Presentation on theme: "Development of Rights and Freedoms: A Historical Timeline Mr. Andrez"— Presentation transcript:
1 Development of Rights and Freedoms: A Historical Timeline Mr. Andrez CLU3M - LawDevelopment of Rights and Freedoms:A Historical TimelineMr. Andrez
2 Introduction What does Canada have that many countries don’t? Civil Rights (and freedoms) - limit the power that a government has over its citizensHuman Rights – protect people from being unfairly discriminated against by other individualsCanadians can feel secure in almost all areas of their livesCanadians are free because laws are passed and enforced to protect their rights and freedomsWealth, gender, race, age, belief, family status … are not supposed to determine how you are treated in Canada – equal under the law
3 Development of Human Rights and Freedoms A Quick Rundown! 1215 – Magna CartaLimited the king’s powerOnly nobility received more rights, not ordinary folk!1689 – Glorious RevolutionEnglish Bill of RightsMonarchs promised to obey the laws of Parliament and allow free electionsOnly nobility and wealthy landowners could vote and control parliament, not ordinary folk!
4 Rights and Revolution 17th Century Legal and moral thinkers of the Enlightenment gave way to western philosophy, proposing:humans have natural rights (life, liberty, and security)These rights exist independently of any rights or duties created by ruler, government, Church or societyThose in power (monarchs, the Church, nobility) felt threatened by these ideas which spread rapidly throughout EuropeJohn LockeAdam Smith
5 John Locke (1632-1704) The theory that fueled Revolutions Believed that human beings are rational, free & equal. They are capable of running their own lives.They have rights to life, health, liberty and possessions that no one should harm.To secure their rights, therefore, people give up some freedom and form government. The government’s purpose is to protect rights. It is a type of contract. “The Social Contract”The individual is superior to the government. The government is just a mechanism to help them.If government fails to protect those rights and becomes tyrannical, then the contract is null and void. The government loses its legitimacy, and people are free to make a new government.Called a “right of revolution.”
6 The American Revolution 18th Century Thirteen American Colonies fought for independence from Great BritainBritish Parliament had passed laws favouring Britain and not the American coloniesColonies had no representation in British ParliamentBritish ignored colonies’ demands and imposed new taxesAmericans protested violently “no taxation without representation”
7 The American Revolution continued 1776, American Congress issued the Declaration of IndependenceWritten by Thomas JeffersonProclaimed the existence of a new country, the U.S.A.Britain responded by sending more troops. Fighting continued until 1783Last British troops driven out of New York (1783) signed the Treaty of Paris (U.S.A. was officially born!)Thomas Jefferson
8 The American Revolution continued Constitution of the U.S.A was made law in 1788.Written by wealthy powerful menDid not include a bill of rights – the powerful elite feared giving rights to ordinary folk!Feared “mob rule” (belief that ordinary folk could not be trusted to govern themselvesThis was heavily criticized. Contradicted the ideals of the Revolution1791 – 10 amendments (changes) were made to the Constitution – becoming the U.S. Bill of Rightslegally protected only white menExcluded American Indians, African Americans and Women
9 The American Revolution – Its Legacy American Revolution inspired people throughout the world (France 1 year later!)It was influenced by new ideas that were sweeping through western EuropeThe powers of the Church and rulers were being challengedSignificant revolutionary idea: The rules governing people must be changed if they failed to protect the “natural rights” of citizens
10 The French Revolution 1789French philosophes – published papers attacking the power of the King, Church and nobilityWanted an end to feudalismSuccess of the American Revolution (flow of ideas, stories and people) fed the growing demand for change in France
11 The French Revolution 17891789 – The French people roe up and violent overthrew their rulers (monarchy, Church and nobility)Thousands were killedPrivileges of feudalism and the Church were abolishedA National Assembly made of elected members (like a House of Commons) was establishedGave way the “Nation State” as we know it today.
12 The French Revolution 1789 (continued) National Assembly passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the CitizenGuaranteed all French citizens their basic freedoms and became the basis of future modern democracies
13 The Abolition of Slavery 19th Century For over 300 years, approximately 15 million people were captured in Africa and traded as slaves in Europe and North AmericaEven after the revolutions of the 18th century slaves continued to be legally defined as “property”During the 19th century most western countries began to see the injustice in this system and abolished slavery
14 The Abolition of Slavery U.S.A. 19th Century American Civil War ( )people were killedNorthern / Union forces wanted to abolish slaverySouthern / Confederate forces wanted to keep it1865, The Northern forces won, and the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery forever!
15 The Holocaust ( )Nazi government targeted specific groups of people - Jews, the Roma (gypsies), Gays and lesbians, people with mental disabilities, members of certain religious faiths and political partiesInitially stripped of their civil rightsStriped of their human rightsImprisonedExecutedTotaling nearly 10 million men, women and children killed
16 The United Nations, 1945Established in the aftermath of WWII and the HolocaustPurpose: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”1st step – to try to guarantee all people certain rights and freedom - Human RightsMore specific than natural rightsEstablished the UN Human Rights CommissionTo produce a list of human rights and freedoms for all people throughout the worldEleanor Roosevelt holding theUniversal Declaration ofHuman Rights
17 Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 1948 1st time nations around the world signed a formal agreement of specific rights and freedomsIt is however, only a vision!Limitations of International Law?PalestineChina
18 Human Rights in Canada after WW2 Much Canadian law is based in British Common Law (unwritten and based on custom and earlier court decisions)Therefore, Canadians had many rights that were not written down but simply understood to existAfter the rights abuses of WW2 many Canadians believed these rights needed to be written down
19 Human Rights in Canada after WW2 Canadian Bill of Rights PM Diefenbaker and his government passed the Canadian Bill of Rights – 1960Set down in legislation the civil rights and freedoms that Canadians had already enjoyed under common law
20 Canadian Bill of Rights continued Criticized:As federal (statute) it applied to only federal mattersIt was a Parliamentary statute meaning it could be changed by parliament at any timeDid little to protect equality rights
21 Canadian Politics 1960s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elected PM in 1968 promising to make Canada a “Just Society”“State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”Promised greater social justice and stronger guarantees of individual rightsServed as Prime Minister for 15 yrsApril 20, 1968 – June 4,1979March 3, 1980 – June 30, 1984Responsible for:Bilingualism – Official Languages Act, 1969Law reforms: divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and birth controlEquality rights for Aboriginal CanadiansOctober Crisis, 1970
22 Trudeau – The Constitution Act, 1982 Constitution Act, 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and FreedomsConstitutional Law, not Statute lawChanges must be in accordance to the amendment formulaLists civil rights and freedoms for all Canadians at all levels of governmentSection 24 of the Charter details the “enforcement of guaranteed rights and freedoms”