Textbook Notes (380,719)
CA (168,184)
UTSG (11,033)
POL214Y1 (24)
Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Notes

8 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL214Y1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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POL 214 Canadian Government and Politics
Chapter 6- Rights and Freedoms
Expressed in uncompromising terms
! Moral absolutes ! abortion, discrimination
! Non-negotiable
In reality no rights or freedoms are absolute
! Rights and freedoms may collide so need compromise
! Oliver Wendell Holmes [American supreme court justice]
" “Right to freedom doesnt meant you can yell fire’ in a crowded
theater
" Clear and present danger test
(a) Freedom of expression may be curtailed when it posed an
immediate danger to others
! Often impractical to make it simple
! There are limits to how far, and in what circumstances the
principles of linguistic equality and minority rights should apply
Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982
! Established the principle of constitutional supremacy
! Changed the face of Canadian Politics
! Rights achieved more prominence
! Forum for political conflict
Coming to Terms: What do Rights and Freedoms Mean?
! Individuals freedom to believe something or to behave in a particular
way is a right
! The right to fair and equal treatment by the law is often frame in
terms of the conditions necessary to ensure and individuals freedom
! Abortion
! Not watertight concepts
! Rights: those individual and group entitlements that are
considered so fundamental to human dignity that they receive
special protection under the law and usually under the constitution
of a country
" Involve gov action
! Freedoms: involved an individuals liberty to do or believe certain
things without restraint from government
" Limited gov action
! Civil liberties/rights ! refer to all the basic rights and citizens
www.notesolution.com
! Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): human rights into
terminology
! Political rights/fundamental freedoms: freedom of association,
assembly, expression, the media, conscience and religion and the
right to privacy
! Democratic rights: to vote and stand for public office. Requirements
that elections periodically be held and that the law apply
! Legal rights: procedural rights intended to ensure the fair and
equal treatment of individuals under the law
" Inter alia : right to due process of law, freedom from arbitrary
arrest the right to a fair hearing, the right to legal counsel and
not to be subjected to cruel or unusual punishment
! Economic rights: to own property and not to be deprived of it w/o
fair compensation, the right to withhold one’s labor and freedom of
contract
! Equality rights: included homos and mental/physically disabled
! Also, language law
! Native people may be protected by law ! ‘social rights
entitlements
! Right to job, econ security, housing and adequate health care
! Environmental rights
! Michael Mandel legalization of politics
! Politics favors already established interest and serves to reinforce
the status quo
On the Origin and Meaning of Rights
! Rights are constructed out of concrete historical circumstances
! Cultural and economic factors
! Roots in political struggle
! Necessary condition for rights claims
" Must be linked tone or more of societys fundamental values
! Consequences
! Issue may be misdefined [in order to conform]
! Legal solution to a problem are desirable and possible
" You dont need lawyer to solve societal issues
Rights and Their Protection
! 1980-1981- debate on constitutional reform
! Wanted to avoid Americanization of Canadian politics
" Policy role for unelected judges and a related decline in the
status of elected legislature
www.notesolution.com
" Increase in recourse to the courts to solve political disputes
! Decisions by elected judges reflect the sentiment of the community
! Democratic mechanism
! Rights should not be interpreted independently of popular opinion
and important political controversies should not be determined by
unelected officials
! Opponents of entrenchment vs. advocates
! Advocates rights should not be subjected to the vicissitudes of
public opinion
! Difference is about how to protect the rights, not what the rights
are
" American view trust constitution and the judges who interpret
it
" British view more dubious of judge-made law and more
inclined to place their trust in the prudence and democratic
responsiveness of elected governments
The pre-Charter Era [1867-1981]
! Until the mid-10th century, rights issues had a marginal role in
Canadian politics and in legal circles
! Federalism
" Constitution Act of 1867 ! more about government rights than
about Canadians
" Courts were unwilling to overrule the authority of elected
legislatures b/c of parliamentary supremacy
! Public opinion was optimistic about the treatment of rights and
freedoms in Canada
" Assumed that common law, legislatures and vigilant public were
enough o secure it
" 1940-1950 ! started to challenge this view
(a) Violations like Quebecs infamous Padlock Law (1937)
" Protection provided under British Parliamentary government
were not sufficient in a young country facing the challenge of
absorbing large numbers or persons of diverse ethnic origins and
cultural backgrounds
(a) Supported by Canadian Bar Association
! Introduce Bill of Rights
! Snag- it would effect the power of Ottawa and the provinces
! Introduced as a statue ! now only need the approval of the House
of Commons and the Senate
www.notesolution.com

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Description
POL 214 Canadian Government and Politics Chapter 6- Rights and Freedoms Expressed in uncompromising terms Moral absolutes abortion, discrimination Non-negotiable In reality no rights or freedoms are absolute Rights and freedoms may collide so need compromise Oliver Wendell Holmes [American supreme court justice] Right to freedom doesnt meant you can yell fire in a crowded theater Clear and present danger test (a) Freedom of expression may be curtailed when it posed an immediate danger to others Often impractical to make it simple There are limits to how far, and in what circumstances the principles of linguistic equality and minority rights should apply Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982 Established the principle of constitutional supremacy Changed the face of Canadian Politics Rights achieved more prominence Forum for political conflict Coming to Terms: What do Rights and Freedoms Mean? Individuals freedom to believe something or to behave in a particular way is a right The right to fair and equal treatment by the law is often frame in terms of the conditions necessary to ensure and individuals freedom Abortion Not watertight concepts Rights: those individual and group entitlements that are considered so fundamental to human dignity that they receive special protection under the law and usually under the constitution of a country Involve gov action Freedoms: involved an individuals liberty to do or believe certain things without restraint from government Limited gov action Civil libertiesrights refer to all the basic rights and citizens www.notesolution.com
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