What follows will be no revelation to most Slaw regulars (or irregulars as the case might be) so feel free to move along, but also feel to contribute some expertise if the feeling moves you. While celebrating Canada Day last week, it occurred to me that not everybody who visits Slaw will be as comfortable with some of the legal foundations of Canada as those regulars (or irregulars) are; so what follows are some of the legalities that make Canada… well Canada.

Canadian Constitutional documents being specifically:
– The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Constitution Act 1867, aka British North America Act(CanLII Version)
Constitution Act 1982(CanLII Version) in what was known as “Bringing Home the Constitution”.

Note: the 1867 Constitution is an act of the UK being: Constitution Act, 1867 (UK), 30 & 31 Vict, c 3, reprinted in RSC 1985, App II, No 5.

The 1982 Constitution Act is schedule B of the UK Canada Act 1982, c 11. as is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Some secondary material selections include, but are certainly not limited to:

Peter Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada (in various forms)
Gerald Gall, The Canadian Legal System
Patrick Monahan, Constitutional Law
Gerald Beuadoin & Errol Mendes, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Constitutional Forum
Review of Constitutional Studies
National Journal of Constitutional Law.

Annnnnd we had an earbug of a Centennial Song


  1. Shaunna Mireau

    Thanks for the handy quick reference to these Mark.

  2. Mark, not to be a nit picker, but you don’t go back far enough in Canada’s constitutional history, and at the very least I would also include Canada’s “declaration of independence” the Statute of Westminster, 1931 (UK), which ended the ability of the UK parliament to legislative for Canada and gave Canadian’s complete freedom to make their own laws, and thus the right to make their own way in the world (borrowed from the Canadian Encylopaedia)

  3. Neil, I considered going into everything and then made a conscious decision to not to go into that level of detail in a short blog post as the post was not aimed at the experts, it was aimed at those with little familiarity with Canada’s history. I think the details you mention could be another post.