The Charter Debates: The Special Joint Committee on the Constitution, 1980-81, and the Making of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms may only be thirty-five years old but it is an important document for all Canadians. Few today, however, are aware of the extensive work and tumultuous debates that occurred behind the scenes.
In The Charter Debates, Adam Dodek tells the story of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on the Constitution, whose members were instrumental in drafting the Charter. Dodek places the work of the Joint Committee against the backdrop of the decades-long process of patriation and takes the reader inside the committee room, giving them access to Cabinet discussions about constitutional reform. The volume offers a textual exploration of the edited proceedings concerning major Charter subjects such as fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, equality rights, language rights, and the limitations clause.
Presenting key moments from the transcripts, carefully selected and contextualized, The Charter Debates is a one-of-a-kind resource for scholars, students, and general readers interested in the Charter and its impact on constitutional politics in Canada.
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 490 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.1in x 9.0in
"Adam M. Dodek is right to suggest that the interpretive engagement with the Charter’s drafting process was curtailed in early Charter cases as a result of the Supreme Court of Canada’s rejection of an originalist path. Judges saw originalism as limiting Charter rights. We have generally not revisited that decision despite a growing body of scholarship that questions the anti-originalist rationale. This book provides a very easy access point to this piece of important but largely forgotten constitutional history that will enable courts and scholars to take a fresh look."
Jula Hughes, Faculty of Law, University of New Brunswick
"Adam M. Dodek contextualizes and brings attention to a significant moment in modern Canadian constitutional history, the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution, 1980−81. Perhaps most importantly, Dodek has edited the previously unwieldy and voluminous hearing transcripts into a readable and useful resource that will appeal to constitutional scholars across the disciplines of law, history, and political science."
Eric Adams, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
Author InformationAdam Dodek is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. He is one of the founders of the university’s Public Law Group and in 2014 Canadian Lawyer named him as one of the top 25 most influential lawyers in Canada. In 2015 he was awarded the Law Society Medal by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Table of contents
Chapter 1 – Prelude: The Long Road to the Joint Committee
Chapter 2 – The Cast
Chapter 3 – At the Joint Committee
Chapter 4 – From the Joint Committee to Patriation
Chapter 5 – The Limitations Clause
Chapter 6 – Fundamental Freedoms
Chapter 7 – Democratic Rights
Chapter 8 – Mobility Rights
Chapter 9 – Legal Rights
Chapter 10 – Equality Rights
Chapter 11 – Language Rights
Chapter 12 – Judicial Review, Enforcement and Remedies
Chapter 13 – Multiculturalism
Chapter 14 – Denominational Rights
Chapter 15 – Aboriginal Rights
Appendix AAppendix B
Subjects and Courses