Monday, March 25, 2013

Library of Parliament Research Publication on Courts and the Protection of Language Rights

The Library of Parliament recently published an updated version of its research publication on The Role of the Courts in the Recognition of Language Rights.

It looks at:
  1. The Adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its Judicial Implications 
  2. Recognition of Language Rights by the Courts 
  3. Federal Government Support for the Recognition of Language Rights
    3.1 The Court Challenges Program
    3.2 The Language Rights Support Program
    3.3 Overview of the situation 
  4. Political and Judicial Recognition 
  5. How to Interpret Part VII of the Official Languages Act
From the conclusion:
"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. Further, it is important always to bear in mind the important role communities must play in their own development. The only way communities can ensure their development is to take matters into their own hands and exercise power in practical terms."

"According to Michael Mandel:
The ability to take advantage of some rights, to make use of them, depends on social power. … Certain rights are not only of little use without social power; their very meaning is different."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:40 pm

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