Philosophy 2080 Study Guide - Narcotic Control Act, Substantive Law, Fundamental Justice
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Procedural vs. Substantive law
-A duty of care is substantive. Procedural is how to enforce those rights.
-Due process: if the police arrest you, you are entitled to a trial and basic procedural
-Basic guarantees or procedural rights. Know the case against you, what the
allegations are, etc… Make an address or answer to case against you, make the
argument in front of an impartial and unbiased decision maker.
-Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of the person. Except in
accordance with the law of Fundamental Justice.
Fundamental justice- includes everything. Innocent until proven guilty.
-Oaks charged with possession of a narcotic under Narcotics Control Act: once you
are charged and convicted of possessing a narcotic, no matter what the quantity, it is
presumed that you possess it with the purpose of trafficking. The onus is on the
person with the drugs to prove they are not planning on trafficking.
-You have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty… so this is the
argument made in this case. The defence should not have to prove that he is innocent
because it violates section 11d of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
-Does it offend the charter?
-Presumption with/without basic facts: mandatory or permissive (allowed).
Can be irrefutable or refutable.
-In this case, it is a mandatory presumption of law with basic fact, that is refutable.
-Presumption of innocence without basic fact. Crown must prove guilty.
-It did violate section 11d and 7 because you are presumed guilty.
-Generated the Oaks test:
-Rights are not absolute; limits imposed by the government can be justified.
Onus of justifying the law falls on the government. What is consistent with the
principles of free society?
-Two competing interests: society’s and the individual’s.
-Social interest: pressing and substantial objective in a social context; can the
means be justified? (Is what you did proportionate to the objective?) Must be:
1) Rationally connected (control narcotics, this issue matters.)
2) Impair the right as little as possible
3) Negative effects of the legislation are not to outweigh the benefits.
Since the amount you possess doesn’t affect whether or not you are assumed to be
trafficking, it fails #1, because that rule doesn’t make any sense.
Case: Ford vs. Quebec
-French was the only language allowed on public signs and your business can only
have a French name.
-Business owners were fined. They challenged the government’s ability to fine them,
based on freedom of expression, section 2b of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.