Justice Bastarache made a number of positive contributions to equality law, in respect of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights legislation. This paper considers his contribution in light of a the ory that judges do at least two things when implementing a constitutional provision. They determine its meaning and the n they develop constitutional doctrine that they think best achieves it. Justice Bastarache came to the Court after it had determined the meaning of the equality right. He devoted his efforts to developing doctrine that aimed at putting it to work. Perhaps his keenest interest was in ensuring that the law coincided with the realities of the claimants and current beneficiaries of the law. He also adapted his highly contextualized section 1 analysis to the section 15 context. His work also shows a sensitivity to the collective interests at play in section 15 cases. In R. v. Kapp, while agreeing with the modifications of the Law v. Canada standard made by the majority of the Court, he presented an almost full the orized analysis of section 25, finding an Aboriginal right that answered the section 15 claim in that case. He also wrote reasons for judgment advancing the jurisdictional and substantive scope of human rights legislation.
"The Contribution of Justice Bastarache to Equality Law."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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