Failure to Report: The Manifestly Unconstitutional Nature of the Human Smugglers Act

Citation data:

Osgoode Hall Law Journal, ISSN: 0030-6185, Vol: 51, Issue: 2, Page: 377-425

Publication Year:
2014
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/ohlj/vol51/iss2/1
Author(s):
Bond, Jennifer
Tags:
Human trafficking--Law and legislation; Canada. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Government accountability; Canada; Human trafficking--Law and legislation; Canada. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Government accountability; Canada; Constitutional Law
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article description
This paper uses the Human Smugglers Act as a case study of what can happen when a Canadian government tables legislation that is highly controversial not only for reasons of ideology or policy, but also because it almost certainly violates the Charter. The conclusion is twofold: first, that a requirement originally meant to increase government accountability in the face of Canada’s human rights instruments is failing; and second, that this same requirement is now providing the government political cover to deflect legitimate constitutional critique while simultaneously avoiding substantive engagement. The result is an impoverished constitutional dialogue and a misled Canadian public.