Presentation on theme: "Rights and Freedoms Unit 2. What’s Ahead Chapter 4 Canada’s Constitutional Law Chapter 5 The Charter and the courts Chapter 6 Human Rights in Canada Chapter."— Presentation transcript:
What’s Ahead Chapter 4 Canada’s Constitutional Law Chapter 5 The Charter and the courts Chapter 6 Human Rights in Canada Chapter 7 Majority and Minority Rights
Chapter Four Canada’s Constitutional Law Big Ideas: Explain the role of the constitution Explain how constitutional law developed Distinguish law makers powers Explain the role of courts Understand key events in constitutional history
The Importance of the Constitution Provides the the basic framework for the nation’s form of government Allocates power to the provinces Sets out the procedures for making laws, and amending them Reflection of society Written and unwritten
3 Sources of Canada’s Constitution 1. Constitution Act, 1867 ( BNA act) & Constitution Act, 1982 2. Unwritten Constitution 3. Court rulings that interpret the written constitution (precedents)
British North America Act,1867 Written by fathers of confederation Changes had to be passed by British parliament Patriated in 1982, renamed Constitution Act, 1982
Constitution Act, 1982 Included Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and an amending formula
Canada’s Unwritten Constitution The original document (BNA Act) made no mention of Prime Minister, however it did contain the line “a constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom” Many of Britain's systems were adopted here, and became part of our government
Conventions Conventions are unwritten rules of political conduct, over time they become binding. And develop into important principles An example is the idea that a Cabinet member must resign if he or she does not agree with a decision reached by cabinet, referred to as “Cabinet solidarity”
Example of Joe Comuzzi A Minister of State in the Martin Liberal government, resigned his post on the grounds that he did not support the government legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
Court Decisions (Common Law) The third source of Canadian constitutional law Settle disputes over the meaning or intent of certain sections, phrases, and even individual words Government must abide by decisions
Components of Constitution The Division of Powers The Provincial level was given jurisdiction over regional and local concerns, such as Education and Healthcare. Municipalities were not given powers under the constitution; the provinces created municipalities as an extension of their jurisdictions.
Federal Jurisdiction Section 91 Banking Bankruptcy Census and statistics Citizenship Court procedures Criminal law Currency Defence Employment ins. Foreign affairs Immigration Indian Affairs Marriage and Divorce Penitentiaries Taxation Trade and commerce Patents and copyrights
Provincial Jurisdiction Section 92 Direct taxation Labour unions Hospitals/Health care Organization of municipal governments Natural Resources Property law Justice Education
Intra Vires and Ultra Vires What happens if there is a disagreement over an area that is claimed by two levels of government? Court decides If an action by a legislature (provincial or federal) is within its jurisdiction that legislature has acted intra vires its authority An action by a legislature (provincial or federal) that is outside its jurisdiction that legislature has acted ultra vires its authority
Pith and Substance Doctrine Court uses the pith and substance doctrine to determine whether or not the action is legal in areas where both levels of government have claimed authority Determines what was the overriding purpose of the law Read page 146 “Pith and Substance”
Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA Structure of Government
Parliament The Role of the Courts The role of the courts is to interpret the constitution and to solve disputes between the levels of government. Judgments made in lower courts such as the Provincial Courts or the Federal Court can be appealed to the Appeals Courts, Supreme or Superior Courts, and ultimately to the Supreme Court of Canada. Judgments made at the Supreme Court of Canada cannot be overturned, and become “Legal Precedent” and therefore part of Case Law.
Provincial Court (Province A) Provincial Court (Province B) Federal Court (Trial Court) Tax Court Supreme Court (Trial Court) Court of Queen’s Bench (Trial Court) Court of Appeal (Province A) t of Appeal Court of Appeal (Province B) Federal Court of Appeal Court Martial Appeal Court Military Courts (Various Types) Supreme Court Of Canada provincial courts superior courts courts of appeal Supreme Court of Canada
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Located in London England, this body was part of the British Court system and not a Canadian court. The JCPC was the highest court of appeal for Constitutional matters until 1949, when The Supreme Court of Canada assumed this role. The JCPC overturned a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1929 with the famous “persons case”, allowing women to be appointed to the Senate.
The 1929 Person's Case October 18,five Alberta women won their fight to have women declared “persons” under the law. The battle stemmed from an 1867 common law ruling that "Women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges." "Women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges."
With her sights set on a Senate seat, Emily Murphy joined forces with four other like-minded women, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards, to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada for clarification of the definition of the word ‘person’ as it appeared in the British North America Act.
Task: Read Chapter 5 (pages 135-166) Constitutional History (pg 136-142)... Research and identify key points and overall significance of the following: Royal Proclamation Quebec Act Act of Union Constitution Act, 1867 Statute of Westminster Constitution Act, 1982