Reasonable Doubt: Happy 30th birthday to Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

On April 17, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The charter has always been controversial. Its purpose is to tell the government what the boundaries are on its ability to make laws and pursue certain courses of action in relation to individuals. It only applies to the government and government actors (such as the police). The charter guarantees the rights as listed within it to all citizens of Canada. If a law is deemed to violate a charter right, section 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, provides that “any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect”.