BenchPress – Vol 41-4

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Act Of Meanness / Lost by a Nose / Co-Mammas / The Internet and Hate Speech 1.  Act of Meanness A Quebec Superior Court Justice recently heard an unusual estate application.  A Montreal area woman was convinced that her deceased brother’s wife had been unfaithful to him.  At a supper held after her brother’s funeral, the […]

Organizations Get Religion: Loyola High School v. Quebec

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Introduction Do organizations and corporations have a constitutionally protected freedom of religion under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? The Charter has existed for 34 years and we are still not clear whether non-human entities enjoy religious freedom as they do other freedoms, such as expression. The Supreme Court of Canada last year had […]

Prisoners and Work

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Several years ago, the Alberta government and other provincial governments considered the introduction of Alabama-style chain gangs as a form of employment for prisoners. This action reflected a North American trend towards making the prison experience harsher, with the view that this would discourage criminal behaviour. Currently, while there would no doubt be near-universal support […]

R v Fearon : Can Police Search a Cellphone Upon Arrest?

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Important Update:  Please see the article by Juliana Ho about the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in R. v Fearon.  The Supreme Court of Canada decided that the police search of Mr. Fearon’s cellphone did breach his Charter s. 8 right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure but decided that despite this breach, […]

Judicial Review is Different from Judicial Activism

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Since the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, there has been much discussion about the proper role of judges and courts in our democratic system. Commentators have noted, and many critics have complained, that decisions made and laws passed by our democratically elected representatives in Parliament and our provincial and […]

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