Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Clearly, the Charter has become a vehicle for advancing new rights claims. According to a group of legal scholars who conducted a quantitative study of the Supreme Court of Canada’s jurisprudence, the number of rights-related cases increased from 20 percent of the court’s docket before 1975 to more than 60 percent after 1982. During the peak of the Court’s rights litigation, between 1982 and 2003, the Court invalidated sixty-four statutes, of which 44 percent dealt with due process and 27 percent dealt with civil liberties. In most years before 1982, the Court often did not find a single statute invalid; since 1982, the Court has invalidated at least one statute every year. The rate of judicial review has expanded dramatically under the Charter. So the Court’s impact has been profound. Alongside its landmark right-to-strike decision, it has struck down Criminal Code prohibitions against solicitation (prostitution) and assisted suicide. In all three cases, the court has created a human right after having declared years earlier that no such human right existed.
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———. “Social Movements and Judicial Empowerment: Courts, Public Policy, and Lesbian and Gay Organizing in Canada.”Politics & Society 33, no. 2 (2005): 327-53.
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