Essay: Standing with Parliament

Sample Essay

Words 2,639

This essay discusses issues on politics. It is arguable that it is judges that are the final and fundamental defense of the rights of the individual in Canada. And it is arguable that it is not judges but politicians – in either the executive or the legislative branches or both – who are the most stringent defense of an individual’s rights.

It is arguable that it is judges that are the final and fundamental defense of the rights of the individual in Canada. And it is arguable that it is not judges but politicians – in either the executive or the legislative branches or both – who are the most stringent defense of an individual’s rights. But in the end the individual himself or herself is the final defense of individual rights, for it is this concept that the practice of democracy is based upon. To the extent that politicians are more directly connected to this defense of individual rights that we must all be responsible for, then it is the politician rather than the judge who is more important. However, no individual in a democracy can ever cede this task ultimately to anyone else.

The creators of the Charter of Rights recognized that judges are not imperfect. This single observation – with which we must surely all agree, for no human is perfect – is the basis for Article 33, which gives to Parliament greater rights than judges have (under certain circumstances) because – or at least this is the assumption behind this section – Parliament is more likely in the long run and overall to protect the rights of individuals than are judges, for reasons arising both from the limitations of individual judges as well as from structural constraints placed upon those judges. This paper focuses more on the latter than on the former because they are constitutionally more important (Canada – Constitution Act 1982).

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