The Impact Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

1378 Words 6 Pages
For many centuries, laws and rights have been society’s foundation for nations all around the world. Laws are rules that people are made to follow by the government; a right is something a person has that should not be taken away from them. Both play an important role in determining the order of society in a nation and over time, each country developed their own constitution. As early as the Magna Carta and as recent as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, countries began developing written documents, in order to record and address the rights of individuals in their country. For Canada, this step was taken 34 years ago, with the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. The Charter set forth a …show more content…
However, through the Charter’s fundamental freedoms, its impact on legislatures and how appointed judges interpret the Charter, the Charter has made Canada an extremely just society.
To begin with, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the first part of the 1982 Constitution Act. The Charter guarantees rights to everyone in Canada; “some sections (like democratic rights) apply specifically to citizens, while others (like equality) apply to all” (Burgess). Charter content, the basic framework for all Canadians, was created with the idea of uniting Canadians through rights codification. Despite the Charter’s 34 sections, it is Section 2 that has progressed Canada towards a more just society. The Charter’s four fundamental freedoms, “freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association” are extremely influential parts of the Charter, as with them, Canada can be seen as a truly democratic country. It is important to realize that without these four
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Upon its introduction, “some Canadian politicians opposed the Charter of Rights because it gave courts new power to review the decisions of legislatures” (Whyte). Yet, this was for Canada’s best interest as its influence led to many big changes including the limitation of police powers and LGBT community recognition. Numerous Charter cases led to police changes, including the Oakes case which changed Canadian law forever. The Oakes case had a great impact on the Charter’s evolution and interpretation as it proved how it was “the charter 's goal to maintain balance between legislatures and courts and between individuals rights and the demands of democratic society." (Schwartz). In a democratic society, it is vital to respect the privacy and rights of all Canadians and through reviewing legislative decisions, such as limiting police power, the Charter ensures more privacy protection and more disclosure. Moreover, through court cases, LGBT community rights have been recognized, especially due to the Vriend case. For example, provincial human rights legislatures cannot exclude protection for homosexuals and that is done to benefit Canada as a whole. It will not affect the majority of Canadians, if a minority gets to live their life the way they want to. There is a reason that the Charter is entrenched within our constitution and that the majority of Canadians agreed to

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