Friday, April 06, 2007

Articles on 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

There are a number of articles in the most recent issue of Canadian Lawyer about the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

Conservative columnist Ezra Levant launches an attack on what he considers the negative consequence of the constitutional document: the rise of an unelected and unaccountable "jurocracy". In a comment entitled 'Jurocracy' skews Charter’s intent, he quotes a number of prominent constitutional players who had a hand in writing the Charter, many of whom are apparently surprised at the direction things have taken:

"Why haven’t these men been quoted in the media bacchanalia of Charter celebrations? Because they’re sticks in the mud whose views are contrary to Charter groupthink. The fact that these were the men who actually gave birth to the Charter is a quaint footnote. And that’s the whole point: their vision of the Charter is hopelessly outdated. If they didn’t have the politically correct pedigree of actually being the fathers of the document, no doubt they would be labeled as Charter-haters, or even bigots".
Jim Middlemiss, in an article entitled Charter Angst, writes that we've seen nothing yet:

"Basics like right to counsel, free speech, and right not to be discriminated against on enumerated grounds such as sex, have been decided. The next wave of Charter litigation will prove to be much more painful, as it will pit more Charter rights against each other. While the courts have said there is no hierarchy of Charter rights, judges will slowly be forced to place them in some sort of ranking order and the warring factions will likely become the proponents of s. 15 equality rights versus the adherents of s. 2(a), freedom of conscience and religion and enthusiasts of multiculturalism (...) Section 28 deals with equality of men and women, while s. 27 deals with enhancing the multicultural heritage of Canada. Many such cultures do not carry a Western viewpoint towards equality of sexes, setting a clash of values that goes to the heart of Western-based democratic philosophy".
Jennifer McPhee writes about how the Charter has changed employment and labour law in The Charter and the workplace and outlines the areas to watch in upcoming years: mandatory retirement, labour relations in aboriginal government, and privacy in the workplace.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:09 pm


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