This paper discusses the Supreme Court’s characterization of adolescence in R. v. B. (D.) and its application of the criteria established by the Court as to what constitutes a principle of fundamental justice. The author also discusses implications of the decision on a subsequent case which focused on the nature of adolescent decision-making in the child health and welfare context, C. (A.) v. Manitoba (Director of Child and Family Services), and addresses the evidentiary aspects of the Court’s taking judicial notice of the psychological underpinnings of its decision in both cases. Ultimately, both cases establish a relatively consistent view of adolescence as a trajectory toward adulthood, but not quite there yet, and limits autonomous rights and adult responsibility accordingly. Arguably the Court is less consistent in its application of the legal rules to arrive at this conclusion. The author concludes by suggesting that child rights advocates be wary lest the Court’s classification of adolescents as “other” leads to the erosion of their entitlement to other rights under the Charter.
Milne, Cheryl L..
"The Differential Treatment of Adolescents as a Principle of Fundamental Justice: An Analysis of R. v. B. (D.) and C. (A.) v. Manitoba."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.