Universality vs. Particularity: Litigating Middle Class Values under Section 15
Supreme Court Law Review, Vol. 33, pp. 367-387, 2006
11 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008
Date Written: July, 17 2008
This paper examines Supreme Court of Canada equality cases concerning access to benefits. I ask whether claims based upon what the Court considers to be universalistic schemes - programmes which are intended to embrace everyone - are more likely to be successful than are claims seeking access to targeted or means-tested plans, where fundamental distinctions between classes are built into the very structure of the schemes. A review of the cases suggests that the Supreme Court of Canada will be more partial to equality claims that concern access to what can be characterized as universal rather than targeted benefits. How the Court comes to these determinations, I suggest, reveals something about the Court's preference for broad-based middle-class programs.
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