Canadian Human Rights

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Society, human rights and the justice system: The Canadian experience The inclusion of human rights within a criminal justice system is the natural evolution of a criminal justice system that reflects societal expectations within a just society as to how we treat one another. These rights in Canada exists in two ways, human rights acts that protect citizens from each other and those that protect the rights of citizens from the state. This paper will explore, from a Canadian context, the development of human rights and constitutional rights, the purpose of these rights and how they operate within the current criminal justice structure. The paper will also address whether the current approach is reflective of Canadian society and the principles…show more content…
With continued calls for the formalization of human rights in Canada, then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker enacted the Canadian Bill of Rights. The creation of this act was catalyst in the development of provincial human rights acts as, “other provinces followed Ontario’s example, implementing human rights acts throughout the 1960s and 1970s, in many cases establishing human rights commissions to administer these laws” (p.808). While formal legislation of human rights had been created, there was still no nexus to the criminal justice system in Canada. Subsequently, there was a desire to expand human rights, through a constitutional solution into Canadian…show more content…
Up to the 1970’s, human rights acts, either federal or provincial had a significant impact on developing the Canadian identity, creating a country known for its tolerance of others, protection of minorities and belief in equality. This was not the case within the Canadian criminal justice system. Justice to Maintain Authority. Historically, “dominant groups used the state and its legal system as a tool of oppression and exploitation in order to maintain their own hegemony” (p.809). The criminal justice and legislative systems had been used to maintain control over non-white citizens, with legislation such as the Chinese Immigration Act and the Indian Act. Even, “… racialized minorities tried to assert their rights in the Supreme Court of Canada, only to be denied by a justice system that was reluctant to undermine racist legislation or penalize racist actions” (p.809). The response of the criminal justice system to human and fundamental rights would not change until 1982 and the introduction of the Charter of

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