To what extent was Pierre Trudeau’s vision of a “just society” actually achieved in Canada in (and since) the 1970s? Canada is a just society because of the changes to women's legal rights, ethnic minority human rights, and multiculturalism.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is without a doubt one of Canada’s most important section entrenched in the Canadian Constitution. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights enacted into the Canadian Constitution as part of the Canada Act in 1982. However, the Charter was Canada’s second attempt to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens all throughout the country and on every level of government. The Canadian Bill of Rights, which preceded the Charter was enacted in 1960. However, being only a federal statute rather than a full constitutional document, it had no power and application to provincial laws. In addition, the Supreme Court of Canada only narrowly interpreted the Bill of Rights, therefore rarely unlawful laws were declared inoperative and continued to exist. As a result, the ineffectiveness of the Bill of Rights led to many movements to improve the protection of rights and freedoms in Canada. However, similar to its predecessor, the Charter is not without faults, and loopholes. In some cases, it has even infringed upon certain liberties and democratic rights and freedoms. In other cases, the Charter has incited conflicts between liberty and democracy and raised questions that speculate whether it is truly democratic.
More than ever people are losing access to justice. Even though the global economic crisis affected everyone, and every jurisdictions budget there needs to be a minimum level of funding for legal aid to protect the rights of those that cannot afford legal aid (Hainsworth, 2010). According to Hainsworth, (2010) the Canadian Bar Association has asked for national standards for legal aid, just like there are standards for health care and education. The CBA believes legal aid reform is needed to ensure access to justice for low income people, it also believes funding must be increased and national standards for eligibility and civil coverage are necessary to make the system function properly again.
The Canadian criminal justice system consists of multiple roles in order to sustain a well-working government system. The system is put in place in order to keep safety, equality, peace and fairness. There are four main functions of the criminal justice system that are interrelated segments that help protect a society from crime. The criminal justice system consists of policing, courts, corrections and parole. The component of the Canadian Criminal Justice System that will be discussed is about the process and function of the courts.
Canada has become a country where laws such as: assisted suicide, prostitution, and abortion are becoming easily altered by higher powers; the power of the judges. Canadian judges are changing certain laws that affect the quality of living. The question comes down to who is truly in charge of law making in Canada? The government may make the laws, but judges may reject and change the entirety laws through the use of the entrenchment of the Charter. Additionally, judicial supremacy retains their power through a paradoxical parliamentary supremacy. Furthermore appointing government officials and electing government officials plays a tremendous part in correlations to Canadian democracy. To summarize, judiciary are too powerful through the entrenchment
The Canadian Criminal Justice System is, for the most part, reflective of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and various Supreme Court of Canada case-law. Everyone who finds themselves on the opposing end of the Criminal Justice System is entitled to certain protections every step of the way, beginning even before the arrest; laws protect us from unreasonable investigative techniques, guarantee certain rights at point of arrest, and provide us with the right to counsel. The bail court departs from the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard in that the crown only needs to prove on a balance of probabilities (Kellough, 1996, p. 175) in order to take away a person’s freedom. It is for this reason I decided to limit the scope of my
In order to bring these often very abstract issues to life, we will examine a selection of high profile and prominent decisions (mainly from Canadian courts, and frequently from the Supreme Court of Canada) which can be said to have changed the law, and in which the judges of the court have disagreed among themselves. Cases to be covered concern controversial issues such as Battered Woman Syndrome, Euthanasia/ Physician Assisted Suicide, Hate Speech, Marijuana Use, Obscenity/ Pornography, Prostitution, or topics in human rights (i.e., freedom of expression, national security and the right not to be tortured, or religious freedom). Analysis of cases will include exploration and examination of the philosophical aspects of crucial terms and concepts that appear in Canadian law, such as in the Criminal Code of Canada, or in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The official version of the law (OVL) is “what the legal world would have us believe about itself – is that it is an impartial, neutral and objective system for resolving conflict” (Comack, 2014, p. 11). Prior to reflecting on course material I would have undoubtedly accepted the OVL, however, at this time I believe our Canadian legal system and criminal justice system lack the ability to be impartial, neutral, and objective, therefore requiring considerable changes. The chapters in which utmost enhanced my understanding of the sociology of law were “Theoretical Approaches and the Sociology of Law” by Elizabeth Comack and “Standing Against Canadian Law: Naming Omissions of Race, Culture, and Gender” by Patricia Monture as they explain and demonstrate the inequalities marginalized groups must endure at the hands of the law.
Victims often complain about not having enough information about their case and confusion regarding what rights they are entitled to (McDonald & Grossman, 2014, p. 10). The reason victims feel this way is because they do not know how to access the programs set in place for them. Proper measures should be taken to allow clear communication between the Crown, victim, and lawyers. For instance, Mandi Gray, a sexual assault survivor, demanded eight thousand dollars in restitution money so she could hire a lawyer because she felt defenseless during the trial. Whereas, the national criminal lawyers’ association were not in favor of the offender paying such amount and argued that adequate support services are already available for victims (McGillivray, 2017). Incidences like these are likely to paint a negative picture of victim status in Canadian Justice System and decrease the number of victims accessing these resources. Moreover, it shows interest towards being more concerned about protecting the rights of an offender, rather than the victim who has been wronged. Also, if the information regarding these programs is easily available, it will likely increase the rate of victims making use of them. Therefore, to eliminate future issues like these, support services should expand their options available for victims and more counseling services should be provided to explain victims their rights beforehand. Information is the key towards getting rid of any confusion and suspicions regarding the fairness of the judicial
Canada’s Criminal Justice System and its personnel’s may not be as perfect as it is portrayed. Authorities such as the police and judges are shown as making ethical decisions in favor of peace, equity, and justice in society, although, they may go beyond their boundaries and abuse their powers and authority and are subject to review. In this paper I will discuss how police and judges abuse their powers and authority within the Canadian Justice System and how it is dealt with as well as critique it from both an advantageous and disadvantageous perspective. First, I will discuss the mechanisms, such as the guidelines and rules
I have proposed in these first paragraphs that there are problems with having judges at the head of the legal and moral trajectory of our nation, but surely I am not the first to propose such a thing. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms addresses this issue by having the threat of a legislature disregarding the Supreme Court. Sections 1 and 33 give parliament just such authority. At the beginning of this essay I made the statement that putting our rights under reasonable limits
In addition, while accommodations for Aboriginals in the system such as healing circles and the Indian Act courts are beneficial to a handful of individuals, they do not address the overall issue of an ill-fitting system that still promotes constructions of superiority and inferiority. The mainstream eurocentric values of the current legal system continue to ignore the cultural differences between Canada and the Indigenous people, leading to cases of Aboriginal people accidentally confessing to crimes they did not intend to commit when they believed they were only reaffirming what they saw. The system must change to address these differences and the impacting history of colonial oppression in order to enact proper justice (228). They must regain the trust of the Aboriginal people and use that as a guiding principle to
On the other hand, the appointment of judges shapes Charter interpretation, forcing Canadians to reconsider the people they have given power to and to rethink the Charter’s interpreters’ authority in creating a more “just” society. Hence, while Canada may claim to be progressing in legal thought, the lack of Supreme Court checks and balances proves otherwise. Unlike the politicians
I will be representing on behalf of The John Howard Society of Canada, and advocating on behalf of people who are imprisoned in Canada. I aim to contend the court the recognition of prisoners as right-bearing people, and the need of scrutiny when applying s.1 of the charter to any legislation that arbitrates with the prisoner’s rights. To begin with a brief introduction on our organization’s. The John Howard Society of Canada is national organization that “fills a role in public education, community service, and in pressing for reform in the criminal justice area.” Our mission and core values are, “Effective, just and human responses to the causes and consequences of crime. We are an, “Organization of provincial and territorial Societies comprised of and governed by people whose goal is to understand and respond to problems of crime and the criminal justice system. They are fiscally responsible for the continuance of the work and service of the National Office.”
The relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian government has been a troubled one since European first contact that continues even at the early stages of the 21st century. Although this relationship can be observed from a number of different angles, the intent of this paper is to focus specifically on the failures of the criminal justice system while correlating it with the social and economic inequalities that are the root cause of the problem. It will therefore be argued that the criminal justice system has not adapted to adequately address the concerns of the Canadian Aboriginal people. This paper will begin with policing, which is the first stage in the justice system, where an examination of issues will be presented such