Sunday, October 21, 2012

Library of Parliament Research Publication on Role of the Courts in the Recognition of Language Rights

The Library of Parliament recently published a revised version of its research publication The Role of the Courts in the Recognition of Language Rights
"In 1988, a revised version of the Official Languages Act was passed. The current Act takes into account the new constitutional order imposed by the Charter and adds provisions pertaining to language of work in federal institutions, the vitality and development of the official language minority communities, and the advancement of English and French in Canadian society. It also provides a remedy that allows any complainant to appeal to the Federal Court to ensure that his or her language rights are respected."

"The adoption of these constitutional and legislative measures gave official language minority communities new tools with which to affirm their rights in court. Since 1982, hundreds of judgments have clarified the scope of language rights (...)"

"The courts have contributed much to the recognition of language rights in Canada. A good example of their contribution is the progress made by official-language communities in a minority setting with regard to minority-language education. However, long, complex court cases can be very costly and time-consuming. Moreover, systematic use of the courts can create a culture of confrontation where the parties lock horns more than they communicate and work together."

"Official-language communities in a minority setting cannot make any real headway without a clear commitment from governments to the advancement of their rights. Political action cannot be, and must never be, brushed aside"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:24 pm

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