Published In

University of British Columbia Law Review

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Subjects

Constitutional Law - Canada; Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Section 7; Social Justice

Abstract

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.

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