THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA

Authors

  • BEREND HOVIUS
  • ROBERT MARTIN

Abstract

The entrenchment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will not transform the Canadian system of government. Instead, the Supreme Court of Canada will strive to ensure that the legislatures continue to bear the ultimate responsibility for determining social policy. The court is also unlikely to use the Charter to control effectively police behaviour. The approach of the court to the Canadian Bill of Rights was characterized by restraint, a restraint which was demanded by neither the status nor the wording of the Bill. There is nothing in the Charter which requires the abandoning of this tradition. Indeed, there are many features of the Charter which will assist the Supreme Court of Canada in maintaining its attitude of restraint. Nevertheless, the Charter will not become meaningless. It will provide an additional lever for the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene where unprecedented and unjustifiable deviations from the accepted, although largely unarticulated, political principles of the Canadian state occur.

Keywords:

Constitutional Law

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Published

1983-03-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary

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