University of British Columbia Law Review
Constitutional Law - Canada; Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Section 7; Social Justice
This paper examines the transformative potential of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its potential usefulness in the struggle against social and economic injustice central to Canadian society. Can section 7 of the Charter encompass the protection of social and economic rights? In other words, can section 7 be interpreted to capture the progressive goal of economic redistribution? Three separate issues are considered, each providing different perspectives on the issue. First jurisprudence (doctrine) is considered, i.e. how section 7 can encompass substantive claims to economic redistributive justice. Secondly, the institutional appropriateness and justiciability of socio-economic rights is discussed, including positive and negative rights, budgetary implications, and judicial capacity. Finally, constitutional politics dominant across political, legal, and social elites in Canada are discussed.
Margot Young, "Section 7 and the Politics of Social Justice (2005) 38:2 UBC L Rev 539.