The Charter of Rights
Human Rights Throughout History
1215 C.E. - Magna Carta
July 4, 1776 – The American Declaration of
1791 – The U.S. Bill of Rights passed
1789 –France: the Declaration of the Rights
of Man and of the Citizen
1865 – The 13th amendment to the U.S.
Constitution abolished slavery
1945 –United Nations Formed
1948 – the Universal Declaration of Human
1982: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Universal Declaration of Human
WWII was the most destructive war in
Millions were killed and most were
In 1945, world leaders formed a new
international organization: the United
◦ Its purpose is “to save succeeding generations
from the scourge of war”.
Universal Declaration of Human
The Universal Declaration of Human
Rights was adopted by the United
Nations on December 10th, 1948
◦ it was a formal agreement on specific rights
and freedoms for ALL human beings
The Declaration remains the standard for
all countries to follow!
Turn to pg 42 in text.
Evolution Of the Canadian
BNA Act 1867: Canada dates its history
as a country to the British North America
Act, which came into effect on July 1,
However, Canada was not established as
fully independent, since the United
Kingdom retained legislative control over
Canada, and full control over Canadian
Statute of Westminster 1931: Is an
Act of the Parliament of the United
Kingdom which established legislative
equality for the Dominion of Canada.
The main effect was the removal of the
ability of the British Parliament to legislate
for the dominions.
It did not, however, immediately provide
for any changes to the constitution of
Canada. Many constitutional changes
continued to require the intervention of
the British Parliament.
Supreme Court of Canada: is the highest
court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in
the Canadian justice system.
However, the Supreme Court did not always
constitute the court of last resort; litigants could
appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council in London.
Some cases could bypass the Supreme Court
entirely and go directly to the Judicial Committee
from the provincial courts of appeal.
The Supreme Court was established as the last
court of appeals for Canada in 1949.
Constitution Act, 1982: was introduced as
part of Canada's process of "patriating" the
constitution, introducing several amendments to
the British North America Act, 1867.
Full Canadian control over the constitution was
not achieved until the passage of the Canada Act
Charter of Rights and Freedoms: is a
bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of
Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution
The Charter guarantees certain political rights to
Canadian citizens and civil rights of everyone in
◦ Federal: Sec 91 on BNA Act- Criminal law,
Military Defense, National Economy.
◦ Provincial: Sec 92 of BNA Act- Education,
◦ Local: By-laws, Parking Enforcement, Snow
Removal, Property Taxes.
◦ Each level of government must create laws that
abide by the Charter and in no way restrict or
deny anyone’s fundamental rights and
The Legal Pyramid
BNA Act, Charter of
Constitution Act, 1982
Rights and Freedoms
Statutes or Acts Education Act
Regulations and Regulation 298
Orders-in-Council of the Education
Common Law R. v.
What is it?
Take out handout from the other day