R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103

1) Reverse onus: A stipulation within the Criminal Code of Canada that shifts the “burden of proof” onto the individual to disprove evidence against them and prove their innocence. Usually, this provision concerns a shift in burden onto a defendant in either a criminal offence or “tort” case. This was found to be contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedom s.11(d) “Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.”

2) The criteria basically outlined that in order to limit the charter rights, it had to be justified. The following question must be answered: Does the objective relate to societal concerns which are pressing and substantial in a free and democratic environment? In other words does the crime which the charter is protecting affect the functioning of a free democratic society for all. If yes, A PROPERTIONAL TEST is then conducted in which the following three aspects are considered: The limitation of the law must be reasonable and logically, it must be limited as little as possible and the more severe the limitation the most severe the crime. After logically considering these three aspects, in theory a logically conclusion can be drawn on the basis of whether or not to limit the defendant’s charter rights.

3) A reason that could be considered important enough to satisfy the first criterion used to justify limiting a right is aspects such as decreasing drug crimes.

Public Pressure Prevails

1) The provincial government proposed Bill 26, on March 10, 1998. The proposed Institutional Confinement and Sexual Sterilization Act would limit compensation to $150 000 per claim and protect the government from legal challenges under the Charter of Rights and Freedom. This invoked the notwithstanding clause or the override power, and it allowed provincial legislatures to override certain portions of the Charter; which is what the bill required to remain in action. No they were not successful, they received overwhelming outburst of protest from the media, civil right groups and the general populace; many legal experts argued they would have saved more money by performing negotiations with the individuals  who were suing the government as oppose to proposing the bill.

2) The reason why this was allowed to continue long because the board’s activities were very secretive. Each time any political bill attempted to hamper or completely stop the board’s activity, they would legal “loopholes” to allow them to continue to perform. In 1972, Mr. King finally proposed a bill to revoke the Confinement and Sexual Sterilization Act under three measures:  The Sexual Sterilization Act was based on medical and genetics theories which are now of questionable scientific validity, the Act was full of legal ambiguities, most notably in the section exempting surgeons from civil liability and legal opinion provided to the government suggested that this exemption was most likely ineffective. As a result in the mid-1990s, Leilani Muir, a victim of involuntary sterilization in 1959, sued the Alberta government. The case went to a full trial in 1995, and she was awarded nearly one million dollars Canadian including damages and legal costs. Since her trial, over 700 victims of the Alberta Eugenics Board have attempted to contest the Alberta government for similar reasons; the majority of these have been settled out of court.

3) No, logically I do not believe it is the tax payers’ responsibility to compensate the victims of abuses committed by previous government. Like stated in the article, many of the people in the current government and tax payers were not even alive when these gross abuses of power occurred in secrecy. However I do believe that the government should provide compensation because like any government they must inherit the positive and negative aspects of their predecessor government and do their best to resolve them so their successor does not have to deal with them.

3*) The section is also known as the reasonable limits clause or limitations clause, as it allows the government to legally limit an individual’s Charter rights.

16(3) Nothing in this Charter limits the authority of Parliament or a legislature to advance the equality of status or use of English and French.

(1)A variety of Canadian laws which would tend to limit mobility rights have been examined, including laws regarding extradition, quarantine, bail, probation, parole, imprisonment, and custody of children.

Section 6(2) seems to create rights which at first impression appear to receive social services in different provinces, as well as a prohibition against employment restrictions based on province of previous or present residence. However these rights are limited both by the provisions of section 6(3) and (4), and section 1 of the Charter.

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