The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

883 WordsSep 24, 20154 Pages
Introduction: Exchanging ideas to build upon the status quo, or to justify it After the storm clouds of apartheid lifted to reveal the Rainbow Nation of South Africa in 1994, the first democratically elected government was tasked with drawing up a new constitution that would properly enshrine the human rights that had so long been denied the majority of citizens. One source drawn upon in developing the new constitution was the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, itself then little more than a decade old. It is not necessary to be a constitutional scholar to detect many similarities between the two; indeed, Canada’s pride in this connection is such that it is highlighted on the Government of Canada 's webpage on bilateral relations with South Africa, which boasts “South Africa 's 1996 Constitution and Bill of Rights draw heavily on Canada 's Charter of Rights and Freedoms”. Viewed together, the Canadian and South African documents represent progressive advances in the constitutional enshrinement of human rights; as such, each reflects an enlightened view of human rights at the time it was drafted, with subsequent jurisprudence reflecting attempts to accommodate emerging global norms. For instance, the South African Bill of Rights offered the world 's first explicit constitutional recognition of equality based on sexual orientation; at roughly the same time it was being drafted, the Supreme Court of Canada read in similar protections as an analogous ground under the
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