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CLN4U Canadian and International Law

Unit 2, Activity 4, Assignment 1

I. In your own words, briefly summarize how Sections 1, 24, and 33 of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms allow for limitations of the rights of Canadians.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms outlines and grants Canadians a variety
of rights and freedom, but it also gives many possible exceptions to these rights and
freedoms so they do not become abused and taken advantage of. Sections 1, 24 and 33
illustrate some of the limitations on the rights of Canadians. For example, Section 1 states
that all rights and freedoms must exist within reasonable limits - individual interests must
be weighed against the interests of society. Sections 24 and 33 are known as
notwithstanding clauses, which permits any form of government to officially pass a law
despite the many rights/freedoms given to Canadians.
II. Create a situation in which a person is exercising one of their Charter rights beyond a
reasonable limit. Describe that situation. Specify at what point you think they
crossed the reasonable limit line. Discuss how Section 1 would be applied to
limit or infringe upon their right.
An example of exercising a Charter right beyond a reasonable limit would be seen in
hate speech. Canadians have the right to a freedom of speech, which means one has the
right to voice their opinions and views without punishment. However, one can easily
cross the reasonable limit line in spreading hate speech about another person,
organization or group, which is known as discrimination.
III. Why do courts apply Charter tests to existing laws? Why is this testing an important
feature of our legal system?
Courts apply Charter tests to literally test the charter and existing laws. They see and
study how each Charter limitation and law work and can be used and interpreted in many
different ways. This is quite an important feature in our legal system because it allows
limitations to be set accordingly to keep the Charter rights from being abused.
IV. Why do we have limitations to our rights written into the Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms? Should all of our rights be inalienable? Why or why not?
We have limitations on our rights to create the most peaceful society. Without
limitations, the Charter rights would be extrapolated and stretched passed the
aforementioned reasonable limit line and many would be taken advantage of.