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Articles | CCS Administrator | September 25, 2018
Section 33 (Notwithstanding Clause): The Charter’s Sleeping Giant by Prof Barbara Billingsley

Category: The Charter

Billingsley, Barbara. “Section 33:The Charter’s Sleeping Giant.” 21st Windsor Year Book of Access to Justice 331 (2002): 331-346. Section 33 was included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a concession to those who were concerned that the Charter would

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | September 18, 2018
Wading into murky waters: Courts and the complexities of organized religion

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

 Introduction An old maxim has it that there are three things one should never discuss around the dinner table: sex, politics, and religion. In some way, the same holds true at Canada’s highest court. Though the Supreme Court of Canada

Articles | Katherine Creelman | September 17, 2018
What is the Notwithstanding Clause?

Category: The Charter

This article was written by a law student for the general public. Updated: May 31, 2017 33 (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may

Articles | Lana Borenstein | July 30, 2018
Legislating Under the Influence: Is the Impaired Driving Act Constitutional?

Category: The Charter

Introduction As the Trudeau government sought to fulfill its campaign promise of legalizing cannabis with Bill C-45 (The Cannabis Act), it also introduced a complementary bill to address impaired driving last May. The Impaired Driving Act, or Bill C-46, was introduced by Justice

Articles | Chenoa Sly | July 27, 2018
Failing to Provide the Necessaries of Life: Freedom of Conscience and Religion, Parental Choice and Children’s Rights

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Introduction David and Collet Stephan were convicted in April 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life (Criminal Codes 215(2)(b)) to their son Ezekiel, who died of meningitis in March 2012.[1] A family friend and nurse had suggested to

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | July 17, 2018
Two options for pay equity: complete compensation or no laws at all

Category: The Charter, Equality Rights (Section 15)

On May 10, 2018, the Supreme Court released two decisions about challenges to pay equity laws in Quebec.[1] Several unions challenged two provisions in the pay equity laws claiming they  violated equality rights under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[2] Only

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | July 12, 2018
SCC clarifies freedom of religion, gives law societies license to limit it

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

On June 15, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada released a highly-anticipated pair of decisions: Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University[1] and Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada.[2] These also happened to be the last two decisions of

Articles | Chenoa Sly | June 27, 2018
An End to Mandatory Minimum Sentences?

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

Imagine a college student returning from a spring-break trip to Seattle with one joint (cannabis) who is arrested for importing a controlled substance, convicted, and sentenced to 7 years in prison. The Supreme Court of Canada considered these hypothetical facts

Articles | Chenoa Sly | June 14, 2018
A Jury of Whose Peers?

Category: Democratic Governance, The Charter

On February 9th, 2018, Gerald Stanley was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man. Following the not guilty verdict by a jury, Boushie’s family, as well as Indigenous leaders, pointed

Articles | Katherine Creelman | October 23, 2017
Free expression: Do Canadian universities make the grade?

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Universities in Canada are currently grappling with balancing respect for free expression and the call for less offensive speech on campus, especially when it targets and harms marginalized groups. But, what is the law of free expression in Canada? Is

Articles | Katherine Creelman | September 8, 2017
Extra, extra! Protecting the “free” press in Canada

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

“2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;”[1] In Canada, freedom of the press is expressly recognized and constitutionally protected in section 2(b)

Articles | Raymond Chen | August 30, 2017
Safe Injection Sites: How the Supreme Court got it right with Insite

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered the federal Minister of Health to continue exempting Insite, a safe injection facility, from the application of criminal drug laws.[1] The Court ruled that the Minister’s decision to not exempt Insite, violated

Articles | Coleman Brinker | August 4, 2017
Your right to live in a healthy environment: phantom or reality?

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

What does it mean to have a right to a healthy environment? And is this a right that Canadians can have and enjoy? Having a right to a healthy environment means that the government guarantees its people access to clean

Articles | Katherine Creelman | August 4, 2017
The Free Press: No freedom without source protection

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

There is a dilemma created with respect to the use of certain sources by the press:  how can the press truly be free to report, when their sources are not protected? Journalists contend that there cannot truly be a free

Articles | Coleman Brinker | July 19, 2017
Solitary Confinement vs the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Category: The Charter

Solitary confinement – a prisoner’s isolation from other inmates and prison staff for 22 hours or more a day– can have major negative impacts on human health.[1] Its use can cause or exacerbate mental illnesses, increase the risk of prisoners

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