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Law 2101 (575)


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Western University
Law 2101
Mysty Sybil Clapton

Freedom of Expression Lecture #5 October 15, 2013 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: b) Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communicationn Irwin Toy vs. Quebec • Legislation prohibits advertising aimed at children; Quebec thinks advertisement is prohibiting kids to misbehave and buy things, so this toy making company sues Quebec • Does legislation infringe the freedoms of expression? • Any activity is expressive if it conveys meaning or is attempting to convey meaning (sculptures, painting, writing, reading) • Violence is not a protected means of expression and is not protected by the charter • Freedom of expression may be limited by purpose or effect • If there is an infringement, can it be justified as a reasonable limit of the freedom? Outcome: • Court agrees that commercial advertising is protected by the right because it conveys meaning and has expressive content • But court holds that prohibition on advertising aimed at children is a reasonable limit on the right under sec.1 of the charter (3-2; close decision) Purpose of limiting expression • Purpose of restricting the content of expression by singling out and prohibiting certain meanings that infringes the freedom • Purpose of restricting a form of expression to control access to the meaning or to control the ability to convey that meaning also infringes the freedom • Ex: rule against handing out pamphlets or posters • Purpose of law is usually determined by reading the law, effect is practicing what the law does Values underlying freedom of expression • Seeking and attaining the truth • Participation in social and political decision making; in a democratic social order • Self- fulfillment and human flourishing; let people do what they want • * Remember section 1* RJR MacDonald V Canada - Commercial advertising conveys meaning so is protected expression - Law banning advertising must be justified under S1 • Applying Oakes test • - Legislation is prescribed by law ( yes there is a law, no tobacco advertising) • Objective of reducing tobacco associated health risks by reducing advertising- related consumption (narrow (motivation for law is..but purpose is to prevent people to smoke from advertising) rather than broad purpose( law to stop cancer)) • Sufficiently important to justify a limit on the rights (yes) •
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