a mere document. It is a legal code which operates in a
specific geographical location. If you are in a different country you are entitled to vote as a
citizen but for instance if in jail in another country you are governed by the laws of that country
and the charter does not apply.
The constitution defines a political community. Charter is now part of the Constitution of
Canada, only gov’t was covered by constitution in 1982 but now it’s different, constitution
entrenches things= if you feel your rights are being violated, you can seek the courts and ask for
a solution (which was not possible before 1982).
Charter does not apply to private relations (ex. You don’t have to let in people wearing religious
items in YOUR hous, but if the government does this it is illegal. If a restaurant does this, it is
not a private institution but is run by the province so they may have their license revoked).
Constitution deals with who has power.
Common Law- Decisions made based on the court ex. Right to property
Nowhere in the constitution says this right yet the courts declare this, therefore the courts are in
effect part of the constitution)
Have to think of the constitution as a continuous living adaptable creation, just like societies.
Constitution at the time (1800’s)