Review Article: The Charter and Poverty: Beyond Injusticiability

“The Charter and Poverty: Beyond Injusticiability” (2001) 51 University of Toronto Law Journal 425-458. (Review Essay of: Lorne Sossin, Boundaries of Judicial Review: The Law of Justiciability in Canada.)

33 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2013

See all articles by David Wiseman

David Wiseman

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

A decision that the right to security of the person, guaranteed by s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, does not provide protection against reductions in social assistance, for instance, is a decision that claims to such protection are unavailable for adjudication by courts. Given these deficiencies, some of which are explored more deeply below, the decisions of lower courts holding poverty-related Charter claims injusticiable constitute one area of justiciability jurisprudence that stands to benefit from Sossin's analysis. ... At the outset of his consideration Sossin notes that while Canadian courts have generally been reluctant to invest Charter rights with social and economic content, in Irwin Toy the Supreme Court expressly refrained from foreclosing the possibility that s. 7 protects 'economic rights fundamental to human life and survival.' ... Since the reasoning in PUC is illustrative of the reasoning in lower court decisions holding poverty-related Charter claims injusticiable, this consideration also suggests that a reconstruction of this area of justiciability jurisprudence in accordance with Sossin's analysis and framework would point towards a confirmation of the justiciability of those claims. ... Ultimately, this suggests not only that an application of Sossin's framework and analysis would assist in improving lower court treatment of institutional capacity and legitimacy issues in this area of justiciability jurisprudence but also that it would point those courts towards holding poverty-related Charter claims justiciable.

Keywords: right to security of the person, section 7, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada, social assistance, courts, poverty-related Charter claims, justiciability, jurisprudence, Irwin Toy

Suggested Citation

Wiseman, David, Review Article: The Charter and Poverty: Beyond Injusticiability (2001). “The Charter and Poverty: Beyond Injusticiability” (2001) 51 University of Toronto Law Journal 425-458. (Review Essay of: Lorne Sossin, Boundaries of Judicial Review: The Law of Justiciability in Canada.), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295648

David Wiseman (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php

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