Legislative Vehicles and Formalized Charter Review
When and how does the Parliament of Canada examine proposed legislation for its compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? While the Federal Court has observed that — with respect to legislation — “Parliament plays a crucial examination role in identifying inconsistencies with guaranteed rights,” Parliament cannot be said to have adopted formal obligations in this regard.
Although parliamentarians consider the constitutionality of proposed legislation through various means, formalized review occurs only with respect to specific classes of legislation and does not mirror how courts review impugned legislation. This article compares and contrasts current parliamentary practices aimed at Charter compliance and explains where gaps exist.
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