The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

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Freedom of expression, set under section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is one of Canada’s most valued rights in the bill of rights of the Constitution. It has paved the way for the society in which thirty-five million people reside today. With this level of influence and admiration, it is truly a fundamental right. However, many ground-breaking cases have illustrated the need to limit freedom of expression. A prime example is the landmark case that took place in 1990 surrounding high school teacher, James Keegstra. This Supreme Court case touched mainly upon two sections of the Charter, and one section of the Criminal Code of Canada. These two sections in the Charter included section 1 (reasonable limits), and…show more content…
These requirements are listed in section 319(3) of the Criminal Code.16 Out of the four requirements Keegstra most blatantly failed to meet section 319(3) (c) which states, “if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true.”17 His personal feelings against Jewish people, in no way, serve to benefit the public, which in this case is his students. James Keegstra’s main reason for violating the Criminal Code, and failing to meet the requirements of section 319(3) is because of his capacity as a high school teacher. At trial, Keegstra’s lawyer made an argument that section 319(2) violated his client’s right to freedom of expression.18 The judge disagreed for the reason that the Charter provides equal security and advantage of the law, free from discrimination of race,
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