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The Charter at 30

Edward Campbell

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Part 1 of 2

The thirtieth anniversary of the Charter is at hand and below are a few article about it, all reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/john-ibbitson/the-charter-proves-to-be-canadas-gift-to-world/article2403254/
The Charter proves to be Canada’s gift to world

JOHN IBBITSON

OTTAWA— From Monday's Globe and Mail
Last updated Monday, Apr. 16, 2012

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was signed 30 years ago Tuesday. Since then, not only has it become a national bedrock, but the Charter has replaced the American Bill of Rights as the constitutional document most emulated by other nations.

“Could it be that Canada has surpassed or even supplanted the United States as a leading global exporter of constitutional law? The data suggest that the answer may be yes.” So conclude two U.S. law professors whose analysis of the declining influence of the American constitution on other nations will be published in New York University Law Review in June.

As the first Commonwealth nation to adopt a bill of rights, Canada has influenced other former British colonies as they create or revise their own constitutions, the study finds. Israel, Hong Kong and Eastern European countries have also drawn from the Canadian example.

Both the Charter itself and the nation that gave birth to it serve as an example to the world. “Some countries may be especially prone to borrow from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because they perceive themselves as sharing the same goals and values as Canadian society,” write David S. Law, who is professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, and Mila Versteeg, who teaches law at University of Virginia.

In contrast, professors Law and Versteeg conclude that the American constitution, once the foundational document for new nations in search of a government, has fallen out of favour. It fails to protect rights, such as freedom from discrimination based on race or sex, that are considered fundamental in our time; it enshrines rights, such as the right to bear arms, that other nations don’t value; its courts increasingly interpret the American document so perversely – by claiming that it must only be applied as the founding fathers originally intended – as to render it useless as a tool for tackling modern problems.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms not only prohibits discrimination based on race or gender, it protects mobility and language rights and enshrines the presumption of innocence. It balances the rights of legislatures and courts through the “notwithstanding” clause, which gives the federal and provincial parliaments limited powers to override court decisions.

Beyond the Charter itself, the Canadian Supreme Court is considered an exemplar in balancing constitutional and legislative powers, a role the American Supreme Court lost entirely after Republicans and Democrats turned it into an ideological battleground.

“The Charter is widely admired, and so are the decisions of the Canadian court,” observes Peter Hogg, one of Canada’s foremost constitutional authorities. “And one reason is that Canada is not the United States.”

The U.S. study, which offers a meticulous comparison of how constitutions around the world reflect and influence each other, leads the authors to conclude that “other common-law countries are looking either directly or indirectly at the Charter,” as they draft and amend their own constitutions, Prof. Law explained in an interview Sunday.

“Overall, the evolution of global constitutionalism has tilted more toward the mild-mannered country to the north than its superpower neighbour to the south,” the report concludes.

Jean Chrétien was a founding father of the Charter. He, as federal justice minister, Roy Romanow, then attorney-general of Saskatchewan and Roy McMurtry, then attorney-general of Ontario, crafted the “Kitchen Accord” that Pierre Trudeau, who was determined to get a bill of rights, and the premiers, who were determined to protect their own powers, could all live with. Only Quebec refused to sign the document, though a recent poll showed Quebeckers overwhelmingly endorse the Charter.

Mr. Chrétien is saddened by the Harper government’s decision not to mark in any meaningful way the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Charter, which may be altogether too Liberal an achievement for the Conservatives’ taste.

“I would celebrate it; they don’t,” Mr. Chrétien said Sunday on Global TV’s The West Block.

Conservative premiers played a major role in the crafting of the Charter, especially Bill Davis of Ontario. As Mr. Chrétien observed, without him there might never have been a deal.

The Charter doesn’t belong to the Liberals or to Conservatives. It belongs to all Canadians. And, increasingly, to the world.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/why-this-year-could-prove-to-be-the-charters-most-controversial/article2403185/
Why this year could prove to be the Charter’s most controversial

KIRK MAKIN — JUSTICE REPORTER

From Monday's Globe and Mail
Last updated Monday, Apr. 16, 2012


Created 30 years ago amid immense political controversy, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms could easily have become an empty shell. Instead, its guarantees of liberty, equality and fairness have permeated political life and Canadian cultural consciousness.

Yet, for all the contentious issues it has settled, the Charter is poised to become more relevant than ever. A federal government with an ambitious agenda of reform is running headlong toward the one institution that has the power to send it back to the drafting board – the judiciary.

In the past year alone, the Charter has been invoked to preserve a Vancouver safe-injection clinic and to blunt the impact of a federal provision to reduce credit for time served in pretrial custody. Prostitution and assisted-suicide laws are under siege. And a wave of new challenges is surging forward, including to mandatory minimum sentences, electronic surveillance and enhanced police powers.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may not face strong opposition in Parliament or from the provinces, but his policies are brushing up against more core legal roadblocks than any of his predecessors faced.

Many legal experts believe that the Charter could be used to block mandatory minimum sentences, a crackdown on refugees and measures that will pack more inmates into already-overcrowded prisons.

However, judges caution that any such flexing of their Charter muscle should not be seen as an ideological move. They perceive themselves as being neither supporters nor opponents of any particular government or political viewpoint, said an Ontario lower court judge, speaking anonymously since judges are supposed to steer clear of public policy debate.

“They think of themselves as being sworn to uphold the supreme law of the land, the Constitution,” the judge said. “It is all about doing what is just and fair. I think there is a broad range of areas where the courts are saying: ‘No, this is simply unfair.’”

The judge said his colleagues will pick their battles carefully in order to forestall accusations that they are usurping the role of elected officials.

With lower-court judges starting to dismantle some legislation, the burning question becomes: What will the Supreme Court of Canada do? Still ensconced in a period of cautious deference to the legislatures, it remains to be seen whether the top court is ready for battle.

“Already, there are signs of pushback from the courts,” said law professor Jamie Cameron, of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “It’s no secret that the Harper government is determined to test the limits of its power, for example, with criminal law, refugee law and Internet surveillance.”

The government’s biggest courtroom loss came last fall, when the Supreme Court of Canada ordered it to keep its hands off of Insite, a supervised drug-injection clinic in Vancouver. The decision reverberated through the judiciary; serving for many judges as a sign from the top that it will act boldly when a situation warrants it.

And in an aboriginal-sentencing decision last month, the Supreme Court extolled the importance of judges retaining discretion to fashion appropriate sentences, a notion that has been steadily eroded by an influx of mandatory minimum sentences.

Last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal used the Charter to strike down federal legislation in the Bedford prostitution challenge, siding against the federal Crown by decriminalizing brothels and a form of pimping.

Two lower-court judges have also invoked the Charter against federal provisions. One struck down a mandatory minimum sentence for a firearms offence. The other judge whittled down the impact of a measure that slashed credit for time served while a criminal defendant is in pretrial detention.

By citing one another’s rulings to lend jurisprudential support, observers said, influential courts impart a sense of solidity to their findings. University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes said the Bedford decision was a classic example. “The most long-term impact of the Bedford decision – especially if the [Supreme Court] upholds it – is the way that this highly respected court has tied the issues within it to the Insite reasoning,” he said.

Charter battles have evolved into a complicated duel of statistics, empirical studies and expert witnesses. When a judge finds that a Charter guarantee has been violated, the government is then compelled to show that the breach is “justifiable in a free and democratic society.”

The key yardsticks in this analysis are whether the goal of the law was important enough to justify breaching a Charter right and whether less intrusive ways of achieving the same goal were available.

After 30 years and hundreds of cases, some decidedly elastic concepts have also been added to the mix – such as whether the law was “arbitrary” or “grossly disproportionate” to the government’s goal.

The next laws in line to fall may be some of the mandatory minimum sentences contained in a recent omnibus bill – Bill C-10. Queen’s University law professor Donald Stuart predicted that among the first to go could be a mandatory minimum sentence for growing as few as five marijuana plants.

Echoing a widely held view in the legal community, Prof. Stuart argued the provision is so “simplistic and ridiculous” that it could cause the courts to breathe life into a little-used Charter guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.

In addition, investigative procedures planned for a forthcoming Human Smuggling Bill and the federal Lawful Access Bill, which deals with Internet surveillance, are seen to be in jeopardy.

A bill intended to hasten the exit of would-be refugees from the country without full right of appeal is likely headed for Charter trouble, as well. Already, the Canadian Bar Association has denounced the idea as a violation of Charter rights against arbitrary detention.

Litigants are also challenging the destruction of federal data in the long-gun registry; a federal policy of providing information to foreign agencies even where there is a substantial risk it will lead to torture; and the government’s abolition of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly over Canadian wheat and barley.

Prof. Stuart predicted that a determined challenge will also emerge targeting federal legislation that is sure to swell prison populations. If the situation grows serious enough, he said, the courts could even be asked to impose limits on prison populations as a remedy.

Still, all the lower-court Charter activism in the world will count for little if the Supreme Court does not halt a dozen years of generally cautious deference to legislators.

End of Part 1


 

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Part 2 of 2

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/how-the-charter-helped-define-canada/article2401331/
How the Charter helped define Canada

LOUISE ARBOUR

From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 16, 2012

The most significant political event of post-Second World War Canada may be the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It has transformed a country obsessed with the federal-provincial division of powers and enabled it to address its diversity in a substantive, principled way. This was not inevitable. Credit is due in large part to the quality of the judicial branch of governance and, obviously, to the legal profession.

It often takes less foresight than good luck to succeed. The Charter of Rights could have gone the path of its disappointing predecessor, the Canadian Bill of Rights – a modest instrument of guidance to courts reluctant to challenge elected officials.

Many things contributed to the Charter’s central role in our constitutional democracy. At least three were counterintuitive.

The notwithstanding clause: This allowed legislators to override protected rights. Offensive to legal purists, it proved to be the perfect political compromise – designed to preserve the supremacy of elected officials, it, in fact, allowed the courts to avoid undue deference to them.

The three-year moratorium on equality rights: Conceived to give Parliament and the provincial legislatures an opportunity to make laws compliant with the Charter, it had the effect of ensuring that the first cases to come to the courts were familiar ones. It was a small step for the courts to strike down writs of assistance and enforce the right to counsel, a modest increase in the exercise of their common law powers. Had they been confronted at the outset with issues such as mandatory retirement or even women’s rights, they may have been much more hesitant to strike down offensive legislation, thereby creating a different, narrower scope for judicial review.

The Court Challenges Program: This was an admirable companion to the Charter. It expressed the government’s faith and commitment to rights enforcement, by equipping litigants and civil-society organizations with the ability to access the courts. This, in turn, provided the courts with high-quality Charter litigation without which the remarkable early Charter jurisprudence might have taken much longer to develop.

Many will deplore so-called judicial activism and the legalization of politics. They are wrong. Fundamental rights enforced by independent courts enrich a democracy that has set constitutional limits on itself. Charter litigation has provided a high-quality intellectual forum in which to debate issues that are not best left to majority diktat. Led by the Supreme Court, the Canadian judiciary has defined its proper place in constitutional governance. First assertive and willing to undertake substantive review of legislation, it has set a predictable framework for acceptable limitations on rights and avoided an adversarial relationship with Parliament, preferring dialogue to confrontation.

Unlike the U.S. judiciary, Canadian courts have, for the most part, avoided the taint of partisan political allegiances that erodes confidence in the judicial process. My own career would be unimaginable in the United States. I had three federal judicial appointments: to the Ontario High Court, to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court of Canada – the first two by a Conservative government, the last one under a Liberal one. Canadian judicial writing is accessible, often consensual, and dissent always respectful. It has set the tone for the peaceful resolution of some of the most divisive issues in any society.

Unfortunately, political parties have been impoverished by the rise of judicial prominence, or perhaps simply in parallel to it. The disenchantment with political life is currently widespread in mature democracies. But in terms of substance, the calendar of the Supreme Court of Canada compares very favourably with the platform of political parties.

From a global perspective, Canada now stands in an envious position in terms of quality of institutional governance. As democracy spreads over the world, it doesn’t always reach far beyond the setting of relatively free and fair elections. This often leads to stronger executive power and, at times, to a reasonably efficient legislative branch. Rarely is any attention given to the role of a professional, independent judiciary. It takes decades to construct, but in the resolution of conflicts, inevitable in any country, the rule of law is the best investment.

Louise Arbour is president and CEO of the International Crisis Group.


I think it will not come as much of a surprise to anyone that a) I don't like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and b) I don't much like the Canadian Constitution, either.

My distaste for the Charter stems from the fact - and I believe it is a fact - that it is unnecessary. We, Canadians, had every single right enumerated in or, later, read into the Charter, in 1981. We didn't need to write them down and defining rights limits them - the Charter, like the British Bill of Rights (1689) and the US Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution (1789)), requires formal, legislative and judicial processes to keep rights abreast with society. The Charter did not create rights, it just defined them in 1980s language - which might not, I dare say will not be suitable in 2080 or 2180.

The Canadian Charter is a very European, statist and illiberal document that endangers rather than protects rights; the notwithstanding clause is an abomination, but a necessary one in a federal state. The European, statist and illiberal nature of the Charter is not surprising because it was crafted, largely, by small minded people who do not comprehend the beauty and power of the common law and the British Constitution.

The Canadian Constitution is also a problem for me.

Why?

Because it is written down and, therefore, static. In 1867 everyone thought a written constitution was both necessary for a new federal state (the very nature of the state and divisions of responsibility must be defined) and desirable (the US Constitution was, and still is, regarded as an Enlightenment masterpiece). In 1982 I, too, thought a written Constitution was necessary. Looking at is after 30 years of study, I have changed my mind. Had Pierre Trudeau been anywhere near as smart as many people think he was he would have asked the UK to repeal the BNA Act (1867); that would have, neatly and finally, solved the problem of Canada's Constitution being in foreign hands. There would have been a need for a couple of acts of the Canadian Parliament:

1. A division of responsibilities act - federal/provincial; and

2. An appointments act - to deal with e.g. the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors, judges, etc.

The remainder would be in need of a few court challenges, with which the supremes, depending on the common law and the British Constitution, would deal and through which they would confirm our nature of government and the limits of the sovereign, parliament and the courts.

Re: the 30th anniverasry of the Charter: much ado about nothing.


Edit: typo
 

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One big thing missing in the CCR is an Individual's Right to Property.

The government, or any of it's entities, can arbitrarily seize something you own, without compensation.

Simply, everything item you have in your possession belongs to the State. You're just borrowing it and holding it at their whim.

That needs to be corrected.

 

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recceguy said:
One big thing missing in the CCR is an Individual's Right to Property.

The government, or any of it's entities, can arbitrarily seize something you own, without compensation.

Simply, everything item you have in your possession belongs to the State. You're just borrowing it and holding it at their whim.

That needs to be corrected.


With the increased likelihood of Wildrose gaining Alberta, you will see property rights come to the fore. It may provide the catalyst for the feds to do something on this front. The challenge will be to do so without opening the Constitution to amendment. Of course expect the NDP etc to be opposed to this in principle.
 

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Property rights are anathema to the governing class in and around Ottawa ~ my guess is that 75% of the senior civil servants (director through to DM) (and 99% of Francophones educated in Québec) believe that property rights run counter to the good, Canadian, Liberal values they hold. It is important to remember that most Canadians between the ages of 40 and 65 received an essentially Marxist view of economics in university between 1960 and 1985, to the extent that they learned any economics at all. The years 1968 to 84 were disastrous for Canada: we adopted a national "culture of entitlement" which is very, very seductive and which is diametrically opposed to property rights.

My guess is that we need another full generation to rinse the after effects of of the 1970s out of our politics and out of our culture.
 

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E.R. Campbell said:
Property rights are anathema to the governing class in and around Ottawa ~ my guess is that 75% of the senior civil servants (director through to DM) (and 99% of Francophones educated in Québec) believe that property rights run counter to the good, Canadian, Liberal values they hold. It is important to remember that most Canadians between the ages of 40 and 65 received an essentially Marxist view of economics in university between 1960 and 1985, to the extent that they learned any economics at all. The years 1968 to 84 were disastrous for Canada: we adopted a national "culture of entitlement" which is very, very seductive and which is diametrically opposed to property rights.

My guess is that we need another full generation to rinse the after effects of of the 1970s out of our politics and out of our culture.

It will take longer than a generation to clean out Osgoode Hall, and as long as we confuse the legal profession with any idea of justice, their inane views will hold.
 

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E.R. Campbell said:
Property rights are anathema to the governing class in and around Ottawa ~ my guess is that 75% of the senior civil servants (director through to DM) (and 99% of Francophones educated in Québec) believe that property rights run counter to the good, Canadian, Liberal values they hold.

Until you try to take their property away and it then somehow becomes a Charter issue.
 

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dapaterson said:
It will take longer than a generation to clean out Osgoode Hall, and as long as we confuse the legal profession with any idea of justice, their inane views will hold.

AMEN!

The judiciary is a group of elitists who have their own interpretation of things.  They are accountable to nobody, and the very fact that they are needed only emphasises that we are NOT a true democracy in that a very small group of people (who are as infallible as any other group of people) dictate things based on their own personal biased interpretation of a piece of paper written by other infallible people.

Junk.
 

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Technoviking said:
AMEN!

The judiciary is a group of elitists who have their own interpretation of things.  They are accountable to nobody, and the very fact that they are needed only emphasises that we are NOT a true democracy in that a very small group of people (who are as infallible as any other group of people) dictate things based on their own personal biased interpretation of a piece of paper written by other infallible people.

Junk.


The judiciary are accountable to and through their own professional associations which have pretty significant disciplinary powers. It is in the nature of professions, including the military, that they each have a unique body of knowledge, professional standards and a disciplinary system. I don't want lawyers and judges "held to account" my bricklayers and office workers any more than I want truck drivers and security guards holding medical doctors or infantry officers to account for their professional conduct. 
 

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E.R. Campbell said:
The judiciary are accountable to and through their own professional associations which have pretty significant disciplinary powers. It is in the nature of professions, including the military, that they each have a unique body of knowledge, professional standards and a disciplinary system. I don't want lawyers and judges "held to account" my bricklayers and office workers any more than I want truck drivers and security guards holding medical doctors or infantry officers to account for their professional conduct.

The difference is that the judiciary profession ?? tends to hold all other professions to account through force of law.
 

vonGarvin

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E.R. Campbell said:
The judiciary are accountable to and through their own professional associations which have pretty significant disciplinary powers. It is in the nature of professions, including the military, that they each have a unique body of knowledge, professional standards and a disciplinary system. I don't want lawyers and judges "held to account" my bricklayers and office workers any more than I want truck drivers and security guards holding medical doctors or infantry officers to account for their professional conduct.
I disagree.  The judiciary are held to account through their own association comprised of...other judges.  A giant self-licking ice cream cone.  Yes, the military is accountable to the military, but in the end, is held to account by...bricklayers, office workers and every other group of Canadians through their government.  (EG: The military is subject to the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act, both products of the government, which in turn is accountable to the populace.)
The judiciary, however, although their personal conduct is subject to the Criminal Code, should just sit down and shut up and interpret laws and how they apply (or not) to specific situations.  People are infallible, and because of this, every person ought to be accountable to...the people. 

My  :2c:

(FWIW: I believe that any society that is liberal-democratic is going to implode at one time or another, given that the individual is deemed more important than the very society to which that individual belongs.  If anything, the family as a building block of a larger society ought to be the minimum in any "reductio", IMHO)
 

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E.R. Campbell said:
The judiciary are accountable to and through their own professional associations which have pretty significant disciplinary powers. It is in the nature of professions, including the military, that they each have a unique body of knowledge, professional standards and a disciplinary system. I don't want lawyers and judges "held to account" my bricklayers and office workers any more than I want truck drivers and security guards holding medical doctors or infantry officers to account for their professional conduct.

I must respectfully disagree.  Professional self-regulation does not work.  The incestuous reality of Canada's "professional" classes results in the profession being protected above the public.

In Toronto, for example, a family doctor declared herself a plastic surgeon and through her incompetence took actions that resulted in the death of a patient.  The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario feel that an appropriate sanction for manslaughter is a two year suspension of her license.  I would much rather a bricklayer pipe up with the common sense observation that this individual is unfit to ever practice medicine again, in any capacity.

 

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dapaterson said:
I must respectfully disagree.  Professional self-regulation does not work.  The incestuous reality of Canada's "professional" classes results in the profession being protected above the public.

In Toronto, for example, a family doctor declared herself a plastic surgeon and through her incompetence took actions that resulted in the death of a patient.  The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario feel that an appropriate sanction for manslaughter is a two year suspension of her license.  I would much rather a bricklayer pipe up with the common sense observation that this individual is unfit to ever practice medicine again, in any capacity.

You said better what I was trying to say.

 

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Technoviking said:
I disagree.  The judiciary are held to account through their own association comprised of...other judges.  A giant self-licking ice cream cone.  Yes, the military is accountable to the military, but in the end, is held to account by...bricklayers, office workers and every other group of Canadians through their government.  (EG: The military is subject to the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act, both products of the government, which in turn is accountable to the populace.)
The judiciary, however, although their professional conduct is subject to the Criminal Code, should just sit down and shut up and interpret law and how they apply (or not) to specific situations.  People are infallible, and because of this, every person ought to be accountable to...the people. 

My  :2c:

(FWIW: I believe that any society that is liberal-democratic is going to implode at one time or another, given that the individual is deemed more important than the very society to which that individual belongs.  If anything, the family as a building block of a larger society ought to be the minimum in any "reductio", IMHO)


You're mixing apples and oranges. The bricklayers and secretaries hold the military to account through our political masters; to some degrees lawyers and doctors and other professionals must and do also respond to politics. But the military's professional standards are the military's business; and if we want lawyers, for example, to lose their professional standing then we will, absolutely surely, loose ours and that would be a bad thing. Bricklayers and secretaries and politicians are bad at managing professions - we don't want to let them do it. I don't care if people don't like the decisions lawyers and judges make; if they really care they than go to law school and then, and only then will they be qualified to do something other than bitch. Keep politicians away from the law.

 

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E.R. Campbell said:
Keep politicians away from the law.

But aren't politicians the very people we charge with making the law?  I believe we agree that the British system is based on pragmatism.  The law is that which society accepts at any given point in time. As the common outlook changes over time then so must the law - which I believe is what you allude to when you point to the inability of Constitutions to adjust with the times.

I take your point on the independence of the judiciary.  Agreed.
I also take your point on "trusting" professions to administer on the trivia of practices and procedures.
But I still have difficulty with the notion that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter in Canada and that they are held only to account by their brethren who rely upon them for recommendation.

Parliament must and should be supreme. 

The Court's judgements must be reviewable by Parliament.

 

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ModlrMike said:
Until you try to take their property away and it then somehow becomes a Charter issue.

As I understand it, to amend the Charter, requires the agreement of seven out of ten provinces, who collectively make up 75% of the countries population. What are the chances of that happening?
 

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Kirkhill said:
But aren't politicians the very people we charge with making the law?  I believe we agree that the British system is based on pragmatism.  The law is that which society accepts at any given point in time. As the common outlook changes over time then so must the law - which I believe is what you allude to when you point to the inability of Constitutions to adjust with the times.

I take your point on the independence of the judiciary.  Agreed.
I also take your point on "trusting" professions to administer on the trivia of practices and procedures.
But I still have difficulty with the notion that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter in Canada and that they are held only to account by their brethren who rely upon them for recommendation.

Parliament must and should be supreme. 

The Court's judgements must be reviewable by Parliament.


Parliament is not, and is not meant to be supreme in all matters. The crown exists in three 'states:'  the Queen-in-Council, the Queen-in-Parliament, and the Queen on the Bench which are the executive, the legislature and the courts, respectively. Our checks and balances are every bit as carefully wrought as are those in the American constitution. The Queen in Parliament keeps a financial and regulatory check on the Queen in Council, the Queen in Council appoints the judges who, in their turn keep the Queen in Parliament in check.
 

Edward Campbell

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Kirkhill said:
...
The Court's judgements must be reviewable by Parliament.


Then the gods must be begged to help us all ...

Look at Ontario, today; watch Dalton McGuinty and Andrea Horwath swapping the province's future for one or two vote? Do you really want people like that reviewing the decisions which keep you safe from government? Henry II gave us our 'modern' judiciary and he, intentionally, made it his own, answerable to himself, only, for his laws, to keep the "king's peace." Over the centuries that system - a judiciary which does not answer to politicians nor to cabinet ministers - has served us well.
 

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It may not be necessary to amend the Charter. Property rights in Canada are the purview of the provinces. However, given enough momentum it may provide the impetus for some form of ruling from the Supreme Court should personal rights be infringed by public action.
 

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E.R. Campbell said:
Then the gods must be begged to help us all ...

Look at Ontario, today; watch Dalton McGuinty and Andrea Horwath swapping the province's future for one or two vote? Do you really want people like that reviewing the decisions which keep you safe from government? Henry II gave us our 'modern' judiciary and he, intentionally, made it his own, answerable to himself, only, for his laws, to keep the "king's peace." Over the centuries that system - a judiciary which does not answer to politicians nor to cabinet ministers - has served us well.

I'd rather that the person who is shaping the law(s) be accountable to me (eg: the people), rather than a small collection of justices who believe themselves to be philosopher kings, shaping the future according to their own biases and beliefs. 

In an earlier post, you mentioned the three portions of our government:
the Queen-in-Council, the Queen-in-Parliament, and the Queen on the Bench

(I had to go find it).
Of those three branches, two are accountable to the people.  The third, the judiciary, is accountable to nobody (except themselves, but that was noted earlier).

 
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