Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A great article by my friend Chris Schafer of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. I would love a court that was interested in protecting liberty including economic liberty. It is also time to neuter a lot of the quasi judicial star chambers that limit our freedom. Defand the hrcs!

Save us from 'activist' legislators


With the election of a Conservative majority federal government, future appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada has become an issue. With the recent announcement that two current Supreme Court judges will retire at the end of this August, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have an opportunity to appoint several new judges to Canada's top court in the next four years. However, with the principal role of the Supreme Court being an appellate court of last resort, in fact, the judges appointed by the federal government to the superior-level courts in each province are just as important, if not more so. They act as a first line of defence against legislatures which, more often than not, pass laws and regulations that impede freedom.

The judiciary is the third branch of government, the other two being the executive branch that carries out government business and the laws of Canada, and the legislative branch that debates and makes laws. With the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the powers of judicial review were expanded. Courts now subject government legislation to the Charter's constitutional limits, including protections for such fundamental freedoms as expression and association. While an imperfect document, the Charter is designed in many ways to limit government action with respect to individuals.

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