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Russell v The Queen (New Brunswick) [1882] UKPC 33


Act passed regarding selling liquor. Russell charged with not complying with the request, Act challenged that federal govt did not have the constitutional authority to enact the law


Whether a law controlling retail sale of alcohol would fit into s. 92?
** If yes, can it fit within federal head of power?


Law regarding control of the sale of alcohol does not fit under any of the provincial head of jurisdiction – we are not told which specific head this falls under for the feds. However, prohibition likely falls under the federal residual power under Peace. Order and Good Governance (POGG).


s.92(9) – shops, saloon, tavern, and other licenses for the raising of revenue
*The Act in question is not a fiscal act – on the contrary the effect is to diminish revenue
s.92(13) – property and civil rights
*Law making sale criminal has no relation to property.
*The act deals with public order and safety not property rights
*Act that are for protection of public and order belong to the subject of public wrongs rather than civil rights
s.92(16) – Generally all matters of a merely local or private nature in the province
*Does not fall w/in this category


The Act does not fall w/in any of the classes of subjects assigned exclusively to the Province – therefore no need to address the 2nd question


Dominion has power to make laws for peace and order under s.91 unless the subject falls within some one or more of the classes of subjects, which were assigned in s.92 to the Provinces

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