Social Justice and the Charter: Comparison and Choice

50:3 Osgoode Hall Law Journal, pp. 669-698, 2013

30 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2013

See all articles by Margot E. Young

Margot E. Young

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

At a time of radical inequality, the changes sought by social justice advocacy are urgently needed. Yet repeatedly, courts fail to respond adequately to this challenge. A core issue plagues social justice jurisprudence under sections 7 and 15: the difficulty inevitable in the contemplation and expression of the social and political forms in which oppression and social injustice occur. This problem manifests doctrinally in ways specific to the rights at issue. In section 15 cases, the casting of comparator groups has been deeply problematic, and in both section 15 and section 7 cases, the courts fail to deliver a nuanced understanding of how notions of choice ought (and ought not) to figure in the consideration of rights claims. Judgments map a complex reality in both powerful and necessarily incomplete ways. Judicial attentiveness to this fact will determine the role that the Charter does or does not play in the reach for social justice.

Keywords: social justice, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Suggested Citation

Young, Margot E., Social Justice and the Charter: Comparison and Choice (2013). 50:3 Osgoode Hall Law Journal, pp. 669-698, 2013 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2310253

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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