Faculty Author Type

Current Faculty [Margot Young]

Published In

Supreme Court Law Review

Document Type


Publication Date



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


The somewhat rudimentary notions of liberty, life and security of the person that are corralled by traditional section 7 jurisprudence are not the sole indicator of what the section potentially ought to, and indeed may ultimately, protect and ensure. It is now fairly well established that the rights section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects apply well outside the sphere of criminal law. Two strands of expansion exist, one less controversial than the other. First, it is relatively clear that section 7 encompasses executive administration of the law. The second path of expansion allows section 7 rights to require substantive benefits and guarantees to individual claimants, casting the abstract and "protean" nature of section 7 to capture a wider range of normative claims and aspirations for a just society. This paper takes up the challenge of mapping the signposts of a course for a more complex and increasingly meaningful role for section 7 in the modern, neo-liberal state that Canada has become. The exercise is not an imaginary one - jurisprudence points towards such a potential role for the section and such a fuller capacity for the protections of life, liberty and security of the person under our constitutional regime.



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