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Articles | Coleman Brinker & Raymond Chen | September 8, 2017
Governor General of Canada: the Role, the Myth, the Legend

Category: Democratic Governance

The Governor General of Canada is the representative of Canada’s head of state – the Queen.[1] The Constitution Act, 1867 expressly states that the executive branch of Canada’s government is assigned to the Queen and that the Governor General will

Articles | Katherine Creelman | September 8, 2017
Extra, extra! Protecting the “free” press in Canada

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

“2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;”[1] In Canada, freedom of the press is expressly recognized and constitutionally protected in section 2(b)

Articles | Raymond Chen | August 30, 2017
Safe Injection Sites: How the Supreme Court got it right with Insite

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered the federal Minister of Health to continue exempting Insite, a safe injection facility, from the application of criminal drug laws.[1] The Court ruled that the Minister’s decision to not exempt Insite, violated

Articles | Coleman Brinker | August 4, 2017
Your right to live in a healthy environment: phantom or reality?

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

What does it mean to have a right to a healthy environment? And is this a right that Canadians can have and enjoy? Having a right to a healthy environment means that the government guarantees its people access to clean

Articles | Katherine Creelman | August 4, 2017
The Free Press: No freedom without source protection

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

There is a dilemma created with respect to the use of certain sources by the press:  how can the press truly be free to report, when their sources are not protected? Journalists contend that there cannot truly be a free

Articles | Coleman Brinker | August 4, 2017
Carbon tax showdown: where will your money go?

Category: Federalism

Introduction Can the federal government’s commitments on greenhouse gases be realized in the face of provincial opposition? Canada’s federal government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.[1] This commitment was made as a

Articles | Raymond Chen | July 20, 2017
Judicial independence vs. accountability: Training judges on sexual assault

Category: Democratic Governance

Increased scrutiny of the verdicts in sexual assault cases shows that the Canadian judiciary is not immune to sexual assault myths and stereotypes. Judges are not required to have a criminal law background to be appointed and “judge school”- which

Articles | Coleman Brinker | July 19, 2017
Solitary Confinement vs the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Category: The Charter

Solitary confinement – a prisoner’s isolation from other inmates and prison staff for 22 hours or more a day– can have major negative impacts on human health.[1] Its use can cause or exacerbate mental illnesses, increase the risk of prisoners

Articles | Coleman Brinker | July 10, 2017
Sex, religion, and a private university pave a bumpy road to the Supreme Court

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2), Equality Rights (Section 15)

There is nothing like sex and religion to ignite a heated debate. Once again, such a debate has found its way to the courtroom and is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on November 30, 2017.

Articles | Raymond Chen | July 7, 2017
One Year Post-Jordan: Was it really a game changer?

Category: The Charter

One year ago, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Jordan set new timelines for completing criminal trials, giving new life to an accused person’s right to be tried within a reasonable time.[1] The Court stated

Articles | Coleman Brinker | July 5, 2017
When Charter Rights Collide: Trinity Western University at the British Columbia Court of Appeal

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2), Equality Rights (Section 15)

What happens when two rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms[1], such as equality rights and the freedom of religion, come into conflict with each other? How do the courts strike a balance between the

Articles | Coleman Brinker | July 4, 2017
A Constitutional Dilemma: Who Protects the Right Whales?

Category: Federalism

When Canadians face a health or safety risk, they can look to sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867 to figure out whether the provincial or federal government has the power to help them.[1] But what about when a

Articles | Katherine Creelman | June 30, 2017
Meekison the Mentor: A conversation with a modern constitutional architect

Category: Democratic Governance, The Charter, Federalism

Three summer students from the Centre for Constitutional Centre recently had the once in a lifetime opportunity to sit down and chat with one of the founding fathers of the Constitution Act 1982 – Dr. Peter Meekison. Meekison is a

Articles | Coleman Brinker, Raymond Chen, and Katherine Creelman | June 30, 2017
7 Reasons Why You Should Care About The BNA Act

Category: Democratic Governance

The British North America Act, 1867 (“BNA Act”) – now called the Constitution Act, 1867[1] – created Canada at Confederation, and has been around for a whole 150 years since being made into law by the British Parliament. Although much

Articles | Coleman Brinker, Raymond Chen, and Katherine Creelman | June 29, 2017
10 Fun Facts about the Canadian Constitution

Category: Democratic Governance

A constitution 150 years in the making sure comes with some interesting stories. Here are 10 fun facts you might not know about Canada’s Constitution. 1) Dude… where’s my Constitution? The original copy of the law that created Canada is

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