The history of the Supreme Court of Canada
can be divided into three eras. Initially, from the court's inception in 1875 to 1949, it remained largely reserved and conservative.Its decisions could be appealed Judicial Committee
of the British Privy Council
, and it was often overturned on major issues.
The second era spanned from the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council in 1949 until the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
in 1982. This period consisted of a gradual legitimization of the Supreme Court as the supreme judicial body in the country, and a liberalization of much of its jurisprudence. The adoption of the Charter proved to be a dramatic change in the role of the court in Canadian society. Under the Charter, the court moved aggressively into many areas of laws, creating broad protection of civil liberties, aboriginal rights, and equality rights.
With the formation of the Dominion of Canada
in 1867 there was a growing movement to create a final court of appeal for the new country. John A. Macdonald
, along with Télésphore Fournier
, Alexander Mackenzie
, and Edward Blake
, championed the creation of a Supreme Court. However, those strongly loyal to the English tradition opposed it and managed to get bills withdrawn in both 1869 and 1870. Additionally, there was resistance from Quebec
until the Guibord case
demonstrated to them that Privy Council rulings could not always be sensitive to their religious culture. It was not until April... Read More