Failing Students by Taking a Pass on the Charter in Pridgen v University of Calgary

Colin Feasby


What is the appropriate approach when a judge is presented with a Charter issue? Should a judge simply decide the issue based on the arguments presented by the parties? Or should a judge seek out alternative and more limited reasons for deciding the Charter issue or even reasons to avoid deciding the Charter issue altogether? There is little guidance in Canadian academic literature on these questions. This article raises these questions in the context of a concrete example—Pridgen v University of Calgary—where judges on two Courts took three different approaches to a Charter issue.

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