CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE: YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT (NOR WHAT YOU NEED)
AbstractThe author argues that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is unlikely to provide an efficacious means for bringing about progressive social change. He notes that the various rights and freedoms articulated in the Charter can be logically interpreted to require a variety of progressive programs, but argues that it is unlikely the courts will give them such content. The reasons for this have to do with the structure of rights discourse, the inaccessibility of the courts to most potential litigants, and the attitudes and beliefs of judges. According to the author, lawyers and scholars who see a progressive potential in the Charter tend to downplay these factors.
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