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Reference re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 SCR 217 (Link)


There had been a referendum in Quebec. The federal government objected to the process and the way the question was posed. The federal government referred the issue directly to Supreme Court of Canada.


There are unwritten constitutional principles:
• 1. Federalism
• 2. Democracy
• 3. Constitutionalism and Rule of law
• 4. Respect for minorities


1. Because of the principles of federalism, democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law, and respect for minorities, Quebec could not secede unilaterally, due to limits in the constitution.

2. Because of the federalism principle: A clear majority on a clear question would create a binding obligation on the other party to negotiate in good faith.

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