Charter Statements outline some of the key considerations that inform the review of a proposed bill for consistency with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In particular, a Statement identifies Charter rights and freedoms that are potentially engaged by a Bill and provides a brief explanation of the nature of any engagement, in light of the measures being proposed.
A Statement may also identify potential justifications for any limits on the rights and freedoms a bill may impose. It is important to note that when legislation limits a right or freedom, the Charter is not necessarily violated. A violation of the Charter only occurs where a limit on a right or freedom is not demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.
The Minister of Justice prepares Statements to help inform public and parliamentary debate on a proposed bill.
Note: Charter Statements are intended to provide legal information to the public and Parliament and are not intended to be comprehensive overviews of Charter considerations, recognizing that a bill may change over the course of its passage through Parliament. Statements are not legal opinions on the constitutionality of a bill.
Legislation introduced on June 6, 2017 would make the Minister’s existing practice a legal duty. This duty would extend to all government legislation. A Charter Statement identifies potential effects that a bill may have on rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter. Though it is not legal advice, a Charter Statement further explains considerations that support the constitutionality of the Bill where relevant. The purpose of Charter Statements is to be more open and transparent and to inform the parliamentary and public debates on a bill.
Charter Statements - 2017
- Bill C-56: An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Abolition of Early Parole Act June 21, 2017
- Bill C-59: An Act respecting national security matters June 20, 2017
- Bill C-51: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act June 6, 2017
- Bill C-45: An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts May 29, 2017
- Bill C-46: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts May 11, 2017
- Bill C-39: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unconstitutional provisions) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts March 8, 2017
- Bill C-38: An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons) February 9, 2017
- Bill C-28: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (victim surcharge) February 1, 2017
Charter Statements - 2016
- Bill C-32: An Act related to the repeal of section 159 of the Criminal Code (prohibition against anal intercourse) November 21, 2016
- Bill C-16: An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and expression) October 18, 2016
- Bill C-14: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying) April 22, 2016
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