Interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Outlines the structure of the Charter and canvasses debates about its interpretation, including interpretive methods and sources.
Robert J. Sharpe
Robert Sharpe was formerly a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where he wrote and taught in the areas of constitutional law, remedies, civil procedure, and criminal law. From 1990 to 1995 he served as Dean of the Faculty. He has appeared as counsel in a number of Charter cases in courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. From 1988 to 1990, he served as the Supreme Court’s Executive Legal Officer. He was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) in 1995 and to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1999. Robert Sharpe was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1991, presented with the Ontario Bar Association Distinguished Service Award in 2005, and elected as a Senior Fellow of Massey College in 2006. In 2008, he received the Mundell Medal for making a distinguished contribution to law and letters. In 2011, he was appointed as a Visiting Professor, Oxford University, and received honorary doctoral degrees from the Law Society of Upper Canada and the University of Windsor. Justice Sharpe has published many scholarly articles and is the author of several award-winning books on law and legal history, including The Law of Habeas Corpus, 3d ed (2011); The Last Day, the Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial (1988); Injunctions and Specific Performance, 4th ed (2011); Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey (with Kent Roach) (2003); The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood (with Patricia McMahon) (2007); and The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 (2011).
Kent Roach is a professor of law at the University of Toronto, where he holds the Prichard-Wilson Chair in Law and Public Policy. He formerly served as a law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; in 2013, he was awarded a Pierre Trudeau Fellowship; and in 2015, he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. Professor Roach is the author of thirteen books, including Constitutional Remedies in Canada (awarded the 1997 Walter Owen Book Prize) and now in its second edition; Due Process and Victims’ Rights (shortlisted for the 1999 Donner Prize); The Supreme Court on Trial: Judicial Activism or Democratic Dialogue (shortlisted for the 2001 Donner Prize) and now in a revised edition; Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey, co-authored with Robert Sharpe (winner of the 2003 Defoe Prize); The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism (co-winner of the 2012 Mundell Medal); and False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism, co-authored with Craig Forcese (winner of the 2016 Canadian Law and Society book prize). He is also the author of Criminal Law, now in its sixth edition, in the Irwin Law Essentials of Canadian Law series. Professor Roach has represented interveners in many Charter cases, including Downtown Eastside Sex Workers on standing, Khawaja on terrorism, Sauvé on voting and equality, Latimer on mandatory penalties, Golden on strip searches, and Ward on Charter damages.