Conflict Resolution in Human Rights Cases: The Role of the Supreme Court of Canada

Miriam Cohen, Sarah-Michèle Vincent-Wright

Abstract


This paper examines the role of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in resolving human rights conflicts and balancing individual and collective rights. With a multiple control mission, the Court must interpret the Constitution and resolve disputes over competing rights and interests, based on the principle of constitutional democracy. This paper specifically focuses on the SCC’s role in conflict resolution in human rights cases, especially in the complex legal framework of protection existing in Canada. It also addresses how the Court’s rulings may affect the protection of fundamental rights under the Canadian Charter, illustrated by some key examples from the Court’s caselaw. To this end, the first part provides a descriptive overview of the complex fabric of human rights protection in the Canadian constitutional framework. The second part discusses the SCC’s role in protecting human rights within the Canadian legal system. Ultimately, this paper underscores the fundamental role of a Supreme Court in protecting human rights in situations of multiple rights conflicts. 

Keywords


Apex Courts; Balancing Rights; Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Constitutional Courts; Conflicting Rights; Supreme Court of Canada

Full Text:

PDF

References


Albert, Richard. “The Expositor and Guardian of Our Constitutional Values.” In Canada’s Chief Justice: Beverley McLachlin’s Legacy of Law and Leadership, edited by Marcus Moore and Daniel Jutras. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018.

Brunelle, Christian, and Mélanie Samson. “Les Domaines d’Application Des Chartes Des Droits.” In Droit Public et Administratif, Collection de Droit 2021- 2022. Montréal (QC): Éditions Yvon Blais, 2021.

Brun, Henri, Pierre Brun, and Fannie Lafontaine. “Chartes Des Droits de La Personne: Législation, Jurisprudence et Doctrine.” In Collection Alter Ego, 34e Éd. Montréal: Wilson & Lafleur, 2021.

Canada.ca. “Guide to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/how- rights-protected/guide-canadian-charter-rights-freedoms.html.

Canadian Bill of Rights, S.C. 1960, c. 44 of 1960.

Canadian Heritage. “How Your Rights Are Protected.” Canada.ca, accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/how-rights- protected.html.

Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6 of 1981.

Canadian Human Rights Commission. “Provincial & Territorial Human Rights Agencies.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/en/ complaints/provincial-territorial-human-rights-agencies.

Canadian Human Rights Commission. “Human Rights in Canada.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/en/about-human-rights/human- rights-canada

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. “Welcome to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/index-en. html.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. “Welcome to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/index-en. html.

Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, R.S.Q., c. C-12 of 1975.

Constitution Act, 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 3 (U.K.) of 1867.

Constitution Act, Enacted as Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982, 1982, c. 11 (U.K.). Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46 of 1985.

Daly, Paul. “A Supreme Court’s Place in the Constitutional Order: Contrasting Recent Experiences in Canada and the United Kingdom.” Queen’s Law Journal 41, no. 1 (2015).

Daly, Paul. Apex Courts and the Common Law: Introduction. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 2019.

Deschamps, L’honorable Marie. “Beverley McLachlin : Femme, Juge, Porte- Étendard.” In Canada’s Chief Justice: Beverley McLachlin’s Legacy of Law and Leadership, edited by Marcus Moore and Daniel Jutras. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018.

Glover Berger, Kate. “The Supreme Court in Canada’s Constitutional Order.” Review of Constitutional Studies 21, no. 1 (May 2016).

Gaudreault-Desbiens, Jean-François. “The Role of Apex Courts in Federal Systems: Beyond the Law or Politics Dichotomy.” Jus Politicum 17, no. 1 (2017).

Greene, Ian, and Peter McCormick. Beverley McLachlin: The Legacy of a Supreme Court Chief Justice. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publisher, 2019.

Harris, Carolyn. “Monarchie Constitutionnelle.” The Canadian Encyclopedia.ca, accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/fr/article/ monarchie-constitutionnelle.

Hogg, Peter W. “The Law-Making Role of the Supreme Court of Canada: Rapporteur’s Synthesis.” Canadian Bar Review 80, no. 1/2 (2001).

Iacobucci, Frank. “The Supreme Court of Canada: Its History, Powers and Responsibilities.” Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 4, no. 1 (2002).

Justice Laws Website. “Learn about the Charter- Canada’s System of Justice.” Accessed August 2, 2022 1. https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ ccrf-ccdl/learn-apprend.html.

Justice Laws Website. “Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html.

Justice Laws Website. “The Canadian Constitution—about Canada’s System of Justice.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/ just/05.html.

Justice Laws Website. “The Judicial Structure—about Canada’s System of Justice.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/just/07.html.

Jutras, Daniel. “Le Rôle Constitutionnel de La Cour Suprême Du Canada: Autoportrait (A Self-Portrait of the Supreme Court of Canada).” Les Cahiers Du Conseil Constitutionnel 24 (2008).

MacKay, Robin and Maxime Charron-Tousignant. “The Role of the Supreme Court of Canada—Membership and the Nomination Process.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://hillnotes.ca/2021/06/14/the-role-of-the-supreme-court-of- canada-membership-and-the-nomination-process/.

MacDonnell, Vanessa. “The Constitution as Framework for Governance.” University of Toronto Law Journal 63, no. 4 (2013).

Moore, Marcus. “Introduction: Canada’s Chief Justice: Beverley McLachlin’s Legacy of Law and Leadership.” Supreme Court Law Review 86, no. 2 (2018).

Moore, Marcus. “Justice as Harmony: The Distinct Resonance of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s Juridical Genius.” In Canada’s Chief Justice: Beverley McLachlin’s Legacy of Law and Leadership, edited by Marcus Moore and Daniel Jutras. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018.

Newman, Warren J. “The Constitutional Status of the Supreme Court of Canada.” Supreme Court Law Review 47, no. 2 (2009).

Poirier, Johanne. “The Role of Constitutional Courts, a Comparative Perspective: The Supreme Court of Canada.” European Parliamentary Research Service, (July 2019).

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act, S.C. 2011, c. 5 of 2011.

Sharpe, Robert J. “The Supreme Court of Canada in Changing Times.” Paper, The Ontario Justice Education Network Summer Law Institute for Secondary School Teachers, 2003.

Supreme Court Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26 (1985).

Supreme Court of Canada. “Role of the Court.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https:// www.scc-csc.ca/court-cour/role-eng.aspx.

Supreme Court of Canada. “Current and Former Judges.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.scc-csc.ca/judges-juges/cfpju-jupp-eng.aspx.

Supreme Court of Canada. “2021 Year in Review—Canada’s Top Court.” Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.scc-csc.ca/review-revue/2021/TopCourt- HautTribunal-eng.html.

Supreme Court Judgments, Adler v. Ontario (1996) 3 S.C.R. 609 (Supreme Court of Canada 1996).

Supreme Court Judgments, Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission), (2000) 2 S.C.R. 307 (Supreme Court of Canada 2000).

Supreme Court Judgments, Canada (Attorney General) v. JTI-Macdonald Corp., (2007) 2 S.C.R. 610 (Supreme Court of Canada 2007).

Supreme Court Judgments, Canada (Canadian Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General), (2018) 2 S.C.R. 230 (Supreme Court of Canada 2018).

Supreme Court Judgments, Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), (2015) 1 S.C. 331 (Supreme Court of Canada 2015).

Supreme Court Judgments, Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General), (2005) 1 S.C.R. 791 (Supreme Court of Canada 2005).

Supreme Court Judgments, Dagenais v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp., (1994) 3 S.C.R. 835 (Supreme Court of Canada 1994).

Supreme Court Judgments, Edwards v. Attorney General of Canada, (1930) A.C. 124 (Supreme Court of Canada 1930).

Supreme Court Judgments, Godbout v. Longueuil (City), (1997) 3 S.C.R. 844 (Supreme Court of Canada 1997).

Supreme Court Judgments, Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Judicial Committee) v. Wall, (2018) 1 S.C.R. 750 (Supreme Court of Canada 2018).

Supreme Court Judgments, Hunter v. Southam, (1984) 2 S.C.R. 145 (Supreme Court of Canada 1984).

Supreme Court Judgments, Ontario (Attorney General) v. Fraser, (2011) 2 S.C.R. 3 (Supreme Court of Canada 2011).

Supreme Court Judgments, Plourde v. Wal-Mart Canada Inc, (2009) 3 S.C.R. 465 (Supreme Court of Canada 2009).

Supreme Court Judgments, Reference re Manitoba Language Rights, (1985) 1 S.C.R. 721 (Supreme Court of Canada 1985).

Supreme Court Judgments, Reference re Same Sex Marriage, (2004) 3 S.C.R. 698 (Supreme Court of Canada 2004).

Supreme Court Judgments, References re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11 (Can) (Supreme Court of Canada 2021).

Supreme Court Judgments, Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General), (1993) 3 S.C.R. 519.

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., (1985) 1 S.C.R. 295 (Supreme Court of Canada 1985).

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Bissonnette, 2022 S.C.C. 23 (Supreme Court of Canada 2022).

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Boudreault, (2018) 3 S.C.R. 599 (Supreme Court of Canada 2018).

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Harrer, (1995) 3 S.C.R. 562 (Supreme Court of Canada 1995).

Supreme Court Judgments, R v. Henry, (2005) 3 S.C.R. 609 (Supreme Court of Canada 2005).

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Jordan, (2016) 1 S.C.R. 631 (Supreme Court of Canada 2016).

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Oakes, (1986) 1 S.C.R. 103 (Supreme Court of Canada 1986).

Supreme Court Judgments, R. v. Thomas, (1990) 1 S.C.R. 713 (Supreme Court of Canada 1990).

Supreme Court Judgments, RWDSU v. Dolphin Delivery Ltd., (1986) 2 S.C.R. 573 (Supreme Court of Canada 1986).

Supreme Court Judgments, Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem, (2004) 2 S.C.R. 551 (Supreme Court of Canada 2004).

Venice Commission. "Concept Paper and Questionnaire." Paper (published), Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, 2021.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.31078/consrev824

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 101 times
PDF view : 28 times

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2022 Constitutional Review