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law presentation

law presentation

Published in Spiritual
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  • 1. R. v. Keegstra Menik Nayyarah Sita
  • 2. Important facts
    • James Keegstra was a high school teacher in Eckville, Alberta
    • 1984: charged for promoting hatred against an identifiable group by communicating anti- Semitic statements to his students
    • He would describe Jews as people of profound evil who had “created” the Holocaust to gain sympathy
    • He would also test his students on exams/tests on his theories and opinions of Jews
      • Students who shared his views received better grades than those who didn't
  • 3. Issues
    • Does s.319 (2) of the Criminal Code violate the right to freedom of expression protected in s.2(b) of the Charter?
    • Does s.319 (3a) violate the right to assumption of innocence found in s.11(d) of the Charter?
    • S. 2b of charter : Everyone has the right to freedom of expression
    • S. 11d: any person charged with an offence has right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law
    • S.319 (2) of Criminal code: Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against an identifiable group is guilty
    • S.319 ( 3a): No person shall be convicted of an offence if he establishes that the statements communicated were true
  • 4. The verdict
    • First issue:
      • The Court decided first that s. 319(2) infringed freedom of speech in s. 2(b) of the Charter
    • Second issue:
      • the Court ruled that there was an infringement of s. 11(d) of the Charter due to the reverse onus provision in s. 319(3a) of the criminal code
    • a one-year suspended sentence, one year of probation, and 200 hours of community service work
  • 5. Reason behind the decisions
    • S.1 of CCRF: guarantees the rights and freedoms but only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law
    • Court found that both the rulings were justified under section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    • Supreme Court ruled that Keegstra's rants exceeded his freedom of expression simply because hate isn’t a valid means to a productive end
  • 6. Significance of the decision
    • freedom of expression should be interpreted generously and was infringed in the case of the James Keegstra
    • freedom of expression does not protect communications supporting racial or religious hatred
    • Your right to freedom of expression cannot be taken advantage of