What's Law Good For? An Empirical Overview of Charter Equality Rights Decisions

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Publication Date


Source Publication

Supreme Court Law Review (2d), Vol. 24, p. 103, 2004


The authors review court rulings in cases involving alleged violations of the equality rights in s.15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They find that the success rate of s.15 claimants has been consistently and significantly lower than the success rate of Charter claimants generally. Turning to the Supreme Court of Canada's rulings in equality rights cases, they argue that the Court's stated commitment to substantive equality is not manifest in its rulings. They close by recommending changes to the jurisprudence aimed at ensuring that the promotion of substantive equality is consistently treated as the primary goal of Canadian equality jurisprudence.