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Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Submission Title

Contempt for Workers

Keywords

Contempt of court; Strikes and lockouts; Picketing; Constitutional law; Canada

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Charter proponents have been hopeful that the courts will use the constitutional entrenchment of rights to enlarge the political freedom of Canadians. Charter opponents have been doubtful of the court's ability to do so and, more importantly, of their willingness to do so where the enhancement of rights would undermine existing power relations. While many cases which come before the courts do not raise this issue squarely, the contradictory propositions are tested where capital labour conflicts are the subject of litigation. The argument is that it is the courts' historic mission to safeguard capital from working class challenges. Two recent contempt of court cases are used to demonstrate the judiciary's continued protection of private property and contract rights at the expense of the working classes political ambitions.

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