Rounding Up the Usual Criminal Suspects, and a Few More Civil Ones: Section 7 after Chaoulli

20 National Journal of Constitutional Law 129, October 2007

Posted: 22 Aug 2012

See all articles by Rollie Thompson

Rollie Thompson

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

By the 1990s, any criminal lawyer or judge could readily "round up the usual suspects," a string of solid section 7 authorities in criminal law. The civil cases, by contrast, have been narrow, cautious and inconsistent, until Chaoulli. After a review of various narrowing devices used in civil matters, the author looks at the scope of "life, liberty and security of the person" and suggests some problems with the Supreme Court's "psychological stress" analysis of "security." A quick look at the "top ten" criminal "principles of fundamental justice" is followed by a discussion of the three related crossover principles of overbreadth, vagueness and arbitrariness. To date, any "principles" in civil matters have reflected their criminal origins in physical liberty and the state-vs-citizen structure of proceedings. Chaoulli and Charkoui may mark a new beginning, or just another twist for section 7 in civil matters.

Keywords: section 7, criminal law, civil, psychological stress, Chaouilli, Charkoui, security, principles of fundamental justice

Suggested Citation

Thompson, Rollie, Rounding Up the Usual Criminal Suspects, and a Few More Civil Ones: Section 7 after Chaoulli (2007). 20 National Journal of Constitutional Law 129, October 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2133381

Rollie Thompson (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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