Canadas Charter of Rights and Freedoms has transformed Canadian life since it was adopted as part of the Canadian constitution in 1982. The Charter requires judges to make decisions on a wide range of issues that affect all Canadians. In doing so, the courts play a major role in citizens lives. Because of the Charter:
- The law against prostitution was struck down.
- The Harper government"s treatment of child soldier Omar Khadr was found to violate his rights.
- Vancouvers Insite safe injection site was kept open, overriding a federal government decision requiring it to shut down.
Ian Greene is a political scientist, and his focus in this book is to highlight the many significant ways the Charter shapes Canadian life. After providing background on the creation and implementation of the Charter, he describes its impact on a wide range of issues aboriginal affairs, voting rights, freedom of religion, the right to strike, and language rights, among others. Greene describes key decisions in these areas and comments on the often-conflicting views of the judges deciding them. Even though the Charter is a legal document, debated by lawyers and decided by judges, Greene approaches his subject with an eye on the political impact the Charter has on governments and ordinary citizens.
Public discussion of the Charter is often framed around the question of who should make these important decisions elected politicians or unelected judges. This book provides a clear understanding of how the Charter works and how ordinary citizens have succeeded or failed to win change from the courts. It offers information that people on every side of public discussion can use regarding the role of the Charter in Canadian life.
About the author
IAN GREENE is a University Professor Emeritus at York University, where he has taught public policy and administration since 1985. He was the founding director of York's Masters program in Public Policy, Administration and Law. Greene's most recent book is Honest Politics Now (with David P. Shugarman). He is also the author of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Other titles by Ian Greene
The Legacy of a Supreme Court Chief Justice
Honest Politics Now
What ethical conduct means in Canadian public life
A Question of Ethics
Canadians Speak Out
Decision-Making in Canadian Courts of Appeal
Seeking Integrity in Canadian Political Life
Judges and Judging
Inside the Canadian Judicial System