Sauve V Canada Case Study

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Sauvé v Canada (Chief Electoral Officer) (2002)

Plaintiff - Richard Sauvé
Defendant - Attorney General of Canada, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada & the Solicitor
General of Canada

FACTS The Plaintiff: Richard Sauvé is a former member of the biker gang ‘Satan’s Choice’. In 1975, Sauvé was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for the murder of an opposing gang member. In 1993, Sauvé started a long journey fighting an injustice that denied all inmates the right to vote. He challenged the law that took away his right to vote while in prison, he argued that s.51(e) of The Canadian Elections Act violated his Charter Rights by excluding every person who is imprisoned in a correctional facility for the commission of any offence. Sauvé claimed that it contradicted s.3 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly. Sauvé was a citizen and as a citizen under the Charter, he was guaranteed the right to vote.
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In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed with the Plaintiff and deemed that the revised s.51(e) was unconstitutional because it did in fact violate the Charter.

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