Charter of Rights Special Topics

Prior to the passage of the Constitution Act, 1982, the Canadian constitution served primarily as a check on governmental power to the extent that the governmental actor acted outside of its constitutionally-allocated authority. In a sense, the passage of the Charter was largely an extension of that same concept: citizens can keep governmental power in check to the extent that it infringes on their basic civil liberties. As was the case in the United States and other countries in the world, the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms forced the judiciary to adopt a more activist role viz other state actors. In so doing, Canadian courts have focused on a few civil liberties topics, which may be of interest to the student of Canadian constitutional law: