Legislating Under the Charter: Parliament, Executive Power, and Rights (Hardcover)

Legislating Under the Charter: Parliament, Executive Power, and Rights By Emmett MacFarlane, Janet Hiebert, Anna Drake Cover Image

Legislating Under the Charter: Parliament, Executive Power, and Rights (Hardcover)

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Legislating under the Charter explores how governments and Parliament justify limitations on rights when advancing laws that raise rights concerns or when responding to judicial decisions under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Through an analysis of legislation concerning criminal justice policy, the approval of new safe consumption sites, sex work, and medical assistance in dying, the book provides a detailed analysis of the extent and nature of parliamentary deliberation about rights, the extent to which government initiatives are properly scrutinized, and the broader institutional relationships under the Charter. The authors draw from a host of qualitative data, including research interviews and examination of judicial decisions, various bills under study, Hansard debates from the floor of the House of Commons, committee and Senate scrutiny of legislation, bureaucratic advice and Charter statements by the department of justice, and news media coverage.


The book offers a set of concrete reform proposals to improve the transparency and accountability of executive and bureaucratic vetting processes, and to strengthen the role of Parliament in upholding constitutional values and holding the government to account. In doing so, Legislating under the Charter contributes to the broader comparative scholarship on models of judicial review, morality policy, policy change, and constitutionalism.

Emmett Macfarlane is an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo Janet L. Hiebert is a professor emeritus of political studies at Queen's University. Anna Drake is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo.
Product Details ISBN: 9781487552442
ISBN-10: 1487552440
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 264
Language: English