The next time that your Saturday morning reverie is disturbed by the doorbell ringing and two nice persons are standing on your doorstep with a copy of the Watch Tower, you might be inclined to treat them with some sympathetic respect if you read Peter Bowal’s most recent Whatever Happened To….column in this issue of LawNow.
Professor Bowal outlines how persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Quebec in the 1940s led to one of Canada’s most important cases about the Rule of Law. He tells of how hundreds were charged with spurious breaches of the law, and one man in particular, for the action of posting bail for his fellows in faith, came head to head with the Premier of the Province of Quebec.
As you can imagine, the consequences for Frank Roncarelli were disastrous. It took a 14 year odyssey through Canada’s courts, culminating in a Supreme Court of Canada decision to establish that no one in Canada, even a Premier, is above the law.
Take a look at this fascinating case and ponder that, 40 years before the Charter of Rights, one courageous Jehovah’s Witness fought for the supremacy of the Rule of Law in Canada.