The First Amendment and Section 1 of the Charter

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Media and Communications Law Review. Volume 1 (1990), p. 59-126.


Canadian Charter; First Amendment Doctrine; Freedom of Speech; Section 1; US Jurisprudence


The purpose of this article is to examine the Charter's concepts of breach and justification from the perspective of American First Amendment jurisprudence. After discussing the relevance of textual differences, the author analyzes the evolution of First Amendment doctrine. In doing so, she identifies the functional equivalents of Canada's concepts of breach and justification in the U.S. jurisprudence. She concludes that restrictions on the definition of "freedom of speech" under section 2(b) of the Charter are analytically unsound, because limitations on the right are ultimately justificatory.

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