James Keegstra Case Analysis

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James Keegstra took his freedom of expression to a limit, which forced the Supreme Court of Canada to answer these difficult questions. Keegstra was a high school teacher in Eckville, Alberta. In 1984, he was charged with the unlawful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group under s.319 (2) of the Criminal Code. These charges were based on his communication of anti-Semitic (anti-Jewish) statements to his students. After being convicted of hate propaganda, the accused felt that his s.2 (b) and s. 11(b) rights of the charter were violated by his conviction under section 319(2) and s. 319(3) of the criminal code (https://prezi.com/ck7ew22d8bd8/supreme-court-case-analysis-r-vs-keegstra/). The court saw these violations of the Charter as constitutional because “the law had a rational connection to its objective, it was not overly limiting, and the seriousness of the violation was not as severe as the content of the hateful expression”. Supreme Court of Canada overstepped in its conclusion that there are limits to Keegstra’s right of expression because section 2 of the Charter should protect…show more content…
The suppression of hate propaganda signifies an infringement of individual’s freedom of expression. An activity that conveys a message through non-violent forms of expression is protected under the s.2 of the Charter regardless of how offensive it is. Moreover, there was a misapplication of Charter, which made s.319 (2) of the Criminal Code to fail the proportionality test. There was no relation between the criminalization of hate speech and its suppression. Although his comments were offensive, they did not pose any threats they way violence or violence threats would have. The meaning Keegstra’s comment conveyed was offensive but it was not from the way the message was formed but the meaning that was attached to it. Section 319(2) does not regulate the tone of expression because it strikes directly at its
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