How Can Infringements of the Constitutional Rights of Aboriginal Peoples Be Justified?

8:2 Constitutional Forum 33-39, 1997

4 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013

See all articles by Kent McNeil

Kent McNeil

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

On August 21, 1996, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down three decisions on Aboriginal fishing rights in British Columbia: R. v. Vander Peet, R. v. N.T.C. Smokehouse, and R. v. Gladstone. These decisions, already known as the Vander Peet trilogy, were followed by a decision on Aboriginal self government in relation to high-stakes gambling in Ontario, R. v. Pamajewon, released the next day. Then on October 3, 1996, the Court handed down two more decisions, this time involving Aboriginal fishing rights in Quebec: R. v. Adams and R. v. Cote. All these decisions deal with section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the nature of the Aboriginal rights which that section recognizes and affirms. Together, these six decisions are probably the most important pronouncements on Aboriginal rights the Supreme Court has made so far. They are going to have a profound impact on the Aboriginal peoples, and will influence not only future judicial decisions but negotiations for the resolution of Aboriginal claims as well.

Keywords: constitutional, rights, aboriginal, peoples, justify, supreme, court, decisions, act, s.35, fishing

JEL Classification: K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

McNeil, Kent, How Can Infringements of the Constitutional Rights of Aboriginal Peoples Be Justified? (1997). 8:2 Constitutional Forum 33-39, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2259154

Kent McNeil (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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