This paper examines the surprising resurgence of the Bill of Rights in procedural fairness cases before the Supreme Court during the 2003-2004 term. In particular, the analysis focuses on Authorson v. Canada, which raised the scope of procedural protection in sections 1(a) and 2(b) of the Bill of Rights, and Bell v. CTEA, which raised the scope of the independence component of section 2(b). While the Court adopted a fairly narrow account of the procedural protections offered under the Bill of Rights, these protections nonetheless are accorded quasi-constitutional status and are likely to stimulate a further Bill of Rights revival in the federal administrative law sphere. The paper concludes that this revival is a positive development although its implications are uncertain — the Bill of Rights, after over 40 years in existence, remains largely uncharted terrain for Canadian administrative law — especially with respect to the scope of the “due process” protection it contains. It is hoped that Canadian courts will continue to develop its jurisprudence with its distinctive language, and its distinctive purposes in mind.
"The Quasi-Revival of the Canadian Bill of Rights and Its Implications for Administrative Law."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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