1.7 charter website

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2013

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1.7 charter website

  1. 1. Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  2. 2. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Divided into 7 major sections: 1.)Fundamental Freedoms 2.)Democratic Rights 3.) Mobility Rights 4.) Legal Rights 5.) Equality Rights 6.) Language Rights 7.) Minority Language Education Rights Pierre Elliott Trudeau
  3. 3. Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982 • Before the Charter, Canada had something called The Bill of Rights, which was federal law. The difference is that the Charter is entrenched in the Constitution. • The Charter was proposed by Pierre Trudeau  • The Charter guarantees certain political rights to Canadian citizens and civil rights of everyone in Canada. It is designed to unify Canadians around a set of principles that embody those rights. The Charter was signed into law by Queen Elizabeth II of Canada on April 17, 1982
  4. 4. Reasonable Limits None of the rights and freedoms of the Charter are absolute, meaning the government can restrict them. Certain rights must be balanced against others Ex. Right to host a party vs. right to peace and quiet
  5. 5. Enforcement • Someone lodging a complaint of discrimination against a certain government agency must apply to the courts to have the discrimination stopped
  6. 6. Notwithstanding Clause (aka Section 33) Allows parliament or a province to exempt legislation from parts of the charter. It can only be applied to fundamental freedoms and legal and equality rights
  7. 7. Legal Rights • Legal Rights: rights of people in dealing with the justice system and law enforcement • Habeas Corpus: Section 10 of the Charter is a court order that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. The principle of habeas corpus ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention—that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. • Presumption of innocence: the principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. Application of this principle is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial.
  8. 8. Fundamental Freedoms • Section 2: freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and of other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association. Equality Rights • Section 15: equal treatment before and under the law, and equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination.
  9. 9. Democratic Rights • The right to participate in political activities and the right to a democratic form of government. Mobility Rights • Section 6: protects the mobility rights of Canadian citizens, and to a lesser extent that of permanent residents which include the right to enter and leave Canada, and to move to and take up residence in any province, or to reside outside Canada. • You can move around all you want.
  10. 10. Language Rights • • Generally, the right to use either the English or French language in communications with Canada's federal government and certain provincial governments. Specifically, the language laws enshrined in the Charter include: Section 16: English and French are the official languages of Canada and New Brunswick. Minority Language Rights • Section 23: rights for certain citizens belonging to French or English-speaking minority communities to be educated in their own language.
  11. 11. Minority Rights • The Indian Act ("An Act respecting Indians"), is a Canadian statute that concerns registered Indians, their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. • Children’s Rights: It is because of the unique vulnerability of children that their rights are of priority concern within Canada’s foreign policy. Canada played a key role in the negotiations that led to the adoption in 1989 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  12. 12. Applying the Charter • Must be general and flexible to meet changes in Canadian society • Like a living tree with the roots being Canadian values, with the court decisions representing the growth of the tree
  13. 13. Interpreting the Charter • Some words and phrases in the charter are straightforward and simple to understand • Some require interpretation by the judges • Ex. Life, liberty and security of the person. ?
  14. 14. Balancing Competing Interests • Courts often hear cases involving different sections of charter • Ex. Retirement age vs. opportunities for young people • One section may be used to limit the scope of another • Ex. Lords Day Act
  15. 15. Role of Judges • Argument that Charter erodes the power of parliament and puts judges in control • Do personal views influence decisions? • How can we expect a judge to rule on something that politicians are unable to do. • In the end we rely on Judges to exercise good faith in the best interests of society • Judges are nominated by the Prime Minister. • The first female Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada was Bertha Wilson • The current Chief Justice of Canada, and the first woman to hold this position is Beverley McLachlin. She also serves as a Deputy of the Governor General of Canada.
  16. 16. Impact of the Charter on Canadian Society • The Charter has brought changes to laws that discriminate against people because of personal characteristics or prejudices. With the Charter, Canadian society has a clearer recognition of human rights and freedoms, and ways to enforce these rights. • The Charter gives us tools to see that our rights and freedoms are respected by governments and laws. If a law or government action violates the Charter, we can ask a court to address this. The courts can strike down laws that violate the Charter.

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