A comprehensive examination of the implications of the limitation clause on principles of democracy and federalism.
Limiting Rights is an in-depth exploration of who is, and who should be, responsible for determining whether legislation that conflicts with the entrenched rights of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should nevertheless be upheld as a reasonable limit on protected rights. Janet Hiebert addresses a topic that threatens to undermine claims that what courts do can be distinguished from the discretionary decisions of policy makers and raises concerns about whether judicial review of the Charter is consistent with democratic principles.
Through an extended analysis of Supreme Court decisions involving limits on protected rights, Hiebert explores the issues surrounding judicial review. She explores how difficult it is for judges to determine the reasonableness of legislative initiatives and examines the considerable influence exerted by Canadian politicians in decisions about which legislative activities will be considered justifiable limits on protected rights. Politicians have, in other words, helped define the very constraints that the Charter was intended to impose on them.
Limiting Rights sheds light on one of the most contentious issues in a political system with entrenched rights.