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Political Science
Political Science 3370F/G
Robert Jonasson

Nathaniel Sukhdeo Public Law 2295G Dr. Braley-Rattai University of Western Ontario Week 7 Summary Notes The readings begin with an introduction to the origins of the Charter. It starts with discussing the process of British parliamentary supremacy, the system of the United Nations post-1945, as well the motivation that sparked the Trudeau backed movement of entrenching the charter and its corresponding rights. The readings state that the movement of civil rights in Canada can be divided into three periods. From 1867 to 1960, Parliament was supreme, with courts rarely striking down statues that violated rights and freedoms. From 1960 to 1982, the Supreme Court had the power to construe and apply federal laws in conformity with the Canadian Bill of Rights from the 60’s. The issue at hand in this period though was that the Supreme Court chose to defer to Parliament even when the conflict between a statue and the bill was too obvious to ignore. The last period is the most recent, beginning in 1982, when Canadian courts were given the power and duty to remedy unjustified infringements of the Charter of Rights. The entrenchment of judicial remedies forced the other branches of government to take their own charter duties more seriously from there on out. The next section of the readings discusses the course of history of the Privy Council and the Canadian Bill of Rights. Post World War II; there was a call for a constitutional bill of rights to protect against discrimination and human rights violations. The Liberals during the time of Diefenbaker continually opposed the enactment of statutory protection for rights and freedoms despite several calls from external parties to do so. Discussing the Bill of Rights, it is mentioned that it was intended to affect federal laws by requiring the Minister of Justice to scrutinize all proposed laws and regulations for conformity to the bill of rights. In addition, it discouraged parliament form adopting laws that violated the protected rights and freedoms. Lastly, it instructed courts to interpret federal laws in a manner that protected the rights and freedoms listed in the bill. The only time the derogation clause was involved was during the October Crisis under Trudeau’s Government. The Bill of Rights failed because it did not explicitly authorize the courts to remedy rights violations, it was an ordinary federal statute, it only applied to federal laws and regulations, and it was poorly drafted. The next section of the readings discusses the origins of the modern charter that Pierre Trudeau introduced. Trudeau’s advocacy for an entrenched charter began before his entrance into federal politics in 1965. In 1967, Trudeau identified an entrenched Charter as the best basis on which to begin a dialogue of constitutional reform between the federal government an
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