Publication Year


ISBN: 9781552213902

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Understanding Charter Damages

This text endeavours to provide readers with a more complete understanding of the purposes and scope of this judicially created Charter remedy. It also brings to readers’ attention the various relevant factors that influenced the development of this new remedy. Most importantly, the book examines in detail the new analytical framework set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Vancouver (City) v Ward in 2010.

Using a database of just over 100 cases covering a span of more than thirty years, the author chronicles the evolution of Charter damages through the decisions of provincial and federal trial and appeal courts. Cases involving Charter damages are statistically assessed in terms of success rates, reasons for rejection of claims, award amounts, types of damages awarded, Charter sections involved, and recurring problems.

The author also examines the effect of the Ward decision, and use of the new analytical framework, during the post–Ward period of 2010 to 2015. As part of this review, the Supreme Court’s decision in Henry v British Columbia (AG), dealing with prosecutorial discretion, is analyzed in some detail. The author concludes with a contemporary assessment of the effectiveness of Charter damages as a constitutional remedy.

W.H. Charles

Professor W.H. Charles received his LLM from Harvard University and Michigan Law School. In 1983, he was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel, and in 2001 he received his LLD (Hon) from Dalhousie University. After teaching at Dalhousie Law School for over thirty years, he became Dean of the Faculty of Law. After retiring from teaching full-time, he was appointed as professor emeritus at the Dalhousie Law School. Professor Charles has written several books and articles, particularly with reference to personal injury damages. He has held numerous prestigious positions on various commissions and boards, including serving as president of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia and chair of the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Board.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


Introduction to the concept of an award of damages as a remedy under the Charter. 6 $0.60


Review of the first 11 years of lower court decisions awarding Charter damages. 14 $1.40


Discussion of the 1994 decision, RJR – MacDonald Inc v Canada (AG), in which the Supreme Court of Canada first authoritatively pronounced on the availability of damages as a remedy for … 7 $0.70


Review of 50 Charter damages cases decided between 1995 and 2010, including comparison and contrast with results of cases decided before 1995. 28 $2.80


Review of Supreme Court of Canada decisions on Charter damages issued between 1995 and 2010, particularly in relation to the qualified immunity defence. 15 $1.50


Discussion of the role of common law damages principles in guiding the development of Charter damages. 10 $1.00


Discussion of the 2010 decision, Vancouver (City) v Ward, in which the Supreme Court of Canada set out an analytical framework for lower courts to follow in assessing claims for compensation for … 23 $2.30


Preliminary assessment of the impact of Ward on the evolution of Charter damages by review of 33 subsequent cases. 21 $2.10


Discussion of the effectiveness of damages as a Charter remedy and why the remedy is not sought more frequently. 7 $0.70