Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms turns 30


mentalfloss
#1



Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at 30

Thirty years ago, on April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth, sitting under a wet and gloomy sky in front of Canada’s Parliament Buildings, proclaimed in force the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — a key element of the new Constitution Act.

This event did not bring about a transformation of Canada’s political life — it has not significantly added sensitivity to human rights to our politics. But what it did do was bring a missing legal instrument to Canadian liberal democracy: constitutional entrenchment of such basic rights as freedom of association, speech and religion, due process and equality.

At the time, some Canadian politicians opposed the Charter of Rights because it gave courts new power to review the decisions of Parliament, legislatures and governmental officials and to declare them invalid when they abridged rights. They objected to having the will of the people (as determined by elected representatives) be frustrated by the decisions of judges.

Opponents of the Charter forced the federal government to amend its constitutional plan and give legislatures the power to override the Charter, in some cases. This would seem to have defeated the claim that Canada had entrenched rights, except for the fact that governments fairly quickly abandoned use of the override clause — and it is not likely to come back.

Notwithstanding opposition to entrenched rights, a majority of Canadians seemed to agree to the creation of constitutional rights. And it is not at all clear what is anti-democratic in the people of a nation assenting to constitutional reforms that restrain exercises of political power. The people’s will to approve constitutional policies is certainly as valid as majority approved legislation.

How disruptive of governmental policies and public will has the Charter actually been? The list of court rulings over the past 30 years that have struck down laws is not insignificant. These include Canada’s abortion regulation, legislative barriers to same-sex marriage, legislated stripping of collective bargaining rights, restrictions on wearing religious symbols, excluding protection for homosexuals in provincial human rights legislation, excluding non-citizens from becoming lawyers, and restricting individuals wishing to campaign against Quebec separation. Reactions to these outcomes will vary from individual to individual but these decisions reflect a constitutional commitment to fair and just treatment.

Other decisions overturning government regulation have been more controversial — striking down limits on tobacco advertising and disallowing restrictions on private health insurance, for instance. While these decisions interfered with what seemed valuable governmental regulation, they have not actually led to the frustration of governmental plans for restricting smoking or maintaining a predominantly public health-care system.

What is more unsettling for some are instances of court failure to grant Charter protection — for example, to Hutterites who do not want their photos on driving licences, to young welfare recipients whose welfare payments were reduced to $170 per month, to Newfoundland’s women civil servants who sought to overturn the government’s refusal to implement a pay equity award, and to parents of autistic children for whom treatment was curtailed. These cases represent an undoubted tendency of the courts not to let the Charter add to governments’ burdens.

Questions remain. Has the Charter enhanced moral sensibility in Canadian political practice? Sadly, not perceptibly. Has the Charter weakened democratic practices? Something certainly has, but it is likely not the Charter. Have Charter decisions frustrated the achievement of public interests as declared by legislatures? Not to the extent that political outrage has often been induced. Have Charter decisions favoured the well-off who bask in liberty and left behind those who need government help in meeting basic needs? To some extent, this is true. For one thing, in our society the rule of law is realized imperfectly and the benefits of law, including Charter law, are distributed unevenly.

There is a question, though, to which the answer is clearer. Do Canadians now believe that the Charter was a mistaken constitutional initiative? This seems not to be the case; the Charter and democracy are still not opposing ideals.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at 30 - thestar.com
 
Machjo
#2
Yup. The freedom to send your child to a separate public school... if you belong to the right religious community.
The freedom to speak to government officials in your own mother tongue... if you're not a native of Nunavut, etc.

Gotta love it.
 
mentalfloss
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Yup. The freedom to send your child to a separate public school... if you belong to the right religious community.
The freedom to speak to government officials in your own mother tongue... if you're not a native of Nunavut, etc.

Gotta love it.

So it was a failure then?
 
Liberalman
+2
#4
The original American Constitution was a flawed document and it took amendments to modernize it over the years and if people who are opposed to the Canadian Charter of Rights can start the process to add amendments to the document to make it better.
 
mentalfloss
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

The original American Constitution was a flawed document and it took amendments to modernize it over the years and if people who are opposed to the Canadian Charter of Rights can start the process to add amendments to the document to make it better.

I agree.

In your thread there was a mention from Harper that he did not think that it should be celebrated because there is still some adversity from some parts of the country. While I can see the reason in avoiding glorification, he's an enormous hypocrite considering the amount of adversity there is to the long gun registry issue, and how much the CPC are celebrating that endeavour.
 
Liberalman
+2
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I agree.

In your thread there was a mention from Harper that he did not think that it should be celebrated because there is still some adversity from some parts of the country. While I can see the reason in avoiding glorification, he's an enormous hypocrite considering the amount of adversity there is to the long gun registry issue, and how much the CPC are celebrating that endeavour.

Glorification it should be, just think Canada was able to break away from Britain without a revolution and we did not have to dump our tea into the harbour.
 
mentalfloss
#7
It looks like this is going to be a heavy hitter.

Don’t hate us because our Constitution’s beautiful

Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of patriation and the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Regrettably, our government has shunned any official celebration of these events. But not to worry. The Charter is likely to receive warm greetings from its many supporters around the globe. Americans are now even calling Canada “the new constitutional superpower”. Who knew? How did this happen?

With the Charter, Canada developed a distinctly “Canadian” model of constitutionalism that has been studied, emulated and adopted abroad. This is likely to come as a surprise to most Canadians because we have come to take the Charter for granted. It is simply part of our legal and political systems. And we tend to see the Charter in bits and pieces — looking at sections such as freedom of expression or the right to equality or court decisions. But the rest of the world sees, first and foremost, the whole structure of the Charter. And what they see is a unique constitutional work of art.

The Charter’s architecture consists of the broad enumeration of rights, which place the individual at the centre by guaranteeing rights to “everyone” or “every person,” subject to a single limitations clause of general application. The Charter keeps the legislature in the rights equation through the notwithstanding clause, which allows legislators’ determinations to prevail on an issue despite a particular provision of the Charter or the courts’ interpretation thereof. The Charter’s key constitutional innovations are the single general limitations clause and the notwithstanding clause.

The general limitations clause contained in section 1 of the Charter marked a decisive and innovative break from existing constitutional models. It provided a constitutional “third way” of limiting rights between the American model of stating rights in absolutist terms and European approaches of having rights-specific limitations.

While international human rights documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contained the model for a single limitations clause of general application, these documents remained primarily rhetorical. Their intent was to inspire rather than to provide an operational framework for the enforcement of rights. The Charter firmly put the theory of the single limitations clause into action, making a unique contribution to global constitutionalism. Other jurisdictions — including South Africa, New Zealand, Israel, the Australian Capital Territory and the Australian state of Victoria — followed the Charter’s path.

The second constitutional innovation produced by the Charter was the notwithstanding clause. Similar clauses existed in the Canadian Bill of Rights and several provincial human rights statutes, but they never really attracted much attention in the courts or in the political arena. The notwithstanding clause’s dramatic last-minute insertion into the Charter as a result of the “kitchen accord” in November 1981 catapulted it into constitutional discourse. Constitution makers in other countries liked the idea of giving legislatures an express override over court decisions. Thus, analogous provisions were adopted in Israel and the U.K., and the override idea was adapted in New Zealand and Australia.

Together the limitations and the notwithstanding clauses created in the Charter a uniquely Canadian model of constitutional rights protection. The Charter added a new alternative into the traditional debate between judicial supremacy, as idealized by the United States, and legislative supremacy, epitomized by the classic Westminster parliament. The Charter demonstrated the existence of a spectrum between these two poles and planted the Canadian model somewhere between them.

The Canadian model opened up the constitutional possibilities for rights protection rather than providing a definitive prototype that had to be adopted like a pre-fabricated structure. The Canadian model has become part of a growing constitutional buffet that constitution-makers can study and select from to suit their constitutional tastes. The question then becomes: What makes the Canadian model particularly appetizing to many jurisdictions?

Three key characteristics of the Charter explain its attraction to jurisdictions as diverse as Hong Kong, South Africa, Israel and New Zealand: the modern nature of the Charter, Canada’s credibility and the Charter’s accessibility.

On the Charter’s modern nature, I mean both the Charter’s age as well as its outlook. The Charter is a late 20th-century bill of rights in a time where the leading competing constitutional visions date back at least two centuries.

The American Bill of Rights is an 18th-century document that reflects its prevailing political philosophy — a classical liberal Lockean ethos of individualism. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man dates to the same period. Both documents have been and continue to be highly influential and inspirational as part of a very small and elite group of intellectual progenitors of 20th- and 21st-century rights discourse rather than providing concrete blueprints that speak to the challenges of the constitutional state in the 21st century.

In contrast, the Charter reflects Canada’s struggle with the challenges of a modern multicultural and multilingual society. Canada is not unique in facing such issues. The Charter recognizes the existence and the legitimacy of minorities and indigenous groups. While it is a product of our history, the Charter also reflects Canada’s vision as a participant in a global world. It draws strength from a universalist conception of human rights rather than any particular Canadian notion of rights, although it emphasizes rights that have special relevance to the Canadian condition such as language rights.

The American Bill of Rights has a number of problems as a model for other countries. First, the protections contained in the American Bill of Rights have been subject to over 200 years of judicial interpretation within a uniquely American political culture and history. To understand the right of free speech in the American Constitution you have to familiarize yourself with the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Red Scare of the 1920s and of McCarthyism, the Vietnam War era, etc. Americans are obsessed with their history and we Canadians tend to be oblivious to ours. This turns out to be a bonus for exporting our constitutionalism.

Second, American constitutional interpretation gives pride of place to “originalism” — what the founding fathers of the American Republic meant in the late 1700s. Frankly, few people care about this outside the United States, least of all those creating or interpreting their own constitutions.

The Charter represents a modern late 20th-century constitutional vision. The subsequent interpretation given to the Charter by the Supreme Court of Canada has served to reinforce rather than limit its international appeal.

The second general explanation for the Charter’s appeal is Canada’s credibility. The export of the Charter can be seen as an element of Canada’s foreign policy. It is part of Canada’s “soft power.” The Charter’s success abroad is very much tied to Canada’s participation in the international system and its global image. Canada is a member of more world organizations than any other country. We are the colleague of the countries of the world, not their competitor.

The Canadian constitutional model is non-threatening. When Peter MacKay was minister of Foreign Affairs, he explained, in the context of Canada’s contribution to democracy promotion, that Canada enjoys “unique credibility…. We were never a colonial power. We do not have great power ambitions. Our motives are not suspect, and our agenda is not hidden.” Or as Michael Ignatieff put it, “we don’t have the baggage of an imperial past or the menace of an imperial present.” Indeed, in today’s world, where American institutions and ideas are viewed with suspicion if not hostility, the Charter’s international credibility increases simply by virtue of its not being American. In short, it is not politically threatening for countries to look to the Charter as a constitutional model.

The final general explanation – the Charter’s accessibility to an international audience — is a simple but significant one. The Charter is accessible on at least three levels: linguistic, technological and interpersonal.

First, we should not discount the importance of the Charter being in English during an age in which that language has become the legal lingua franca of the world. The Charter, its case law and its commentary are available in a language that many foreign legal scholars, policy makers and judges can understand and use. In contrast, a constitution such as the German Basic Law, which is of significant interest to many comparative constitutional scholars, would likely have greater influence if its cases and commentary were more broadly accessible.

Second, the Internet increases the Charter’s accessibility by providing access to Canadian cases from anywhere in the wired or wireless world.

Finally, Canada has become a hospitable place for foreign scholars and interest in Canada has made Canadian scholars and jurists welcome around the world. The establishment of personal relationships and legal networks helps to spread the Canadian constitutional model.

Canada may not be the foremost constitutional superpower in today’s world, but we surely are a constitutional superpower with at least as much influence as the United States and probably more. The Charter is not the only model, but rather it has become a relevant and compelling one and any jurisdiction considering a bill of rights is likely to consider it.

So while in Ottawa there will probably only be a press release from the PMO to mark the Charter’s 30th birthday, it is likely that in other capitals around the world, citizens will be raising a glass of wine or a pint of beer to toast “the Charter!”

The Charter at 30: Don't hate us because our constitution's beautiful - National Post
 
Machjo
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

So it was a failure then?

Not totally, but it has plenty of room for improvement.

Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

The original American Constitution was a flawed document and it took amendments to modernize it over the years and if people who are opposed to the Canadian Charter of Rights can start the process to add amendments to the document to make it better.

Agreed.

Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

Glorification it should be, just think Canada was able to break away from Britain without a revolution and we did not have to dump our tea into the harbour.

Sorry, I didn't mean to give you a greenie for this one, but for your otehr post above that. So I gave you two greenies for th eprice of one.
 
Colpy
Conservative
+1 / -1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

It looks like this is going to be a heavy hitter.
Don’t hate us because our Constitution’s beautiful
Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of patriation and the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Regrettably, our government has shunned any official celebration of these events. But not to worry. The Charter is likely to receive warm greetings from its many supporters around the globe. Americans are now even calling Canada “the new constitutional superpower”. Who knew? How did this happen?
With the Charter, Canada developed a distinctly “Canadian” model of constitutionalism that has been studied, emulated and adopted abroad. This is likely to come as a surprise to most Canadians because we have come to take the Charter for granted. It is simply part of our legal and political systems. And we tend to see the Charter in bits and pieces — looking at sections such as freedom of expression or the right to equality or court decisions. But the rest of the world sees, first and foremost, the whole structure of the Charter. And what they see is a unique constitutional work of art.
The Charter’s architecture consists of the broad enumeration of rights, which place the individual at the centre by guaranteeing rights to “everyone” or “every person,” subject to a single limitations clause of general application. The Charter keeps the legislature in the rights equation through the...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
The guy that wrote this indicated his own stupidity in the opening paragraph: "Americans are now even calling Canada “the new constitutional superpower”.

EXACTLY what are you smoking, and where do I get some???? Reality is so BORING.

ROTFLMAO.

www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/f.../1565496477001 (external - login to view)
Last edited by Colpy; Apr 17th, 2012 at 11:00 AM..
 
mentalfloss
#10
Charter of Rights turns Canada into a 'constitutional' trendsetter

Forget, if you will, the prediction that Canada is fast becoming an energy superpower, able to influence on the world.

The question legal scholars are asking themselves these days is whether Canada is a "constitutional superpower," primarily on the back of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

According to several authorities, the charter, which turns 30 on Tuesday, April 17, has been influencing not just Canadian law but jurisprudence and the drafting of constitutions around the world.

In a forthcoming study that analyzes the content of the world's constitutions, titled, "The Declining influence of the United States Constitution," its authors observe that, "a stark contrast can be drawn between the declining attraction of the U.S. Constitution as a model for other countries and the increasing attraction of the model provided by America’s neighbour to the north, Canada."

The study is by law professors David Law of Washington University in Saint Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia and will be published in the June issue of the New York University Law Review. David Law was born in Vancouver and grew up in B.C.

One chapter — "Is Canada a constitutional superpower?" — says that "among common law countries, Canada has served as a constitutional trendsetter."

To reach this conclusion the authors analyzed 729 constitutions drafted between 1946 and 2006 and found that the U.S. Constitution, the oldest national constitution still in force, "no longer serves as the primary source of inspiration for constitution-making."

However, they also found that, "from the enactment of the Bill of Rights in 1960 through the dawn of the 1980s, the overall global constitutional trend was one of increasing similarity to the Canadian constitution."

Their findings are consistent with the work of other scholars about the Canadian charter's significant global impact. It has been described as the leading influence on Israel's basic laws and the bill of rights of Hong Kong, South Africa and New Zealand.

Another study found that "the decisions of Canadian courts are cited by New Zealand judges far more than those from any other jurisdiction."


Look to Canada

The waning of the U.S. Constitution's influence has been the focus of some debate in the U.S. in recent months, particularly following an interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Al Hayat TV in Egypt on January 30.

Ginsburg was on an official visit to Egypt and Tunisia to help those countries with their transition to democracy following the so-called Arab Spring.

When asked about whether Egypt should look to other's countries' constitutions in drafting their own, she responded, "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012."

She suggested Egypt turn to Canada's charter, as well as South Africa's Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

In the nineties, Israel turned to Canada's charter when it drafted its basic laws on human rights.

At the time, Aharon Barak was a member and then the president of the Israeli Supreme Court. Earlier he had been Israel's attorney general. In his book, The Judge in a Democracy, he wrote that, "Canadian law serves as a source of inspiration for many countries around the world."

Israel does not have a written constitution. And Barak led what he called a constitutional revolution to give human rights supremacy in Israeli law and to give courts the power to overturn laws that are inconsistent with these basic laws.

In this initiative, Canada's charter was an important reference, he has said.

Today in Israel there is a debate about government plans to give the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, the power to overturn an Israeli high court decision that might overturn a given law as unconstitutional.

Canada's charter also figures in that discussion. This time it is Section 33, the sometimes controversial notwithstanding clause that gives Canada's federal and provincial governments the powers to override parts of the charter for up to five years

Israel affairs analyst Shira Herzog told CBC News in an interview from Tel Aviv, that the notwithstanding clause "has been referenced as a source for this kind of legislation." While the notwithstanding clause was born out of compromise to achieve a constitution, Herzog views the proposed Israeli law as designed to weaken the mandate of the supreme court.


The South Africa experience

South Africa also looked to Canada's charter when drafting its rights laws in the 1990s.

Partly that was because Canada and the U.S. define the concept of equality very differently in their respective laws, according to lawyer and rights activist Marilou McPhedran.

In an interview with CBC News, she said that "the Canadian charter served the founding of a democratic South Africa much better because one of the primary challenges was to find a way to incorporate a huge variance of diversity" in race, culture and religion, while deeply entrenching the core value of equality.

McPhedran was chief commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and is now the principal of the University of Winnipeg Global College.

So when they were trying "to create a nation where they could live together and accommodate differences and respect differences, there was a real turning to Canada," she said.

McPhedran took part in the South African government's ten-year review of their constitution on behalf of International Women's Rights Project.

She also notes that, in the process of drafting their constitutions, both Canada and South Africa were influenced by women's activism, resulting in strong equality provisions in the law.

She was one of the leaders in the campaign to include women's rights in the Canadian charter and also founded the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, known as LEAF, which has been an important intervener in many charter cases.

Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, notes that South Africa has "gone a little farther" than the Canadian charter by recognizing socio-economic rights in its bill of rights.

South Africa's bill is also different in that it includes human dignity as one of the country's founding values.

While concurring with the general view that Canada's charter has had a significant international impact, McPhedran notes that in earlier days that impact was furthered by the efforts of the federal government and the Canadian legal community to assist many post-conflict states with drafting their constitutions.

But that was in earlier days, she notes, when the government provided "much more support than what we see today."

Charter of Rights turns Canada into a 'constitutional' trendsetter - Politics - CBC News
 
Colpy
Conservative
-1
#11
Quote:

The study is by law professors David Law of Washington University in Saint Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia and will be published in the June issue of the New York University Law Review. David Law was born in Vancouver and grew up in B.C.

One chapter — "Is Canada a constitutional superpower?" — says that "among common law countries, Canada has served as a constitutional trendsetter."

LOL!!

Well, I guess technically that is "Americans"......a total of TWO.

STILL ROTFLMAO.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the other 300 million plus still consider the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States as second only to the Ten Commandments as essential documents.
 
petros
+4
#12  Top Rated Post
I'd wager more are thankful for the Magna Carta
 
mentalfloss
#13
The big Cheese himself..

Andrew Coyne: Canada’s Charter of Rights imposes vital limits on the discretion of government

Whatever else they may disagree on, critics and admirers of the Charter of Rights are united in their belief in its centrality. Whether you share the conviction of one critic that the day the Charter passed Canada “surrendered any claim to democratic self-government,” or whether you subscribe to the late Chief Justice Brian Dickson’s reported assessment, that the Charter transformed Canada from a system of “parliamentary supremacy” into one of “constitutional supremacy,” what is common to both is the suggestion of a fundamental break with the previous order.

That we have become a noticeably freer and fairer country in the 30 years since the Charter became law I do not dispute. But the changes it has wrought have as much to do with the system of law of which it is a part as with any particular provision of the Charter.


Indeed, the most common complaints about the Charter, that it has confined Parliament’s powers to make laws for the general good, while handing unelected judges the power to make law, are not only exaggerations: they could as well be said about the rule of law itself.

All laws, not just the Charter, bind the legislatures that pass them, at least until they are changed. All laws, not just the Charter, limit the discretion of governments. That is precisely their point. The purpose of law is not to restrain the citizens: governments can do that very well in its absence, as in any dictatorship. It is, rather, a restraint on government. We do not trust our leaders enough to permit them to rule by fiat. We make them put it in writing. We grant them this much power, and no more.

We insist their powers be defined in this way, not only to contain them within limits, but that we might better understand what they are — that they might be more predictable, more certain, more clear. We desire, at a minimum, that laws should mean the same thing from one day to the next, and be consistent with each other.

But for that we need an independent adjudicator. If the people who made the laws also had the power to interpret them — as kings have claimed, in ages past — the law would cease to perform its intended restraining role. Legislation would mean whatever was convenient in any given case. Only by dividing power between the legislative and judicial branches — one proposing, the other disposing — can we be protected, however imperfectly, from “arbitrary measures.”

All laws, then, not just the Charter, involve the judiciary in “making law.” The minute you given anyone the power to interpret the law, that inevitably impinges upon the legislative power to some degree, no matter how scrupulous they may be about original intent. That is an implication of the rule of law, not the Charter. (And not only written law: The common law that conservatives get all misty about is judge-made law in its purest form, consisting as it does entirely of jurisprudence).

To be sure, the Charter differs from ordinary laws in some respects. It is explicit in stating its supremacy over other laws, even those that come after; accordingly, it is harder to change than they are. But even these are hardly new. The popular theory that Canada had no “written constitution” before 1982 would seem to have trouble explaining the existence of the British North America Act, which I distinctly recall being a document of some kind. As, for that matter, was the Bill of Rights 1688, the Act of Union and the rest of the English constitution back to Magna Carta.

Parliamentary supremacy was never the principle by which Canada was governed, in other words, nor was judicial review the invention of the Charter. Before 1982, the courts were regularly called upon to decide whether one level of government had intruded upon another’s powers and prerogatives, and to toss out the offending legislation as ultra vires the Constitution. All the Charter did was grant the people the same protection. Henceforth, governments had to be as considerate of their citizens’ rights as they were of each other’s.

You can call that many things, but the one thing you can’t call it is anti-democratic. Because — I’m going to let you in on a secret here — the Charter was itself the creation of a democratically elected Parliament.
More than a statement of abstract principle, the Charter is a list of solemn promises on Parliament’s part: about how it intended to act in future, about how its past acts were to be judged. It wasn’t the courts that imposed these obligations upon it. Parliament itself assumed them, presumably in good faith. All the courts are doing is holding it to its word.

I do not mean to suggest that we live in the best of all possible worlds. The Charter is a vastly flawed document. It omits the right to own property, a right protected in most other nations’ constitutions, while its prohibition of legal discrimination is instantly eviscerated by a rider allowing for just that, provided it is for the right reasons — one of half a dozen such exceptions and escape hatches, most notoriously the notwithstanding clause.

The courts, for their part, have frequently erred in their interpretation of it, though not in the reliably expansive way critics of judicial activism fear: more often the problem has been judicial inactivism, a failure to uphold the Charter’s primacy over legislation that conflicts with it, as it is their duty to do. For it was Parliament that decreed they should.

Andrew Coyne: Canada’s Charter of Rights imposes vital limits on the discretion of government | Full Comment | National Post

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I'd wager more are thankful for the Magna Carta

I'm sure Colpy thinks the 10 commandments are more important though.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

The big Cheese himself..

Andrew Coyne: Canada’s Charter of Rights imposes vital limits on the discretion of government

The courts, for their part, have frequently erred in their interpretation of it, though not in the reliably expansive way critics of judicial activism fear: more often the problem has been judicial inactivism, a failure to uphold the Charter’s primacy over legislation that conflicts with it, as it is their duty to do. For it was Parliament that decreed they should.
Andrew Coyne: Canada’s Charter of Rights imposes vital limits on the discretion of government | Full Comment | National Post:

Bolded part says loads does it not.
 
mentalfloss
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Bolded part says loads does it not.

Depends on how frequently and how severe the repercussions.
 
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