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  • Charter of Rights and Freedoms accounts for 30 out of 811 casebriefs.

Style of causeRatio

Adler v. Ontario, [1996] 3 SCR 609

Religious minorities not already recognized by s.93 are not entitled to public funding. These minorities cannot use the Charter to defeat the express provisions of s.93 of the Constitution.

Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, 2009 SCC 37

If a law is fundamentally supposed to apply to everyone (writ large), an accommodation of religious beliefs (individual tailoring) is NOT appropriate under s.1 – the legislation must do this (greater deference due to complexity of law). Effects on the freedom of religion with writ large laws will be considered under final balancing step of s.1.

Canada v. Khadr, [2008] 2 SCR 125

R v. Hape is the proper approach to extraterritoriality. Because of comity, Charter doesn’t apply unless there has been a violation of international human rights or the domestic state gives direct consent.

Chamberlain v. Surrey School District, [2002] 4 SCR 710

Public schools must operate according to “strictly secular” principles (tolerance/discrimination), which cannot deny respect/recognition to another group in society. Parental “religious” views are considered but are not determinative of administrative decisions.

Dunmore v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2001 SCC 94

Although the Charter traditionally does not apply to government action violating civil liberties, inaction in a legislated area which encourages or sustains the violation of fundamental freedoms can be scrutinized under s.2.

Edmonton Journal v. Alberta (Attorney General), [1989] 2 SCR 1326

All stages of the Oakes test are considered contextually. Charter rights are not considered in a vacuum.

Edward Books and Art v. The Queen, [1986] 2 SCR 713

The effects of legislation can coincide with a religious doctrine without being deleterious, and can be saved using a s.1 analysis. This case is a good example of judicial deference.

Eldridge v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1997] 3 SCR 624

If an entity’s act is truly governmental in nature, that entity will be under Charter scrutiny only with respect to that act - not all of their private activities.

Ford v Quebec (Attorney General), [1988] 2 SCR 712

Commercial advertising constitutes expression under section. 2(b).

Purpose of 2(b) of the Charter (the underlying principles):
** 1. Seeking truth as an inherently good activity;
** 2. Participation in social and political decision making is to be fostered and encouraged;
** 3. The diversity in forms of individual self-fulfillment and human flourishing ought to be cultivated, in an essentially tolerant environment, not only for the sake of those who convey a meaning but also for the sake of those to whom it is conveyed.

Ford v. Quebec, [1988] 2 SCR 712

S. 33 cannot be used retroactively. If it is used, it must be spelled out clearly what sections will be overwritten.

Godbout v. Longueuil (City)

Municipalities are likely subject to Charter scrutiny, however the decision was a concurring judgement and the matter has not been decided by an SCC majority. Municipal by-laws are subject to the Charter.

Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v. Canadian Federation of Students, 2009 SCC 31

When government exercises “substantial control” over an entity, that entity may come under Charter scrutiny.

Hill v. Church of Scientology, [1995] 2 SCR 1130

Charter values (in private litigation) are balanced differently than Charter rights. There is no formal s.1 analysis. Courts always have power to modify common law to bring into conformity with the Charter.

Hunter v. Southam, [1984] 2 SCR 145

Living tree doctrine & interpretation – s.8 is meant to be interpreted as the right to privacy, or a “zone of protection” surrounding individuals.

McKinney v. University of Guelph, [1990] 3 SCR 229

Universities are not generally subject to the Charter, as government has no legal control over them. Entity performing a public function is not enough in itself to warrant Charter scrutiny; government must “exert control” over operations.