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Articles | November 24, 2016
Inside the Supreme Court of Canada: CPAC Documentary

Category: Democratic Governance

“Inside the Supreme Court of Canada” is a documentary produced by CPAC, looking at the history and evolution of the Supreme Court featuring interviews with all the current Supreme Court justices. The documentary also discusses the Court’s role as a

Articles | November 7, 2016
Editorial: In the US and Canada, the founders always feared a Trump

Category: Democratic Governance

In an editorial special for The Globe and Mail, our Research Fellow, Eric M Adams, discusses the unprecedented American presidential campaign and how the US and Canadian constitutional systems differ in preparing for the rise of Trump-like figures. Read Eric

Articles | Matthew Schneider | October 20, 2016
Pipelines and the Constitution

Category: Federalism

Introduction Recent proposals to construct major crude oil pipelines have reopened jurisdictional conflicts in Canada. While the Constitution clearly grants the power to regulate interprovincial pipelines to the federal government, the legal consensus in Canada over the past few decades

Articles | Michael Saunders | October 14, 2016
Physician-Assisted Dying: The Senate’s Role in the Legislative Process

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

Originally published: 20 July 2016 Physician-assisted dying is now legal in Canada. In the case of Carter v Canada (Attorney General) 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the provisions of the Criminal Code prohibiting it.[1] The House of

Articles | Dorian Simonneaux | August 29, 2016
Criminally Responsible… Not

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

Despite the prevalence of mental health issues in Canadian prisons,[1] a statistically tiny portion of offenders (less than 1%) seek the designation of, and are subsequently deemed, ‘Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder’ [NCR].[2] Those who do receive

Articles | August 9, 2016
The Mikinaks: Personal and Legal Indigenous Identity

Category: Aboriginal Rights

On December 9, 2015, the Mikinak Communauté Autochtone de la Montérégie was founded in a Montreal suburb.[1] To join this group, one must prove some sort of Indigenous ancestry and pay 80 dollars.[2] The Mikinak leadership issues members “status” cards,

Articles | Matthew Schneider | August 9, 2016
No Warrant Necessary? Penile Swabs in Sexual Assault Cases

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

R v Saeed applies the existing police ‘search incident to arrest’ powers to a new form of search: a penile swab. The case is a good example of how the courts assess the constitutionality of police searches when heightened privacy

Articles | Matthew Schneider | July 28, 2016
Constitutional Boundaries to Federal Electoral Reform

Category: Federalism

Originally published: 28 July 2016 The Government of Canada has been elected using the “first past the post” (FPTP) system for nearly 150 years, but that does not mean it must be forever so. The Liberal Party promised that the

Articles | Michael Saunders | July 18, 2016
The Carter Conundrum: The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Suspended Declaration

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

Lawyers in Canada have debated whether or not to permit physician-assisted dying for over two decades. In the 2015 Carter v Canada (Attorney General)[1] decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Canada’s prohibition on physician-assisted dying was unconstitutional. The Court issued

Articles | Matthew Schneider | July 5, 2016
The Case of the Unwanted Cell Tower: Rogers and the Defence of Federal Jurisdiction

Category: Federalism

This case solidifies the federal government’s jurisdiction over federal undertakings and radiocommunications. The Constitution divides legal jurisdiction in Canada between the federal and provincial governments.[1] Although the federal and provincial governments have overlapping jurisdiction over certain topics, in order for

Articles | Matthew Schneider | July 1, 2016
Federal Government: Constitutional Protector of Frogs

Category: Federalism

Symbiocité Development Blocked Can the federal government prevent the construction of a residential development in a Montréal suburb to protect frogs? Yes, it can.[1] On June 22, the federal government issued an emergency order under section 80 of its Species

Articles | Michael Saunders | June 8, 2016
A Spirited Decision: Free Trade Wins in Liquor and Spirit Dispute

Category: Federalism

Originally published: 8 June 2016 Should Canadians be allowed to purchase liquor in one province and take it with them to another? Would provincial laws restricting this be constitutional? Lawyers in Canada have been discussing such questions for nearly a

Articles | Dorian Simonneaux | June 2, 2016
O Canada: in all of us command?

Category: The Charter, Equality Rights (Section 15)

The lyrics to “O Canada” are considered by some to be immutable, an integral part of Canadian identity. Yet throughout their history they have not been spared from significant amendment.[1] Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger’s recent private member’s bill[2] is but

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