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Commentary

Examining the Constitutional Concerns of Urbanization and Megacities

By Julia Nowicki “Urban agglomeration is amongst the most burning policy challenges of the twenty-first century”, says Ran Hirschl, professor of political science and law and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. “The continued silence of constitutional thought and constitutional scholarship on the issue of cities, urbanization, is just striking.” On Thursday, November 12th, … Read More

Fraser v. Canada: What’s the Point of S. 15?

by Jeffrey Wang On October 16th, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released the landmark decision of Fraser v Canada, clarifying how adverse effect discrimination fits into the s. 15 framework. Adverse effect discrimination can be defined as when a facially neutral law has a disproportionate impact on members of a group. This is distinct … Read More

Overcoming Challenges to Implementing UNDRIP in Canada

By Julia Nowicki Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Canadian law will not be without challenges, and will require both hard-work and great care, said Kerry Wilkins at the Asper Centre’s first Constitutional Roundtable for the 2020/2021 academic year. Held virtually on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020, Wilkins, who … Read More

R v Chouhan: The Constitutionality of Abolishing Peremptory Challenges

by Annie Chan The Asper Centre recently intervened in R v Chouhan, a case before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) whose outcome has fundamental implications on the process of jury selection in criminal trials. Background For 150 years, two types of challenges were permitted in jury selection in a criminal trial: (1) peremptory challenges, … Read More

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador dismisses Constitutional Challenge to Travel Restriction

by Ainslie Pierrynowski Does a provincial government have the authority to restrict interprovincial travel? Can limitations on mobility rights be justified in the name of public health? These timely issues were at the heart of Taylor v Newfoundland and Labrador,[1] a September 17, 2020 decision from the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. Background On … Read More