PPAS 2200 Lecture 4.doc

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York University
Public Policy and Administration Studies
PPAS 2200
Khashayar Hooshiyar

PPAS 2200 February 10, 2014 – February 5, 2014 was cancelled * The Charter and Rights - The purpose of the charter is to protect us from the government - ^ the government at any time can present different interests and ideologies and based on that can be discriminating for certain groups of people Our Rights - Man is born free but everywhere is in chains – Rousseau - ^ meaning that we are liberated but there are certain rules you must follow – seems like freedom is an illusion - ^ we are faced with different obstacles on what we can and cannot do ** - The “chains” – is the obstacle to your survive, therefore you try to do something about it – it is our genes, our structures * -- to change yourself to fit into that particular group/society and to do so can infringe on other peoples rights - ^ chains can represent the workforce, classism, political - Our rights is our security (to be protected) - ^ rights are there to maintain order - We need rights to move from a state of being to a state of becoming * -- without rights, you just “be” (you exists) but you are not really there (so that you can “become”) - What distinguishes us from other beings (excludes human beings) is that we maybe have the ability to think, reason, maybe we are indecent (therefore must be controlled) - There is no consensus to why we have rights (no one exact answers, have many answers) - Most of our rights come from our religious thoughts * (one reason why we have rights) - Human rights are set to belong from all individuals of humanity (second reason why we have rights) - Our rights are social constructions – can range from Marxists and liberals (third reason why we have rights) - We need to “emancipate” yourself from alienation because you want to become a human (we need to “become” not just “be”) ** - “freedoms” “rights” and the power to exercise them *** - ^ develop the means to exercise them, we need to be empowered * - ^ power, rights and freedoms are all connected - The charter is supposed to empower you (supposed to give you power) to exercise your rights - Our rights are only subjected in Canada, but one you step outside of Canada, you must obey the rights of other countries – a Nation estate * - By having constitutions and institutions, we limit the government’s ability to keep changing rules and laws - Nation estate – the historical aspect is that the struggles from the past have secured rights of the present (eg: famous five provided rights for women), if you do not fight for your rights, do not expect the government to give it to you - There are limits to our rights – in the John Staurt Mills idea, of the “harm principle” that states that you have rights until you start to infringe on other people’s rights – your rights should not harm other people’s rights ** - In general there are two kinds of rights: - Negative rights – basically protection from the state - Positive rights – provided empowerment by the individuals of the state (empower us – if you are healthy, education, certain benefits {eg: EI, health care}) - Common law protections of rights – if someone does wrong to you, you can take them to court (can take legal action) - Rights and freedoms are not unlimited – some are subjected to nation estate Rights-Consciousness in Canada - In order to understand the charter, you must look at the historical aspect – the development of consciousness of Canadians - Bilingual and bi-religious heritage – Canadians have come to the realization that we are based on Bilingualism (like for example, the people of Quebec) and has become part of our heritage - “small bill of rights” – the first set of rights are bilingual and bi-religious rights, that were legally recognized for the first time th - HR protected by common law – origins of common law come into existence in the 13 century when there was absolute monarchy rule, the first rule was the right to imprisonment, - ^ common law basically gradually limits the power of those who are power - Canadian Bill of rights – a lot to do with labor strikes and struggles, people pushing for rights and security – enacted in 1960s had 2 important sections: - a. section 1 – talks about rights to life, liberty, security, property, religion - b. section 2 – habis corpis, no arrest without proof, innocent until proven guilty Why the Charter? - Supreme Court of Canada’s record under Bill of Rights – was not enough to empower the courts to protect the people’s rights and freedoms, therefore led to the support of the Charter (to protect people) - Canadian Bill of Rights is a weak legal protection for civil liberties – only applied to Federal government, was not strong enough, can be changed - ^ since it was about federal act, it could not be questioned - The political explanations why we need the Charter – the means of getting rid of French distinguish-ness, to make sure Quebec stays part of Canada but in 1982, Quebec was not part of the Charter - The Amending formulas – is the ability to change the constitution Key Constitutional Principles and Values - Constitutional Monarchy – based on key constitution principles and values (Canada is not a republic because we do not have a president) Since we have the Queen we have a
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