Slattery on R. v. Oakes & the Canadian Charter of Rights

Brian Slattery (York University – Osgoode Hall Law School) has posted The Pluralism of the Charter: Revisiting the Oakes Test (In Luc B. Tremblay and Grégoire C.N. Webber, eds., The Limitation of Charter Rights: Critical Essays on R. v. Oakes (Montreal: Éditions Themis, 2009) 13-35) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms opens with the declaration that it “guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it,” thus assuring the constitutional status of the rights enumerated. However, section 1 goes on to say that this guarantee is “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society,” thus recognizing that the rights are subject to “reasonable limits” that meet a certain standard. What the section fails to explain is the precise relationship between these two elements. In what way does the standard of…

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