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Articles | Chenoa Sly | October 19, 2018
Dismantling the Safe Third Country Agreement

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14), Equality Rights (Section 15)

Introduction There are increasing calls on the Canadian government to suspend, and then end the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States. These calls have been prompted by recent developments in the United States regarding immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees,

Articles | CCS Administrator | October 19, 2018
“Purging” Facebook of Threats and Hate Speech: Is this Constitutional?

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Introduction Two women in Manitoba have been charged with uttering threats and public incitement of hatred for their Facebook comments, posted in response to the vandalism of one woman’s car.[1] The women blamed the vandalism on on-reserve “Indians” and agreed to

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 | Chenoa Sly | July 26, 2018
Accommodating UNDRIP: Bill C-262 and the future of Duty to Consult

Category: Aboriginal Rights

Introduction In May 2018, Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, passed in the House of Commons and moved on to be considered

Articles | Lana Borenstein | July 17, 2018
The Senate’s amendments to the Cannabis Act: Just a ‘sober second thought’ or high on power?

Category: Democratic Governance

The Canadian Senate has long been the object of criticism from Canadians and lawmakers alike[1]. Since its inception, politicians have sought to reform the upper chamber, and Senate reform has repeatedly appeared in the House of Commons.[2] Others have wondered why

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 | Lana Borenstein | July 6, 2018
Carbon Tax Showdown: Who Holds the Power?

Category: Federalism

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 | Nathaniel Gartke | June 14, 2018
“Free the Beer” case falls flat at Supreme Court

Category: Federalism

On March 19th, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v Comeau[1]—known popularly as the “Free the Beer” case. (A summary of the facts and issues can be found here.) Though commentators speculated that the case

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