Section One of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the section of the Charter that confirms that the rights listed in that document are guaranteed. The section is also known as the
reasonable limits clause' or limitations clause
, as it allows the government to legally limit an individual's Charter
rights. This limitation on rights has been used in the last twenty years to prevent a variety of objectionable conduct such as hate speech
(e.g. in R. v. Keegstra
) and obscenity
(e.g. in R. v. Butler
). It has also been used to protect from the unreasonable interference of government in the lives of people in a free and democratic society by defining these limits.
When the government has limited an individual's right, there is an onus upon the crown to show, on the balance of probabilities
, firstly, that the limitation was prescribed by law
namely, that the law is attuned to the values of accessibility
; and secondly, that it is justified in a free and democratic society
, which means that it must have a justifiable purpose and must be proportional.
Under the heading of "Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms", the section states:
Prescribed by law
The inquiry into whether the limitation was "prescribed by law" concerns the situation where the limitation was the result of some conduct of a government or its agents and whether the conduct was authorized by accessible and intelligible law. The Court articulated when the... Read More