Title

Scoring the charter: A twenty-year analysis of supreme court voting trends (Pierre Trudeau).

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Political Science

Keywords

Political Science, General.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The Charter has transformed the way the policy process is conducted in Canada. It has ushered in a revolution focused on individual and collective group rights. The entrenchment of codified rights and freedoms has forced the legislatures to conform to the contents within the Charter and has reshaped Canadian socio-political values. Various studies have attempted to explain the Charters role in this process, however the question left unanswered is how has the Charter reshaped the policy process and what is the impact to Canadian constitutionalism? This thesis seeks to answer this question through a detailed quantitative analysis. The body of this thesis will focus on three tenets of constitutionalism: First, the Constitution Act, 1982 implemented constitutional supremacy in Canadian law and policy, however, this shift raised many questions as to the relationship between the Court and legislatures. Second, the Charter was manufactured by Pierre Trudeau with a centralizing theme. Trudeau shaped the Charter to implement universal standards across Canada, which in effect was expected to decrease provincial autonomy. Trudeau's nation building project focused on three areas: Mobility rights, Language and Education rights and Equality rights. This study seeks to assess whether the Charter has had the centralizing effects that Trudeau originally sought. Third, the influence of the individual justice was analyzed to asses what role the each justice plays in the Court, and second whether ideological congruencies exist within the Court. The database for this study will be composed exclusively of Supreme Court Charter cases. This thesis produces an important and necessary contribution to Canadian judicial literature in that it updates the database an additional five years from James Kelly's study. Moreover, this thesis created a more sophisticated approach to analyzing whether ideological congruencies and individual biases influence the Court's decision making process. However, quite simply, this study is significant and unique because it is the first study to focus on the exclusive impact of the Charter, by only focusing on explicit Charter cases. Thus not only will this study update the previous studies, it has corrected and modified them.Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .D35. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1214. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.