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Constitutional Law in Theory and Practice

Constitutional Law in Theory and Practice

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Constitutional Law in Theory and Practice
    Book Description:

    David Beatty draws on more than twenty years' teaching experience to produce a comprehensive introduction to the basic rules in constitutional law, accessible to law and non-law students alike.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5975-9
    Subjects: Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. 1 Constitutional Law
    (pp. 3-19)

    No one, I am sure, would have any difficulty distinguishing a constitution from either a gopher or a game of golf. Most people, I suspect, would be astonished that anyone would even consider it important or interesting to refer to these three entities in the same breath. Although it is often said that a constitution provides the ‘ground’ – or foundation – on which the modern nation-state is built, for most people that connection would be too tenuous and remote. The words conjure up such radically different images that to compare them seems quite bizarre.

    The reason that we can...

  5. 2 Division of Powers
    (pp. 20-60)

    For the first 125 years of its development in Canada, constitutional law was used exclusively to answer questions about where the jurisdictional boundaries of its national and regional governments should be drawn. Historically, federalism cases have been the heart and soul of Canadian constitutional law. Though the courts flirted occasionally with the idea of developing an implied bill of rights, it was not until 1982, when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in the constitution, that human rights came to dominate the attention of the judiciary.

    Even though their relative significance may have gradually diminished since the proclamation...

  6. 3 Human Rights
    (pp. 61-102)

    Until 17 April 1982, the only constitutional cases that Canadian courts had heard were arguments about which order of government had authority to rule. These were disputes between those who claimed to speak on behalf of all Canadians, in the national interest, and those who were elected to serve people in one of the ten provinces that make up the Canadian state. The rules of constitutional law were developed to decide which of these two groups of people – which majority – should control different areas of public policy and issues of social concern. Constitutional law adjusted the boundaries between...

  7. 4 Comparative Constitutional Law
    (pp. 103-140)

    In the last two chapters, we have canvassed the major principles of law and the method of reasoning used by the Supreme Court of Canada (and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council) in testing the constitutionality of whatever federal or provincial policies they have been asked to review. When one stands back from the jurisprudence that has been written by these courts, two characteristics of Canadian constitutional law stand out from all the rest. On the one hand, over the course of almost 125 years of judges' reviewing the constitutionality of thousands of pieces of law and administrative regulations,...

  8. 5 Law and Politics
    (pp. 141-162)

    In the last three chapters we covered a lot of constitutional law in a relatively short space. It is time to stand back and reflect on what we have seen. We must ask what lessons this body of comparative law teaches us about the integrity and efficacy of judicial review.

    For many people, what is most arresting about a comparative study of how constitutional law is practised around the world is that wherever one looks, in Canada and abroad, the story is so strikingly similar. Two basic subplots or themes are repeated over and over again. First, in deciding whether...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 163-200)
  10. Index
    (pp. 201-204)