Rights, the Homeless, and Social Change: Reflections on Victoria (City) v. Adams (BCSC)

BC Studies, Vol. 164, pp. 103-113, Winter 2009

11 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2010 Last revised: 29 Aug 2013

See all articles by Margot E. Young

Margot E. Young

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Canadian courts have routinely excluded basic social and economic rights from protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A recent judgment of the BC Supreme Court - which found that two bylaws of the City of Victoria infringed the section 7 rights of the homeless individuals who had erected temporary shelter when sleeping outside in public space - is an exception to this record. This case comment focuses on three aspects of the decision: 1. the centrality of the debate over negative and positive rights; 2. the Court's configuration of the underlying sociological issue of homelessness; and 3. the implications of the case for the larger debate on the Charter's potential for effecting trans-formative change.

Keywords: constitutional Law, Canada, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 7, social justice, positive and negative rights, rights to shelter, social and economic rights

Suggested Citation

Young, Margot E., Rights, the Homeless, and Social Change: Reflections on Victoria (City) v. Adams (BCSC) (2009). BC Studies, Vol. 164, pp. 103-113, Winter 2009 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1621948

Margot E. Young (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

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