Class Notes (811,227)
Canada (494,571)
Law (659)
Law 2101 (576)

Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms2

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Law 2101
Mysty Sybil Clapton

Interpreting the Charter Lecture #2 October 3,2013 The Supremacy of the Constitution Section 52(1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect. - How do Courts Interpret Rights?  Constitutions are fundamentally different from ordinary legislation - Written in general rather than specific language - Difficult to amend; can easily change ordinary law; parliament doesn’t like a law another made, can easily change it. The constitution doesn’t change by a simple vote, it is an elaborate procedure to try and change something in the charter. Constitution made to last hundreds of year - Designed to endure; to last for a long time - If it violates the charter, effect void, all it takes is one judge - The charter is pretty vague, unlike criminal law which specifically lays out rules; don’t do this and this is why Problems in Interpreting the Charter  Vagueness and generality of rights language. “I’ll meet you later” vs “I’ll meet you at 5 pm”  Vagueness was necessary to get agreement to adopt Charter  Charter rights may be thought to apply, but not in any clear or automatic way; if someone’s religion allows to have multiple rights, freedom of religion doesn’t resolve that.  Ex: highway traffic act says no reckless and dangerous driving, what do these two words mean? Context judgment  Has a core idea, but not set idea  Judge interprets these vague ideas and applies effect Judicial Duty  Judges must set aside personal values and make decisions based on impartial assessment; they aren’t certain  Their duty is to overcome their personal thought, use the best judgment, not necessarily THEIR best judgment (in a personal way)  Must consider evidence and argument put before them  Judges are constrained by precedent, but must exercise discretionary judgment  Judges must interpret, what does interpret mean?  Might follow some sort of blueprint, what you think the instructions mean, for example, in building something  Judges take those vague words and apply meaning, there isn’t an exact meaning, but there are those that make sense over others Progressive Interpretation  The Charter is a “Living Tree”, capable of growth and expansion within its natural limits; cant make things mean whatever you want to make them mean, there is some constraint  Can adapt to address situations not contemplated when it was written  Original understanding of those who drafted it, or original me
More Less

Related notes for Law 2101

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.