Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law

What is Constitutional Law?
Two most important constitutional laws:
Constitution Act, 1867 - division of legislative powers
Federal - parliament
Provincial - legislative assembly
Constitution Act, 1982 - protection of rights/freedoms
Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Constitution Act, 1867 (BNA Act, 1867)
United 3 British colonies: Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick --> Canada
Provided for executive, legislative, and judicial organs of governance
Executive - the Cabinet and the Ministries
Legislative - the Parliament and the Legislative Assembly
Judiciary - the courts - (provincial, federal, SCC)
Province can delegate things to the municipalities
Division of powers
Parliament has exclusive jurisdiction over (section 91):
Public Debt/Property
Regulation of Trade/Commerce
Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries
Aboriginals & Reserves
Criminal Law
Works connecting provinces; beyond one province's boundaries
Provincial legislators have exclusive jurisdiction over (section 92A):
Management/Sale of Public Provincial Land
Property & Civil Rights
Natural Resources
Matters of a merely local or private manner
Shared jurisdiction over certain matters, like agriculture
POGG power (federal) - "peace, order, and good governance"

Constitution Act, 1982
Full & final political independence from the UK
Established amending formula for Canadian constitution:
Assent from both House of Commons & the Senate
Approval from 2/3 of provincial legislatures (7 provinces), 50% of population
Part 1 - contains Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms
Part 2 - reserves rights/powers to Aboriginals

Courts & Division of Powers
Ultra Vires - passed without proper legislative power
Intra Vires - laws within the score of legal authority

R. v. Nitrochem (Ontario Court of Justice)
Accused argument: provincial statues ultra vires because:
St. Lawrence an international & navigable river
Provost is interprovincial...

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