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Judging and Equality: For Whom Does the Charter Toll?

in Christine Boyle, Wayne MacKay, Edward McBride & John Yogis, eds., Charterwatch: Reflections on Equality (Toronto: Carswell, 1986), 35-105

72 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017  

A. Wayne MacKay

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 1986

Abstract

The tension between an individualistic and communitarian approach to the world is crucial to how equality will be defined in Canada. Violations of equality diminish the rights and dignity of all Canadians and not just the particular individuals or the specific groups who are the immediate victims of inequality.

This article explores the role of judges in promoting equality. In order to pursue this discussion, several related questions will also be addressed. What are the limits and strengths of the Charter as a means to a more egalitarian society? What is the nature of judging and is it distinct from the larger political process What has been the record of the Supreme Court of Canada to date on Charter issues and how can this be extrapolated to emerging equality issues? What is the proper role for the courts in promoting equality in comparison with other institutional mechanisms?

Keywords: judicial role, judges and equality, judicial activism, judicial restraint, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, constitutional law, balance of powers

Suggested Citation

MacKay, A. Wayne, Judging and Equality: For Whom Does the Charter Toll? (1986). in Christine Boyle, Wayne MacKay, Edward McBride & John Yogis, eds., Charterwatch: Reflections on Equality (Toronto: Carswell, 1986), 35-105. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995483

Wayne MacKay (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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