Constitutions in transition
Constitutions in transition

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Constitutions in transition

4.3 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Described image
Figure 14 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The real substance of the Canada Act 1982 can be found in Schedule B, also known as the Constitution Act 1982; this is where the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be found. Canadians take their Charter no less seriously than other countries and the Charter has been appraised by Jennifer Cantwell and Erin Mitchell (2003) as possibly being more important than any other legislative initiative in Canada, particularly as it has impacted Canadian law in ways unimagined by its drafters. They point out that:

It has facilitated the legal recognition of same sex relationships, and has guaranteed the rights of Canadian citizens to think, believe and say what they wish, within reasonable limits. It protects victims and criminals alike, pledging that all individuals are equal before and under the law, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. The Charter enshrines values that are fundamentally Canadian, and [its] legal system is better for it.

(Cantwell and Mitchell, 2003, pp. 181–2)

The question is how these rights come to be construed using the Charter when it seems – certainly when compared to, for instance, the South African Bill of Rights – fairly rudimentary. The answer lies in the Supreme Court of Canada.

W203_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371