Bench Press 39-4: The Charter Protects Proms

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Two graduating high school students in Ontario launched a Charter challenge to their school principal’s decision to have a mandatory breathalyser test at their prom. They argued that the mandatory test was a violation of their s. 8 Charter right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. Justice Himel of the Ontario Superior Court […]

Prostitution Law in Canada: Will the Charter Dialogue Continue?

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Constitutional law experts, such as Peter Hogg, speak about the relationship between the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) and Parliament as a “dialogue”. Parliament passes a law, which might later be challenged as being contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Charter”). Often, after declaring the challenged law to be unconstitutional, the SCC […]

Human Rights of Transgender Persons

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Transgender persons are recognized in medicine as those who are born with the physical attributes of one gender, but who know at a deep level that their physical bodies do not match their inner gender. Federal and provincial human rights laws often protect transgender persons from discrimination in the areas of employment, services customarily available […]

The Whatcott Case: Balancing Free Speech and Social Harmony

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Introduction: a Clash of Rights The freedoms of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression comprise some of our “fundamental freedoms” listed in section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  They assure the free exchange of ideas, the practice of one’s faith, the development of new ways of thinking and valuable social, legal, […]

Landmark Cases: Cases which have changed the Legal and Social Landscape of Canada

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Judgments may constitute landmark decisions in the social context of their time such as the Persons Case (Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), 1930 ) — where the Privy Council determined that women were eligible to be appointed to the Senate — but may not seem so very startling to our modern sensibilities. Although the Privy Council […]

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