Online Charter Series: The Constitutional Right of Religious Freedom in Canada


Dr. Howard Kislowicz, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Professor Kislowicz will address the basics of the law of freedom of conscience and religion in section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He will explore the following questions: What is included in the constitutional right of “freedom of conscience and religion”? How has the Supreme Court of Canada interpreted that right? How can the right be limited according to the Constitution?

This event is free and open to the public.


Civil Liberty and Fundamental Rights: A Juridical Perspective


Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Skinner considers two competing views of civil liberty – one, the condition of not being subject to the power of others, and the other, an absence of interference with choices and actions. He explores what this means for ‘fundamental’ rights, and suggests that re-appropriating the first view might help us to think more fruitfully about current threats to privacy and liberty.

This event is free and open to the public.


Online Charter Series: Section 1, the Charter’s Balancing Provision


Patricia Paradis, Executive Director, Centre for Constitutional Studies

How do courts balance the constitutional protection of individual rights and freedoms in the Charter with the interests of the community as whole, especially during a pandemic? How can governments justify limiting rights? We will consider some scenarios.

This event is free and open to the public.


Online Charter Series: Constitutional Dissent


Eric M. Adams, Vice Dean and Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta

What is the line between constitutionally-protected dissent and the protection of worksites, workplaces, and workers? Professor Eric M. Adams (U of A) will explore the constitutional issues raised by Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act in relation to the Charter’s section 2 fundamental freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.

This event is free and open to the public.
Register here:


Online Charter Series: Contact Tracing Apps

Numerous countries use contact tracing apps to help track COVID exposure. But how do these apps work? And what impact do they have on privacy?

Join Professors Emily Laidlaw (U Calgary) and Joel Reardon (U Calgary) as they discuss how contact tracing apps work, and explore related security and privacy issues, looking at key privacy provisions of the Charter and the applicability of the Charter, including its limits, to address the privacy concerns of users traced with these apps.

This event is free and open to the public. Reserve your spot at this Webinar by registering now.

Emily Laidlaw, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Joel Reardon, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary


The Future of Liberal Democracies and Levy’s Separation of Powers Thesis

Please join our panelists for an engaged dialogue, as they discuss Jacob T. Levy’s thesis, presented as the 31st Annual McDonald Lecture in Constitutional Studies, on the separation of powers, the critical challenges it faces in light of nationalist populism and partisan polarization, and the future of liberal democracies in a changing political landscape.

Online Lecture Registration

31st Annual McDonald Lecture in Constitutional Studies with Professor Jacob T. Levy

The Separation of Powers and the Challenge to Constitutional Democracy

Professor Jacob T. Levy
Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory, McGill University

Professor Levy will examine the roots of our contemporary challenges to constitutional democracy, and trace these to the development of one of constitutionalism’s central institutions: the separation of powers. He will explain how the visible fragility of constitutional democracy is, in real part, a fragility of the separation of powers, and how addressing the one requires also addressing the other.

The McDonald Lecture is presented by the Centre for Constitutional Studies through an endowment to the Faculty of Law in Memory of Justice David C. McDonald.

Online Lecture Registration

Online Charter Series: Section 25 of the Charter – Indigenous Laws in Canadian Courts

Which prevails, the Charter or the Vuntut Gwitchin Constitution? The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation enacted their own Constitution providing for the selection of political leaders based on their traditional laws, and their right to self-government. In a recent case, that Constitution was challenged using the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Join lawyer and PhD candidate Ryan Beaton, University of Victoria, as he reviews the recent Vuntut Gwitchin decision from the Yukon Supreme Court, and addresses the complexities of considering Indigenous Law, and section 25 of the Charter.

Download a copy of the poster here.


This online event is free and open to the public.

Carbon Pricing and the Constitution

Why is the federal government’s carbon pricing so constitutionally contentious? The Ontario and Saskatchewan Courts of Appeal found the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA, sometimes referred to as ‘carbon tax’ or ‘carbon pricing’) constitutional; the Alberta Court of Appeal did not.

On September 22nd and 23rd, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments about whether the federal government has jurisdiction to enact the GGPPA.

Join Professors Eric M. Adams, Andrew Leach, and Jocelyn Stacey on Monday, September 21st, as they discuss key points the Supreme Court will need to decide, and explore wider issues related to the GGPPA litigation. Professors Adams and Leach will focus on the issue of whether the GGPPA is federal or provincial jurisdiction, while Professor Stacey will discuss environmental principles related to the GGPPA.

This event is free and open to the public. Download a copy of the poster here.

Eric M. Adams is Vice Dean and a Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta.

Andrew Leach is an Associate Professor at the Alberta School of Business – Marketing, Business Economics and Law.

Jocelyn Stacey is an Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.


Online Charter Series: Pandemic Travel Restrictions – Do They Violate Your Mobility Rights?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide have taken measures that were previously unthinkable. Limitations have been placed on travel to and from, as well as within Canada. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect rights to travel?

Join lawyers Arthur M. Grant, Partner at Grant Kovacs Norell, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Cara Zwibel, Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, as they discuss Charter rights in the context of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

This event is free and open to the public. Download a copy of the poster here.